Repurposing "Trash" from Your Pantry

I don't know about you, but I really hate to waste things. Every time I throw something out, I think just maybe there was something I could have used it for. My mom always seems to come up with creative uses for everyday trash. She is an elementary school teacher and can turn a toilet paper roll into some creative craft at school. She makes ornaments and gift tags from old Christmas cards. Nothing seems to go to waste!

Since I've started cake decorating, there are certain ingredients I use over and over again. I've started collecting containers. I've saved some of them thinking surely I could come up with some creative way to use them, but up until now they've just been cluttering up the pantry. This week I decided to finally start working on some DIY projects to transform and repurpose these items. Below you will find tutorials for repurposing three common items I have excessive of - Hershey's cocoa containers, coffee creamer containers, and cupcakes liners.

Coffee Creamer Bottles

Coffee creamer bottles are one thing I've been stocking up on since starting cake decorating. I use creamer in my buttercream, so it gets used fairly often. I've also used different flavors to add a little twist to the buttercream. These bottles don't have to just be thrown out, though. They can be repurposed into a couple useful items.

First up, you need to start any project by cleaning up the bottle and removing the label.

One way to repurpose these bottles are to turn them into drink containers for a cold beverage! These are great for traveling because it has a lid that screws on and gets a good seal.

You can drink out of the container with a straw, or out of the pour spout!

Another great idea is to use it as a snack container. You can even write on it with a dry erase marker, so you can always track of what is in the container. Again, since it has the screw top lid, it's great for travel.

You can even put small size candy and snacks (pretzels sticks, peanuts, mini M&M's) that can be dumped out through the spout.

Hershey's Cocoa containers

My most requested cake from friends and family has been my chocolate cake. Therefore, I have gone through tons of containers of cocoa, I've got quite the collection. I hate to just through them out as they are sturdy and are ideal for repurposing.

I came up with a few different ways to spruce them up and make them more presentable. First, of course, the container needs to be cleaned up, and the label removed.

One method I used to spruce it up was covering it with fabric. I found squares of fabric at a local department store for 98 cents! There was enough to cover several of these from the large square (it's folded up a lot in the pic below).

I started by using strong double sided craft tape on the top and bottom of the container. I also put some inside the container. This was strong enough to attach the fabric to the cocoa container. You could also use a hot glue gun instead of the double sided tape.

I cut the fabric to the size and needed for the bottom portion of the container, and also some for the lid. The fabric went on easily and stuck to the the container. I finished off the look by adding some ribbon around the center. This container has an adorable touch, so it can be used anywhere! From jewelry to makeup to photos, there's tons of possibilities of what the container can be used for.

Next up, is an adorable way to dress it up for packaging for a gift, using ribbon. I covered the cocoa container with two layers of ribbon using double sided tape.

I found some cute three dimensional flower ribbon that I placed around the center of the container for an extra special touch. I covered up the "Hershey's" logo on the lid with a bow I made from extra pink ribbon. I attached everything using double sided tape, but you could use a glue gun instead. This would make an adorable packaging for a gift. You could fill it with a small gift, gift card, money, candy, cookies etc!

My last method was to use wrapping paper. I found some cute cupcake wrapping paper on sale, and covered the bottom portion of the container, and the center of the lid.

This can be used to store cupcake wrappers, or even baking tools.

Cupcake liners

Another thing I have collected over the past year are various cupcake liners. I usually bake cupcakes in multiples of 12, but cupcake liners seem to be sold in 30, 50, 100, etc. It's kind of like the whole hot dog bun and hot dogs, it just doesn't work out. Sometimes, I'll buy the same pattern over and over so the extras get used up. But, other times I buy a certain color to work with a theme, or I find a pattern that I can't find again. These odds and ends are good for baking cupcakes for fun, but not ideal for an event. I've found a neat use for these, which also incorporates glass canning jars!

I have found that cupcake liners work well as the top of the lid for glass canning jars. You can screw the lid on, but use the liner instead of the metal disk. It's so easy too, you just need to make sure you completely flatten the liner before placing it on the jar.

You may be wondering why you would want to do that. Well, there's a couple of uses for that.  One use for this, is for an outdoor summer picnic. The cute glass jar mugs (or just regular jars) are becoming increasingly popular to drink out of. Placing a cupcake liner with a straw in it adds a cute and festive touch, but it is also functional. I hate trying to have a fun summer picnic or dinner only to have bugs landing in my drink. This cute touch to the jars helps protect against that! I just cut a small hole in the cupcake liner (using an Exacto knife), and then slid the straw in after screwing the lid on (see pic below).

I also had a large jar with a wide mouth lid. A regular size cupcake liner fits perfectly to that size as well. This would be good to take out as a pitcher of soda or lemonade for refills. No need to worry about bugs getting in sugary drinks!

Glass jars also make cute gifts. With a smaller jar, the cupcake liner hangs out some, which I think is cute! You could dress up a jar filled with candy, money, or even ingredients for cookies or hot cocoa. The cupcake wrapper, and some ribbon, help spruce up the gift!

Hope you've enjoyed these ideas! I'm hoping to post some more projects in the coming months. I have a ton of small Crisco containers that I'm working on an idea for. 

If you missed any of my posts this week, be sure to check them out.  Monday I shared some ideas for making a custom birthday cake for your adult friends and family. Tuesday I hosted another Sweet Tooth Tuesdays blog link party, it's still live through tonight (June 7). Wednesday I shared a yummy Chex mix recipe that's inspired by a Hershey's Take5 candy bar.

Have a great weekend!

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