Have you been throwing away your oatmeal canisters after you’ve finished your delicious oatmeal? Save those babies! They make great containers and organizers for so many things around the house. Decorate an oatmeal container with some pretty paper or fabric, and you can use it just about anywhere to store small toys, craft supplies, toiletries, and more. In fact, here are 14 cool things you can do with your oatmeal canisters.

collage for 14 cool ways to use oatmeal canisters such as a flower pot, toilet paper holder and kitchen utensil holder
Clever Ways to Use an Empty Oatmeal Container

I make oatmeal every single day.  That adds up to a lot of canisters!  We have made a collection of the best ways to recycle these rolled oats cylinders, oatmeal boxes and iconic Quaker oats containers.

1. Creative Oatmeal Container Vase

Cover with paper rosettes to make a beautiful vase for your flowers. You’ll want to display this because it makes such a stunning centerpiece! Since the cardboard isn’t watertight, you could add the flowers to a narrower vase, then plop it right inside. You could even make the rosettes out of any paper material, like newspaper, scrapbooking paper, or any paper you think would be pretty.

Try making one this way, too!

an empty oatmeal container decorated with paper flowers on the outside serving as a vase for flowers.
Upcycle an Oatmeal Container Into a Vase from Lovely Crafty Home

2. Unique Ways to Store Kitchen Utensils in an Oatmeal Container

Dress them up to make utensil holders for your next party or get-together. You can cut the canister to the size you like, then glue rope around it with hot glue. When you’ve covered the whole thing, burn the ends of the rope, to give it a finished look and to keep it from unraveling. To polish it off, you can paint the inside of the canister to blend it with the outside. This is such a cool utensil holder for your kitchen.

empty oatmeal container cut in half, wrapped in rope storing kitchen utensils

3. Cute Ways to Use Oatmeal Containers for Spatulas and Spoons

Spruce up your kitchen with a clever idea to reuse your oatmeal canister while giving it a retro look at the same time. You can store whisks, and other kitchen tools in this cute tin so they’re easy to access when you’re cooking dinner. I like to put mine next to my stove because it makes it easy to grab when I need to stir something. I also love the retro look of this oatmeal tin. What a great way to recycle your canister after you finish your steel-cut oats.

These could also be used to store small bags of pasta, maybe dried fruit or tea bags, or even snacks for the road when you travel. This may work great in the kitchen, but what about other rooms in the house? It would be a great place to store small office items like pencils and pens, pushpins, erasers, and even post-it notes. For that matter, you could take it into any room to use for storage like the craft room. It would hold buttons, ribbon, tape, small leftover balls of yarn, or anything that would fit.

empty oatmeal tin holding kitchen utensils for cooking
6 Thrifty Ways to Reuse Oatmeal Containers from The Kitchn

4. Store Spare Toilet Paper Rolls in this Adorable Oatmeal Container

Store toilet paper rolls on the back of the toilet. Oatmeal canisters can hold two rolls, so your guests will never have to feel uncomfortable poking around in your cabinet for a roll! Once you put your favorite wrapping paper around the oatmeal canister, it will look so elegant. You can even coordinate the colors with your bathroom.
All you’ll need for this fun project is:

  • Your empty canister
  • Wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper
  • Pretty ribbon
  • Scissors and
  • Glue

decorated empty oatmeal container turned into a toilet paper holder

5. Piggy Bank – Thrifty Ways to Use Oatmeal Containers

Make a piggy bank for your kids or maybe for a fun thing you’re saving for, like a mini-vacation. All you’ll need for this project is duct tape and scissors. If ya wanna get fancy and make letters for the front, you’ll need a cutting mat and an X-ACTO knife. Once you cover your oatmeal canister, you’ll want to cut a slot into the lid to add money to your bank. Let the savings begin!

empty oatmeal canister covered in black and white duct tape to look pretty with a slot cut in the top and used for a bank for kids

6. Clever DIY Crayon Caddy Made of Oatmeal Container

We have a LOT of crayons at our house and it’s been tough to figure out just what to do them all, until now. Corral your crayons! Oatmeal cans are great for storing all kinds of craft supplies. Just cover the outside of the canister, use felt for the handle, and brads to attach it to the sides. How cool is this?

empty oatmeal canister covered in pretty paper with a handle on top used to carry crayons for kids, and a little girl carrying it by the handle

7. Ways to Use Oatmeal Containers for Your Dolls

Make a seat for dolls or stuffed animals. These are the perfect size for American Girl dolls. Simply remove the paper, and cut the oatmeal canister into the desired (chair) shape. Then use a paper towel to fill the seat and tuck in the fabric of your choice. It can be accented with little, tiny pillows.

little seats with a high back cut from oatmeal containers covered with fabric and tiny pillows meant for dolls

Repurposing Oatmeal Containers

8. Decorated Oatmeal Container to Hold Baby Headbands

Have you ever wondered where to store those stretchy baby girl headbands (or even big kid headbands)? Make a cute headband holder for all your baby’s headbands. You can even make this color-coordinated to match the decor in her room, like pretty pastels or contrasting colors. You can see at a glance which one coordinates best with her outfit! And it looks beautiful on the nightstand.

decorated oatmeal container used to hold baby headbands

9. Use an Oatmeal Container as a Drum for Your Kids

Make a drum for the kids with a sound absorber, so it’s fun for the kids without giving mom a headache. Using felt to make this creates a sound buffer so it’s not as loud as a regular drum. You can also use dowels for the drumsticks and attach corkscrews on the ends, covered in felt. How cute is this? Hey, at least it’s quieter than real drums!

DIY oatmeal container drum with drumsticks

10. Use Your Oatmeal Container as a Color Sorting Robot

Make a color sorting robot for the kids. Sorting (colors and shapes) is a fundamental activity for toddlers and preschoolers. This helps them learn to make sense of the world around them, and this adorable sorting container makes learning fun. How cute is that thing?

empty oatmeal canister decorated in foil and pipe cleaners with slots cut out to slide colored shaped into to help kids work on shapes and colors. it's a color sorting robot.

More Simple Ways to Reuse Oatmeal Canisters

11. Transform an Oatmeal Container to a Clever Plastic Bag Storage

Store your plastic bags for reuse later, in a cute container. Once your Oatmeal Canisters are empty, it’s easy to repurpose them for storage. Just gather your supplies first before you begin your project, so you won’t have to stop mid-way through. You’ll need: your canister, decorative wrapping paper, scissors, some glue (maybe Mod Podge), and a label if you like, or you can make your own.
It’s simple to do.

  • Remove the label from the canister (save this to measure the wrapping paper).
  • Cut out the wrapping paper using the label (above) as a template, but leave a little extra to wrap your seam.
  • Adhere the wrapping paper around your canister using your glue or Mod Podge, overlapping the extra as your sealing seam.
  • You can create your own custom label or use a pre-made one.
    {See all the things you can do with plastic bags!}

Repurposed oatmeal canister with wrapping paper around it and a label to hold plastic bags

12. DIY Oatmeal Container for Crochet and Knitting Needles Storage

This is a fun way to store your crafting needles with an empty decorated oatmeal canister. Use one for your crochet and knitting needles to keep them all in one handy place. I used to spend hours trying to remember where I put my needles because I didn’t have a good place to store them. This is so simple; just wrap the outside with crafting paper and secure it with tape. Then just add holes for the needles at the top.

decorated oatmeal canister used to store knitting needles

13. Fabric Covered Oatmeal Container for Storage

There are many ways to use oatmeal canisters like repurposing them or using them for storage. You can cover the can in fabric or felt, for extra durability. Some of the items you can store in these are pom poms, buttons, small paper punches, or even Ziploc storage bags. The different ideas for storage for these oatmeal canisters are endless! Plus, what a fun thing to do with that leftover fabric, or felt scraps.

oatmeal container with fabric next to it used as a cover to make it stronger so it can be used for storage

14. Chalkboard Containers to Hold Kid’s Jewelry or Anything Really

Store Necklaces safely while you travel. This can be used to store small items for the kiddos, like necklaces, chalk, little toys, crossword puzzles, chalk, or pencils. Or you could put holiday cookies or other sweet treats inside, but you may want to line the inside with wax paper or plastic wrap first. This is such a great way to store small items and the kiddos can add their artwork to the outside too. The possibilities are unending.

What you’ll need for this is:

  • Your oatmeal canister
  • Chalkboard adhesive paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

It would just take a little patience to get the chalkboard paper to stick where you want it to, especially if you’re picky. This is simple enough and would make a fun project to include the kiddos, but make sure to supervise scissor time with little hands. It’s something they will remember for a long time because they got to work on it with you. Remember to take pictures, and print a few out to hang in a frame on the wall. Both you and the kids will get a kick out of seeing them and remembering the fun project.

empty oatmeal canisters covered in chalkboard paper to hold kids jewelry

Check Out MORE Ways to Re-Use and Upcycle.

  • Turn an empty formula canister into awesome stuff!
  • No need to toss out those old jars! We’ve got some great ideas that’ll put them to work again.
  • Here are some amazing ways on how to give an empty tin can a new spin.
  • With a little imagination and creativity, old doors can be repurposed for a variety of purposes.
  • Old soap and shampoo bottles are useful for storing all sorts of stuff. Here are 15 clever ways to reuse them.
  • Ever felt like your Pringles cans needed a little bit more flavah? Here are 16 devilishly delicious, fun, and off-the-wall ways to give your Pringles cans a little makeover.

Which upcycled oatmeal container you are going to make today?

photo collage for ways to reuse empty oatmeal containers like a crayon caddy, piggy bank or a doll chair.

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