If you’ve done any redecorating or remodeling lately, you probably have some old paint cans saved in your garage. And if not, you can pick empty ones up cheap at home improvement stores. Why would you want to? Well, for these paint can recycle projects, of course! We’ve found 15 pretty useful ways to reuse paint cans for organizing and beautifying your home.

Cans are a common household hazardous waste that needs safe disposal options. I’m guessing you have a pile of empty cans sitting in your trash bin collecting sawdust because you’re thinking of repurposing them, but you just don’t have the time yet. So, we’ve collected these ideas to turn your empty paint cans not in hazardous waste facilities but into lovely drafts to beautify your home! Bye-bye unwanted paint cans, hello creative and lovely dry-out decors!

7-photo collage of 15 PRETTY & PRACTICAL WAYS TO REUSE AND REPURPOSE OLD PAINT CANS - as a birthday party can, rustic flower vases, hanging basket, herb planters, trick or treat buckets, wall storage units, and as DIY pendant lights

Neat Ways To do Paint Can Recycle Projects

1. Reuse Paint Cans For Practical Office Organization

Metal paint cans piled in the garage? Got mail you need to be sorted or lots of office supplies that you need sorted and arranged in different containers? Clean out a few old paint cans and reuse a few of them as desk cubbies to sort mail or hold your office supplies. Neat!

Paint cans being reused to sort mail on a shelf in the office
Use Old Paint Cans to Organize Desk Cubbies from Martha Stewart

2. DIY A Craft Caddie By Reusing Different-Sized Paint Cans

This tip is a must-do for any DIYer or crafter. There’s no reason or excuse for not having your craft supplies neatly organized.

From paint manufacturers, paint cans come in different sizes and here’s a nifty way to use both the smaller and larger sized paint cans. Using a couple of zip ties, fasten a couple of smaller paint cans onto a larger paint can and create this super handy craft caddie. Be sure to follow the instructions! This can hold different kinds of stuff, like liquids, oil paints safe for human health, just for your pets to play in, or just any crafty supplies!

And we couldn’t think of a better way to show off your new DIY craft caddie than uniquely decorating each of the smaller paint cans… Humanity restore in this project!

DIY craft caddie made by reusing different-sized paint cans

3. Reuse Paint Cans To Make Creative Organic Planters

Although this rocky flower pot uses a bucket, you can totally rock this out with a paint can. Isn’t it gorgeous? You just need some stuff from hardware stores and you’re off. Even paint retailers won’t guess that this one used to be a habitat for oil-based paints or latex paints!

To recreate this look using paint cans, you’ll need:

  • Hammer
  • Thick nail
  • Paint can
  • 2 sheets of river rock mesh tile – dimension is dependent on the size of your paint can
  • Small river rocks, enough to cover the surface of the paint can you’ll be using
  • Epoxy
  • Grout
  • Putty knife
  • Large sponge.


  • Your planter needs drainage so start by punching a few holes in the bottom with a hammer and a thick nail.
  • To make sure the river rocks stick onto your paint can apply a thick layer of epoxy, then the mesh tile on the outside of the paint can before sticking on the river rocks.
  • Leave it to dry and then add grout using the putty knife. To give your creative organic planter, remove excess putty using a sponge.

reused paint can to make organic planter that's decorated with river rocks

4. Make This Creative Birthday Gift Using A Paint Can

Know someone who loves cooking or baking but doesn’t like doing all the shopping? This will be your new go-to birthday gift… a birthday party in a can! And it’s so much fun.

Decorate a CLEAN paint can fill it with birthday cake mix, frosting, candles, candies, and more so the recipient can have a little birthday party whenever. Neat!

I’m also thinking this can be a giveaway project to the community center next time!

creative birthday gift made using a decorated paint can

5. Reuse Paint Cans To Create Multipurpose Coat Hooks

Do you live in those areas where an ordinary coat rack just won’t cut it because all your household members need extra space for their scarves, hats, and gloves? Install several water-based paint cans at varying heights in your entryway to give everyone a coat hook/storage cubby.

Finally! That bench which is constantly overflowing with winter coats, hats, and gloves can now get back to its intended use.

coat hook/storage cubby made from reusing paint cans

6. How Fab Is This Ice Bucket From A Reused Liquid Paint Can?

Tired of looking for ways to stand out when you throw parties? Here’s a super cute and super-easy way to do it – class up your next party with a glammed ice buckets from reusing paint cans. Who knew gold spray paint could have such a dramatic effect?

You could also reuse these glammed-up paint cans for storing your craft supplies.

glammed ice bucket made by reusing a paint can sprayed in gold

7. Go From Reused Paint Can To Easy DIY Rustic Vases

For all the flower lovers, instead of settling for the regular store-bought flower vases, upcycle and reuse paint cans to make a few rustic, one-of-a-kind vases. You can make birch bark vases out of any size paint cans.

All you need is some birch bark, twine, paint cans, glue gun, glue sticks, and then go all out with your creativity! Love the paintcare in this dry out project! Just look at the pigment effects on the painted cans!

3 rustic birch bark vases made from reused paint cans

8. No Tricks Needed For These Treat Buckets – Only Use New Paint Cans

Before rushing out to buy new buckets for the next Halloween, use new paint cans to make trick or treat buckets (or Easter buckets, etc.) for the kids.

New paint cans and some vinyl is all you need – though you could glam up the girls’ buckets with some ribbons.

2 trick or treat buckets made from new paint cans and vinyl

9. Reuse Paint Cans And Get To Be The Party Favors Star!

We love parties. And most of all we love party favors. What we don’t really care about is how most party favors don’t even last longer than it takes to say party favor. And don’t get me started on food party favors that are allergen-ticking bombs.

Here’s a party hack that will get and keep you in good graces with all, if not most, parents – make paint can party favors for your next birthday party. Fill the can with paints, paintbrushes, and other artsy-craftsy toys.

Use old paint cans to make party favors - 15 Pretty and Practical Ways to Reuse Paint Cans - One Crazy House

10. Why Settle For Ordinary Shelving When You Could Reuse Paint Cans?

I love organizing and for me, there’s no organization that’s complete without creating organization spaces where there were none before, like creating a wall storage unit out of paint cans.

While this DIYer used formula cans, you can reuse old paint cans to make a great storage unit for the garage to hold hand tools, cords, and more.

This is way better than ordinary shelving because now I can organize my stuff in different cans in such a way that it becomes a habit with everyone, and making my life way easier – all everyone has to do is put the right stuff in the right can. Probably some labels below this storage unit will help me easily achieve that.

wall storage unit made by reusing paint cans

11. Reuse Rusty Paint Cans To Make Rustic Hanging Baskets

Got old rusty paint cans lying around? You can never miss one or two in your garage. Just fill them with baby’s breath and hung them up.

Like literally. That’s all you need to do to reuse rusty paint cans. Don’t bother trying to make them look good. They’ll look rough and rustic against these pretty white flowers. Don’t we just love this hanging basket idea!

a rusty paint can in reuse as a hanging basket for baby's breath plant

12. Establish Your Own Herb Garden By Reusing Paint Cans

Anyone who loves herbs knows some herbs are best when fresh and therefore will always have those in their own neat garden of fresh herbs. A few old paint cans (or new ones, because there ARE a whole lot of herbs we love when fresh) wrapped in sisal and labeled accordingly make such gorgeous herb planters.

And these would make such pretty and neat gifts for other herb lovers!

PS: Don’t forget to drill some holes at the bottom of each paint can for drainage, and only wrap the sisal around the paint can. No need to get it wet and smelly at the bottom.

Turn old paint cans into planters - 15 Pretty and Practical Ways to Reuse Paint Cans - One Crazy House

13. Reuse Paint Cans To DIY A Flip-Flop Organization Center

Is your closet floor a jumble of lonely flip-flops, and are you tired of having to match them up every single time you need to wear some? Do away with such levels of disorganization by reusing old paint cans to make your DIY flip-flop organization center.

Nail a couple of paint cans to the wall for shoe storage, especially for flip-flops, as each paint can comfortably hold at least 2 pairs. Finally! Say goodbye to the hop, skip, and jump game in one flip-flop while you’re looking for its missing partner, lol.

PS: And should you need help with the rest of your shoes, check out more shoe organization ideas here!

paint cans in reuse as shoe storage when nailed to the wall
Organize shoes with old paint cans – 15 Pretty and Practical Ways to Reuse Paint Cans – One Crazy House

14. Be The Proud Owner Of The Neatest Lighting On Your Block

Why have ordinary lighting when you can DIY and own the title of being the owner of the cutest set of lights around the block? You can reuse paint cans to make your own unique and custom-made pendant lights.

For maximum effect, collect at least 2 paint cans, punch them with just about any design that you’d like, and some light kits. We just can’t get over how lovely and unique these DIY lighting pieces are!

2 DIY pendant lighting made from reused paint cans and lighting kits

15. DIY Beautiful Artistic Pieces For A Fraction Of The Price

Are you that person who sees artistic pieces you really love at Anthro and almost immediately get your DIY wheels spinning? We are too, and we’ve got you covered with this last tip. It’s not the least because we DID save the best for last.

Now that we know exactly how that feels, here’s a DIY project you can work on, like right away – use paint can lid and some spray paint for the paint lids grid to make this Anthropologie-inspired circles mirror.

What a gorgeous piece at an unbelievable price!

photo showing an Anthropologie store mirror worth $428 and its Dollar Store DIY version worth $25

4-photo collage of reusing paint cans - as shoe storage, glammed ice bucket, office organization cubbies, and as a craft caddie

If you enjoyed seeing the different ways you can reuse paint cans, you may also want to have a look at these other ways you can reuse other items in your home:

Love these paint can crafts! Which one do you like best?

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