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
  • what a great idea! i wish i a) needed new yarn storage and b) had a lot of coffee cans (oh, and c) had this baby already so i could go back to my 5-6 cup-a-day habit …)! brilliant, and i'm going to remember it for future purposes.

  • I LOVE this! If only we drank coffee. :)

  • juniperjune

    awesome! sadly neither my boyfriend nor i drink coffee, but i'll give some thought to what we do use that has containers that might work for something like this.

  • meredith C

    That is a very inspiring project/display. Be honest- is it always that neat? I can only make it about a week from a big organizing before I have stuff everywhere again. Pretty yarn!

  • Awesomeness!

  • Absolutely glorious! And great job on doing it all yourself… This kind of work is the one thing where I give up and call my dad (or nearest replacement available ;)

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  • karafleck

    I just LOVE this! Thank you :-) Now I have excuses to drink more coffee AND buy more yarn ;-)

    Best Wishes!

  • Wonderful!!

  • Rachael

    I love the idea of displaying your yarn! I have mine in a basket, which looks nice, but this looks like a work of art!

  • JanaMiller

    I love it….and finally something to make with all my Trader Joes coffee cans!

  • This is a really sweet idea. I love how it looks on the wall, and the fact that you can see all of your yarn at one glance!

  • Amazing!!! My yarn is stored right now in plastic bags and bins and and it's hard to find what I want, when I want.

  • I HAVE BEEN SAVING TJ Coffe cans for something, here it is!!!!!! Hurray! Thank you!

  • This is a great idea. Thanks for sharing! I will have to keep it in mind for when I have a crafty space to do it in. And your yarns look lovely. I'll be in Portland in May, and I'm very much looking forward to a little bit of yarn shopping. Any shops in particular you could suggest?

  • What a nifty idea!

  • First of all, WHO ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO DON'T DRINK COFFEE!? ;) haha!! I am such a coffee addict I just couldn't imagine! Secondly, I love the idea, Lee. It looks great and it keeps the yarn gorgeously displayed, as it should be! Good job!


  • Jane

    Very nice :)
    How lond did it take to drink that lot of coffee.

  • i love this sooooo much! and, i have the same orange magnet board and magnets from ikea in my office :)

  • lindamade

    yay! it kind of reminds me of that price is right game where you punch in the holes and see what $ amount you won. only here you win yarn. yay yarn!

  • this is fab! i love how you can pile more on top! and thanks for arranging for sunshine in portland today too!

  • pam

    Lee, I just found this! I love, love, love it! Storage and wall are all in one! I am accumulating way too many canister type containers and this is just too great an idea not to adopt! Thank you for sharing and for being so brilliant!

  • journeyseeds

    Really nice!

  • Ev

    Okay, does anyone have Trader Joe cans they want to share? Will trade for yarn.
    ( no I was joking ~ I'll find can's )

  • This is amazing! I'll be linking in my “Week in Review” roundup tomorrow at Ready, Set, Craft! http://www.readysetcraft.blogspot.com

  • kim_spoonflower

    I'm sure breadcrumb cans would work, too, if you don't drink coffee. Though you might want to test whether you can get your hand down into them with a screwdriver first….

  • Shannon

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I thought you used oatmeal cans, but coffee cans are even more perfect! I will most definitely be making one of these, or maybe several. I'm super inspired. I may use some clear lids to keep the dust off, but maybe not. I can't wait to make this!!

  • This is so cool! I love this idea. And I love any reason to drink more coffee. =) Thanks so much for sharing, I'll be linking.

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  • Totally love this! I used an old wine rack to store my yarn, but I've quickly run out of room. This lets you add more and more cans! AWESOME! I'm linking this on my blog.

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  • What a great idea! Do you find that your yarn smells like coffee, though? (the scent seems to linger in the can even after washing it). You could even make this into a pyramid shape and put it on the floor or desk, etc, (for those of us who live in Capes w/ limited wall space)

  • LOVE this! It is time to start saving more cans……

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  • I have been collecting various cans for this very yarn storing reason. So glad you have this pictorial guide to show me how to put it all together!

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  • This is great. I'm going to Re-Blog it!

  • Sonya

    Love your yarn cubbies. Hooray another reason to keep shopping at Trader Joe's!

    Thanks for sharing.

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  • Candy

    very very cool idea. I have several of the plastic coffee and creamer “cans” and I think this would be really good to sort craft stuff…you know rulers pencils pens you…my mind is buzzing. Now if I could just remember it tomorrow. lol. Thank you for great ideas. Cab

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  • Great idea! I love your yarn collections,too!

  • Sarah

    Wow love it! Great job!!

  • Very resourceful. Another creative idea to lessen our waste.

  • SO pretty! I'm going to make some as soon as my husband drinks enough coffee!

    By the way, I included you in my new blog post about upcycling! http://www.playinhookydesigns.com/

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    Gucci sweaters
    If its common it might be difficult to get, however, be creative and you can usually find something.

  • LOVE this! I just got the exact same IKEA magnet board last weekend for spices. I definetly want to make the coffee can cubbies…. thanks for posting this!

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