Uses for Tuna and Cat Food Cans
From Pat Veretto,
Your Guide to Frugal Living.
Don’t throw out those empty cans until you’re sure you can’t use them.
• Pin cushion. Use the can as a base and fill it with cotton, steel wool or human hair, then top it with a piece of cloth cut in a circle. Glue the edges of the cloth to the inside of the can all the way around.
• Neat candle holders. Tear off the label and paint or decoupage. Put a small nail in the center, tapping it from the outside in so that the sharp end is inside the can. Spear a candle with it, and there you have it. You can fill in around the candle with decorative pebbles, beads, or anything that won’t catch on fire.
• You can also refill tuna or cat food cans with melted or grated wax from used candles, add a wick or a slightly taller candle stub and you’ll have a giant “tea-light” candle.
• Empty cat food cans make great stacking containers! Wash well and remove the label. Leave as-is or paint or decorate. The small ones have that inner lip so they’ll stack well. Individually, they can be used to hold things and covered with a regular plastic lid.
• They are also useful for mixing small amounts of paint.
• Roxie has this to say about baking hamburger buns in tuna cans: “I grease the inside of the can and put the cans on a baking sheet to bake in the oven. It’s much easier than having 24 cans in the oven at the same time. I bake them for about 20 or 25 minutes at 350 degrees, then let them cool and slice them. I got the idea years ago from the Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn.
• Paint and/or decorate the outside of a tuna or cat food can, then punch holes near the top on two opposite sides. Use lightweight wire or fine chain to make a handle, line the can with tissue or fake grass for a miniature Easter basket.
• Decorate and make a basket as above, but use cellophane and miniature candy canes or other Christmas candies for individual treats or table place markers.
• You’ll need tin snips and pliers for this: Cut off the bottom of the can and shape the top (which has a ridge) into a heart, tree or other simple shape to make a cookie cutter. Cover the cut edges with duct tape for safety’s sake.
• Use a small tuna can as a bird bath for your caged bird.
• Slugs in the garden? Here’s the old beer trick: Bury a cat food can so that a couple of inches are above ground and fill it with beer. Slugs love it so much that they climb up into it and drown.
• If you use soap scraps to make new bars of soap, use a clean tuna can to mold it. Be sure to oil it well first.
• Punch a hole in the bottom (for air escape), and use as a biscuit cutter.
• You can make a doughnut cutter by first punching a hole in a tuna or cat food can, then in a couple of soft drink bottle lids. Put a screw through the can, through the first lid with the opening up (toward the bottom of the can) and the second lid with the opening down (towards the top of the can) so that it holds the lids firmly in place in the center of the can. This should be on the same level as the rim of the can and will cut the doughnut “hole.”
• Recycle! Many cat food cans are aluminum and may be accepted by your local recycling center. If you can’t tell if a can is aluminum or tinplated steel, test it with a magnet. Magnets aren’t attracted to aluminum.
• Make a landscape for a Barbie doll by sinking a tuna can in the ground and filling it with water and miniature (fake) goldfish.
• This one is for horse lovers: An empty tuna/cat food can be screwed into the wall and makes a terrific hook for bridles and halters! I spray painted them my kids’ show colors (blue and green) and they knew where their tack went. Also handy to loop a lead over.
• Clean tuna or cat food cans, remove labels and place plastic cat food cover on them and put them in your car trunk. They can be used to carry those items that kids like to take home such as small interesting stones, an interesting bug, leaf or flower. Smokers can use as a portable ashtray when attending an outside event, rather than using the landscape.
• With decorative holes punched in them and a tea light inside, they make nice votives for outside.
• homemade egg McMuffins.
• use a cleaned out tuna can as a fried egg or pancake maker.
• (After cutting away the bottom) Pour the egg or batter inside your can as a guide to make a true circle. Oil the inside to help them slide away easier.