Recycling Formula Cans

Introduction: Recycling Formula Cans

About: I love to design and build things, small or large scale. Glad there's a place to exhibit my ideas, and to learn from others ideas! I strive to reduce MY Carbon Footprint, and making others aware of theirs. I t…

This time around, I'll show several uses for the formula cans that tend to build up when you have infants. I've amassed over 50 of these in the last 10 months. Can't bring myself to throw them out.

So, I finally decided to try out a few ideas. Hope you find them useful! I also hope my pics look clearer.

Oh, and rate this Instructable so I can tell whether you like my ideas!

Step 1: Mood Lights

In the first pic, left to right, White LED lamp, Blue LED lamp w/ Hard disk drive platter for reflector, empty on top, white LED solar garden light lamp, and computer fan wind tunnel.

2nd pic shows blue LED lamp in dark. This one has a HDD platter glued to the inside bottom of the formula can, and aluminum foil lining the cylinder portion, and a wire mesh screen held in with a trimmed lid.

Step 2: Prepare the Can...

Remove the label, unless you like the aestetics.
Clean the formula residue by briskly brushing the inside with a DRY bottle brush.
place the lid on the bottom of the can and use the molding "nipple" to locate the center.
Drilla hole for your LED, I used 5mm as I had a 5mm LED.
Insert the LED, and hot glue for durability.
You don't have to use screen to cover the end, but it opens up possibilities...

Step 3: Possibilities...

Here's a few pics of a few different setups I tried. Feel Free to try anything to get the desired look.
You can cover the outside of the can with paper, magazine pages, or paint, glue on sequins, etc.

Step 4:

This "wind tunnel" was fashioned from a formula can, and a 12v .15 amp computer fan. It doesn't push a LOT of air, but when you have radiant heaters, it helps a lot.

This design could be incorporated into a fog chiller too.

build several lights and place them together for more light, or use different color LEDs and create a light show! My sons room has a red illuminated spider-man symbol can shining on his wall.

You can use cereal boxes to make you cutout, and hot glue them to the screen, or if no screen, use the negative cutout and use a lid to hold it in place.

Tape several light tubes 2gether and hang from ceiling, or use magnets to hold them to a fridge or other metal surface.

Step 5: Other Uses

You can also use these cans to separate and store various things, such as crayons, bolts, markers, nails, pencils, junk, you name it.

Try filling them with various filler, like cotton balls or paper, put the lid on and use them as drums for the wee ones.

Start plants in them, use them for cotton swabs(after a thorough cleaning)

Place a magnet on the bottom and put in your engine compartment to hold tools or bolts for you while operating.

Use a a stash box, or penny bank. You or the kids can paint or otherwise decorate the outside to your liking.

Cut X's in the lid, placeon can, and use it to hold your toothbrushes, separately.

Want to hide something quickly, turn the can over on top of it!

Fill them with powder(talc, baby,starch) and shoot them with your bb gun. Makes nice puffs of smoke for hit confirmation.

USE YOUR IMAGINATION! Try to keep them out of landfills!

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    I found some uses that dont really make an instructable, so i thought i'd add them to this list and see what people think.
    1. organizing diaper bag: cut hole in lid, tape a piece of plastic wrap on inside of lid to cover the hole making a "Window". use cans for small medicine bottles, small trash, etc.
    2. hot glue 4 cans together in a diamond shape, drill a small hole near the top of one can, make another hole in the can across from first hole. connect a strap and you'vve got a small tool box, small make-up case or even store little baby bibs, socks, etc


    12 years ago on Introduction

    You have some nice ideas on using the empty cans. I don't have any kids but I could see how so many formula cans would be hard to throw away. Step number two about cleaning the cans is very good, however, the rest of the instructable is more of a "look at the photo, and now create it". There's not much instruction on how to actually build the different items. There are some other materials listed, but not how to put it together. Granted, some people could figure it out. But instructables teach us how to do them, rather than just idea sharing. And you have a great idea with the lights! I would love to know how to make them! Teach me! Grasshopper is waiting... Besides the obvious possibilities of storage containers, you could also construct them into a game of bean bag toss, trying to throw the bean bag into the cans and earning a set amount of points in the different cans. Or, cut the can in half vertically (using the lid on the open half), fill them with peat moss or soil and use them as seed starters for flowers, herbs or vegetables. Just a few more ideas I suppose. Happy tinkering!