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10 Clever Ways to Reuse Formula Tins

how to reuse formula tins
When you have a baby or toddler on formula, it’s amazing how many formula tins you can accumulate. Tin after tin I was putting in the recycling bin until I wondered how to reuse formula cans instead of throwing them away.

The wonderful thing about formula tins is their size. Their size means they are so practical and therefore, easily reused. Better still, when you transform a formula tin, people will never even know what it is!

If you’ve got a couple of old formula tins lying around, it’s time to create something pretty or maybe even something fun!

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How to reuse baby formula cans

A formula tin turned ‘pom poms in the hole’ game – Pom Pom Play

I saw this formula tin idea and just had to do it straight away!  It’s a 2-minute creation, simply cut holes in the lid and let your child stick coloured pom poms through the hole. My son loved doing this as you can see in the photo below.


Formula Can Plastic Bag Dispenser – Image Source

Isn’t this formula tin transformation genius? The cupboard underneath my kitchen sink has bags stuffed into it, overflowing when the door is opened. This idea is a perfect plastic bag overflow fix!

plastic bag holder formula ti

Formula Tin Noise Making Drums from Indulgy

Forget the mini-drum kit, this is the perfect drum set for toddlers! Simply transform a formula tin with a few brightly coloured balloons and you’re set! Make sure you put some ear plugs in though!

formula tin drums

Tin Can Flowers from Luv, Laughter & Happily Ever After

Isn’t it amazing what you can do with a formula tin and a bit of blue paint? This is a fabulous way to bring some instant colour to your garden, verandah or window sill.

formula tin flower pots

Formula Tin Pen & Pencil Caddy – Image Source

Everyone who knows me knows that I have a thing for pens.  They are overflowing on my desk and I have a drawer full of them. I think I need to make me a few of these with our leftover formula tins!

formula tin pencil caddy

Decorative Storage Boxes from Design Improvised

In my effort to adopt some minimalist living tips and have less clutter here and there, I am a huge fan of storing things in baskets and fancy containers. I can see this idea working really well, particularly in the kids’ bedrooms.


Tin LanternsImage Source

When I saw these all I could think was, wow! Living in Queensland, Australia, we love sitting on our deck at night and enjoy lots of barbeques. These are certainly one of my favourite DIY outdoor lighting ideas I’ve seen and likely very easy to do.

lanterns with formula cans

Shabby Chic Tins from Shabby Chic Inspired

Living in 100 year old workers cottage, I have a bit of a thing for shabby chic. I just love the originality of these upcycled formula tins, it’s formula tin craft at its best. The old sheet music is a particularly nifty idea. You would never know these were old formula tins!

vintage upcycled formula tins

Hanging garden pots – Image Source

Wondering what to do with formula cans? These hanging garden post made of formula cans is the perfect idea for those small on space. If you’ve only got a tiny courtyard with no room for a garden, hang the plants on the wall. Vertical gardens are the in thing these days.

hanging formula tins

Utensil Holder – Image Source

I think this is a great idea because you can transform the formula tin into a utensil holder that suits your kitchen perfectly. And, when you get sick of it and want a different look, just get another old formula can and make another one with some new material!

formula tin utensil holder

How have you been reusing your formula tins?

10 clever ways to reuse formula tins

If you’re looking at reusing formula tins, I’m guessing it’s highly likely you have a child or two (or three, or more…). When you’ve got a chance to have a read next, check out my Mumlife category for some reassurance or my Health & Wellness category if it’s about time you fill your own cup first. Are you a working mum? I’ve got a Career category too!

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)
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  1. September 16, 2013 / 9:11 pm

    ours just went in the recycling but I love those lanterns and the drums!

    • September 17, 2013 / 5:19 am

      That’s exactly what I had been doing with mine (apart from using it for Elliott’s play) until I found these other awesome ideas.

  2. September 17, 2013 / 12:18 am

    OMG! Totally love! I have a baby in the house at the moment and we are going through so many tins. I am definitely going to use some of these ideas.

  3. September 17, 2013 / 3:43 am

    I love the drums. We don’t have any formula tins, but I wonder if these would work with a smaller tin? Must try.

    • September 17, 2013 / 5:20 am

      The drums are wonderful. I’m pretty sure they’ll work withe any other type of tin Julie.

  4. September 17, 2013 / 5:57 am

    Wow some of those ideas are awesome!! Love the flower pots and the pencil holders!

  5. September 17, 2013 / 6:45 am

    Some great ideas here! Love it! We’re usually great at recycling things, and at the moment I’ve gone into hoarding mode and I’m saving all sorts of (hopefully) useful bits and bobs to use for crafting with the {little} Big Girl. I wonder if we’ll be as resourceful as this!?!

  6. September 17, 2013 / 7:20 am

    I never had a chance of re-using our formula tins when the kids were young – my husband would snaffle them for his model-making and terrain-making activities! I do share your love for the blue flower tins, such a great idea!

    • September 18, 2013 / 12:13 pm

      I did see that a lot of people (or husbands) use the tins for their screws and nails but I can think of much nicer things to use them for!

  7. September 17, 2013 / 10:14 am

    When I was formula feeding my twins they were on a prescription formula that came in half size tins and we were getting thru a dozen cans a week at one stage so we had empty tins coming out our ears. I ended up donating them en masse to my oldest’s preschool, they used them for all sorts of things.

  8. September 17, 2013 / 10:25 am

    I totally needed to see this post, I have about 20 left over formula tins in my garage because I KNEW they would come in handy ONE DAY! And now I have some great ideas! Thanks lovely! Em

  9. September 17, 2013 / 11:39 am

    Love all you ideas. Especially the Lanterns. Might have to do that with some tins and a strand of fairy lights. Most of my tins are in the shed. Great for all sorts of nuts and bolts and pipe fittings.

    • September 18, 2013 / 12:15 pm

      Aren’t the lanterns gorgeous. I can just picture them in the gardens during summer nights.

  10. September 18, 2013 / 5:35 am

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  11. September 18, 2013 / 5:36 am

    I had so many formula tins – wish I had kept some as I am all inspired now!

  12. September 18, 2013 / 11:51 am

    I will be getting more formula tins now that I do top up feeds with formula. I love all those ideas. Usually I throw the tins n recycling. I love the Pom Pom tin idea and so can’t wait to use it when Magdalene is older. THanks for the great post.

    • September 18, 2013 / 12:16 pm

      I remember when my son was having a lot more formula, the tins would just go straight into recycling and now I wish I had kept some. The pom pom activity kept Elliott engaged for a record amount of time (he usually doesn’t). Enjoy!

  13. September 20, 2013 / 1:46 am

    love the bag dispenser, but also love the pretty pencil holders. Never gave it a thought back when I had formula tins, but I also didn’t have pinterest 🙂

  14. September 20, 2013 / 4:47 am

    What a cool post – so many great ideas. I turned many of ours into planters and they look great. That was years ago, though!! x

  15. September 20, 2013 / 6:39 am

    I absolutely love all these ideas!! thanks for the list 🙂

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  16. September 20, 2013 / 9:52 am

    Oh I love those lanterns – soo pretty!! Such clever ideas. Thank goodness for posts like this and pinterest as I’m just not very creative :))

    • September 20, 2013 / 12:10 pm

      Oh don’t worry Robyn, I’m not that creative either, that’s why I rely on Pinterest, the Internet and being inspired by other peoples blogs!

  17. September 20, 2013 / 11:23 am

    OMG! You are so clever. I’ve just been throwing mine in the bin. I’m going to get a little creative with Miss Three next week though. Fun. Thanks for the great ideas!

    • September 20, 2013 / 12:10 pm

      Thanks Renee, but the people on Pinterest are the ones that are clever, I’m just sharing the ideas. 🙂

  18. September 20, 2013 / 11:40 am

    Awesome ideas! We are past the formula tin stage (thank goodness) but at one point we had piles of them in the shed waiting to be turned into something useful. We ended up giving them all to our kindy. I think they used them for paint! Great post.

    • September 20, 2013 / 12:11 pm

      Using them for paint is a great idea. I’m also looking forward to no formula, we were using it as a bit of a booster as my son has been quite sick. Pretty sure we’re only about a month off!

  19. September 21, 2013 / 10:25 am

    What a lot of fantastic ways to recycle tins.
    We are past the formula days but the ideas work for other tins as well.

  20. September 21, 2013 / 11:26 am

    What fantastic ideas! We have a whole stack of formula tins sitting at the top shelf of our pantry. Now I know what to do with them!