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Upcycle Your Lunch Containers Into Stylish Organizers

Get organized in style with these hand-crafted upcycled supply organizers. Be creative and transform used cans or bottles into attractive and useful containers to organize school and craft items.

(Photo by Angela Rafac)

Materials and supplies

  • Aluminum cans

  • Heavy-duty plastic bottles

  • Glue (Some options: a low-heat glue gun, tacky glue, Mod Podge or a glue stick)

  • Scissors

Ideas for bling for decorating

  • Yarn

  • Ribbon

  • Washi tape

  • Fabric scraps

  • Beads

  • Buttons

  • Glitter

  • Construction paper

  • Colorful magazines or calendar pages


1. Wash your can or plastic bottle. Have an adult help you cut off top of plastic bottle.

2. Decorate. There are so many choices. Here are just a few ideas.

  • Washi tape: Washi tape is a decorated adhesive tape made from Japanese paper. It comes in many colors and patterns and is easy to work with because, like masking tape or painter’s tape, it can be removed without leaving residue. A super simple idea is to wrap the can in washi tape. Wrap and cut each layer individually. You may want to overlap each layer slightly.

(Photo by Angela Rafac)
  • Yarn: Wrap yarn around your can or bottle, using glue to keep it in place. Use continuously, wrapping until the entire container is covered. Or you can use multiple colors to create a pattern. Don’t pull the string too tight, so it is not stretched and skinny. Gently keep next layer touching previously layer so there are no gaps.

(Photo by Angela Rafac)
  • Paper rolls: Cut colorful magazine pages into little rectangles, then use a toothpick to roll each square into a skinny paper roll. Measure your can or bottle first, then cut the paper rectangles the same height as your container. Use glue to adhere the paper rolls to the can or bottle.

  • Cover and decorate: Use paper or paint to cover the cans, then decorate them creatively with strings, glitter or more!

3. Add weight to your holder. (This step is optional.) If you would like to put tall or heavy objects in your holder, you may need to weigh it down so it does not tip over. You can do this by adding a rock or mixing a little concrete or plaster and pouring about ½ inch or 1 inch to the bottom of your can. Let it dry completely.

4. Organize your supplies. Once your decoration and weight (if used) are dry, your new holder is ready for supplies. Enjoy your newly organized and stylish workspace!


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