Coffee Can Shaker

Introduction: Coffee Can Shaker

About: Steward to about 20,000 trees on 40 acres.

When applying a granular fertilizer or preemergence herbicide, it is important to get an even distribution. The applicators that may come with the product may be small and not user-friendly. This coffee can version addresses those shortcomings.


1-plastic coffee can

1- thrift store belt

Tools etc.

Sharp knife

Ruler or tape measure

Spray paint (optional)

I knew there must be some good ways to use the plastic coffee cans that are so common. Having run out of ideas of my own and what I could find on-line, I turned to my coworkers. Thanks to Jolene for the idea which I am sharing.


Paint the can if you want and let dry completely. Cut two horizontal slits on one side of the can, about 1/4" longer than the belt is wide. Cut two more on the opposite side. Feed the belt through the slits as shown above, keeping in mind that the buckle will be on the bottom of the can.

Remove the lid and turn it upside down on a piece of scrap wood. Drill holes 3/4" -1" apart. You may need to spend a little time removing the little plastic "tails" from each hole with a tweezers and razor blade or X-Acto. A 3/16" hole works for Preen, a commercial herbicide.

Put some of the product you want to spread in the can for a test. Click on the lid and tighten down the belt, leaving enough space to get your hand under it. See picture. Invert and shake. Need more or bigger holes? Modify as needed.

If you live where winter ice is a problem, make a second shaker for dry sand. Keep one in the trunk of the can and one on the porch for sanding the sidewalk. The holes will probably be smaller for sand.

Share this idea with friends or make them one as a garden gift.

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