April 7, 2010

My yarn-holding coffee can cubbies!

Well I know I said last week that my studio series would be this week, but I still haven’t been able to get in a good photoshoot of the whole room because there hasn’t been any freaking sunshine since last Thursday!  Damn Portland, don’t you know it’s Spring already?!  So, here is my coffee can cubbies yarn holder thing that I made, and I’ll probably do more studio posts spread out over the next couple weeks or something…


The unit is made with 14 Trader Joe’s coffee cans, covered in faux bois contact paper, glued together with contact cement, then screwed into the wall…


The idea came from a project in Readymade a few issues ago – they covered Pringles cans with contact paper, and made a desk organizer – it looked awesome!  I’d already been saving my coffee cans for awhile, knowing I’d find a good use for them someday, so I washed them and took a trip to Home Depot for some contact paper and contact cement.


I carefully cut pieces of contact paper to size, covered all the cans, then cemented them together – this was easier said than done.  Over several days, I cemented together pairs of two, then those pairs to each other, and so on, until they were all connected.  I felt like they still needed to be more securely stuck together before using the unit, so I cut strips of cardboard and used a bunch of heavy duty duct tape to really get them stuck in place:

coffeecubbies03 coffeecubbies02

Then to attach the whole thing to the wall, I first put in a couple of nails which I could hook the cardboard strips onto back there, so it would stay in place while I screwed it all in.  Then I screwed in in place in maybe 4 of the cans (I don’t remember exactly, maybe 3?) – sticking my hand in the can with the screwdriver, pushing it through the can, through the cardboard and duct tape, and into the wall.  It wasn’t easy, but it worked!!


View from the bottom:


And straight on, with my new Ikea magnet board underneath, yay orange!


Filed under: home stuff,yarn — leethal @ 6:33 pm
  • SO great! Makes me want to buy more yarn just for it to look like that on my wall! I’ve added this to my Tin Can Crafts roundup today. Thanks so much!

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  • elsa angelica

    y puede servir para guardar otras cosas tambien, me gusto genial la idea .

  • Anonymous

    Super cute !

  • Anonymous

    AWESOME IDEA! I never know what yarns I have because I rarely dig to the bottom of my knitting bags. This cures that problem in a hurry! Fantastic. I also bead and this has brought a new idea to mind: I’m thinking of using those tiny, magnetic spice jars in much the same way. I just need to find a nice piece of metal to attach to the wall so I can put the jars all together in one place. Thanks for the ideas! =)

  • Tkesl

    My concern would be the ends would get dusty and probably fade.

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  • Pincata

    Muy bueno

  • Kmiller13

    I love this.  Fabulous idea.  I wish I had more wall space!  I might make this anyway.

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  • NiseyKnits

    I love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • j k

    I love this… can you tell me how you cleaned out the cans? I’ve actually got quite a collection of the Trader Joe coffee cans myself, waiting for a project, but not sure how to properly clean them without ruining the cans. 

  • Safris Kathy

    great idea!

  • Lee

    i just gently washed the insides in the sink like normal dishes, trying to keep the outsides dry as much as possible. i did this awhile ago, so i may be forgetting something, but i’m pretty sure that’s all i did. good luck!

  • Msshoshana

    Love this, I have finally found a use for my formula cans I have been saving for years. I wonder though, would it be better to do this in such a way that you could put the lids on so the yarn is sealed in? 

  • Lee

    hmm i never thought of that… for me, the main point was to display my yarn, but if your purpose is to store it, safely away from light and dust, then yes, lids would be good!

  • Miguels Helpmeet

    I would LOVE to see this!!

  • KKPwnall

    this is amazing! i found you via pinterest. thanks for sharing your idea, i’ve been searching for a good idea for yarn storage for so long now! much appreciated!

  • Msmattia

    è stupenda grandissima idea ciao ciao

  • Kj Collier

    Does anyone know where I can get this orange magnet board (2 of them)? Ikea no longer carries them;-(

  • Jamie Lee

    I just came upon your blog by typing “yarn storage” images in my google search bar, so I may be a lil late in commenting on this but I absolutely LOVE this idea!  Yay for you tweeking the Pringles coffee can idea and making it your own.  I too have been saving my coffee cans, knowing one day I would find something fun and useful to do with them-this is totally it!  I am going to tweek your idea and make it my own by covering the cans with some coordinating fabric and I may, just may, take Stephanies idea below and make it in a pyramid shape for floor storage.  Great job! =)

  • Nonijane

    I love it.  I beg it would work with hat box bottoms and if they had cear lids that would be perfect

  • Valchera

    This is a really great idea, and very well explained. Thank you

  • Ladycraft900

    When you display Noro like this, it looks like an amazing yarn installation. In fact, it looks way better and is more inspirational than some of the stuff they have currently on display in some galleries as ‘modern art’. All you need is a little plaque next to it with a blurb containing the words ‘juxtaposition, commentary, eco sustainability, fair trade vs exploitation, slow consumption vs modern waste,’ yada, yada. lol. Seriously, I love it.

  • Marybopeep2010

    Wow! I have been looking for an idea to put all my yarn in. I did see someone use a steel trash can screwed into the wall for yarn but i like this much much better! Thank you for this great idea!!! :)

  • Bonnie B ,

    very clever! when i THINK OF ALL THE COFFEE CANS I TOSSED

  • Donna H.

    Wow, this is such a great idea!! I’m jealous!! It looks so cool.

  • Eileen

    Our elementary school cafeteria recycles their large tin food cans. I spotted them the other day, and being a scout leader, set out to see what we could use them for. If you are looking for a large quanity of cans you might check anywhere that serves a good deal of food daily. I like this idea but was thinking of bathroom storage for rolled towels or toilet paper. I also like lindamade’s idea for the punch game.

  • Debbie

    This seems like a fantastic idea and I bet one could use this idea to put other things in the cans also :)

  • Eleanor Griego

    This is awesome! Now, if only I had wall space!! :)

  • redshoesforever

    Greaf idea, ! I’m 76 yrs young and have been using coffee cans since my girls were about 2 yrs. Old. Used them for everything from crayons, small books, skipping ropes, games, party supplies, balloons, mud room mitts, dog items like leash, brush, paw towels, garage items, the list goes on .if it fits in the can, cover it to match your decor, even cork..my latest is cut BOTH ends out and screw the cans to a vertical board, attach to a wall stud, and use it to store dowels, bristol boards, even posters..skeins of wool. Spray paint them for a childs room for a collection of shoes, dolls, etc gotta go just had a brainstorm! Spring idea coming up! Later people ..keep you posted

  • Lynn Schwarzenbach

    How very cool and inventive!

  • Hi ! I’ve pin your idea in my blog (whith your link of course), I hope you doesn’t matter ! http://www.agoaye.com/llddd-les-10-meilleures-idees-pour-donner-une-seconde-vie-aux-boites-de-conserves/

  • I like coffee beans.

  • Linda A Barr

    I know this is an old article, but great idea!!

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