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What To Make With a Crystal Light Container?

5 October 2010 48,575 views 53 Comments

by heather

It's been awhile since we had a "what can I do with THIS" post! You know, the posts where someone needs ideas and we sit around and come up with crazy crafty ideas for them! I know you love a good brainstorm (and so do I!) I just got an email from Cathe with a request:

Just want to say that I love your web site. Cute ideas. I teach a craft to elderly people 65 to the high 80's. I hope they have something that I could teach them one day. I need help. I have a bunch of cylinder tubes (Crystal light comes in them) and I'm trying to come up with a craft idea for them. Any idea's. Thanks Heather and much success to you.


Thanks for your request, Cathe! I have actually wondered what you could do with these very same containers, myself, because we go through them pretty quickly at my house. These elliptical-shaped ones are the newer model, and the old containers (and the generic ones) are round, but about the same.

My Quick Ideas:

Spectacular spectacle case: Since you are crafting with elderly people, how about making a glasses case? You could decoupage pretty paper on the outside, or maybe even glue some fabric to the outside.

Bonny bracelets: Cut the containers into 1" pieces and use them as the base for bracelets.

I know I've seen a couple people around blogland that use these in crafty ways, but I can't remember where, so if you have done some crafts with these containers, please speak up! Everyone else, please brainstorm your ideas here!

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  • Amanda said:

    I used the Crystal Light containers to mail out some adorable t-shirts I made! http://www.funnydayswithmommyandmaddie.com/2010/08/test-drive.html

  • Kim P. said:

    We have decoupaged with things my girls cut out of magazines. They’ve used these as pencil cups, and with a slit cut in the lid they can use it as a bank.

    Decorate them the same way, or with Sharpies, put some rice or beans in them, glue on the lids and make music shakers for younger kids.

    Another idea, practical not crafty, but I stuff mine with plastic grocery bags and keep the whole container in my car. It’s a compact way to store the bags, and I always have a bag available if we have trash in the car, someone gets sick, etc.

  • Tessa said:

    I don’t know if they are clear enough…but you could try to make these: http://www.amazon.com/Find-Games-Original-Version-Green/dp/B000FL3HJ0

    They are fun for kids, but I have found myself playign them too!

  • Tanya said:

    I have used them to put homemade goodies in- I cover the container with scrapbook paper and attach a tag with the receipe. I have done this for a few years. My cupboard is FULL of empty containters. Great for teachers and office gifts!

  • Dorothy said:

    We made tzedakah boxes for Chanukah one year. They’re banks where the money goes to the poor. The kids used stickers and strips of paper wrapped around. We glued it all on and gave it an extra coat of modge podge to seal it. We cut a slit in the top for money.

    We gave them to all our friends and for those who aren’t Jewish, we included a note about what tzedakah means.

    We tried to personalize them for each person. The kids figured out how to do that for everyone. Sometimes it involved adding their initials using letter stickers. Sometimes they used number stickers for the person’s age. Sometimes that meant using stickers that related to the person’s interest. Each one was very different.

    They were a huge hit.

  • mombrud said:

    I stuff a few grocery bags in containers similar to these to store in the car under seats. Everyone needs a garbage bag in the car and you always need a plastic bag when traveling with kids!

  • Coleen said:

    I would cut them into about 1 inch sections. Then I would use some ribbons and a hot glue gun and wrap them diagonally. Once they are wrapped, you can use gems or flowers on them to decorate. What do you have? Napkin rings! You could make them for holidays or just for a nice dinner.

  • Bethany said:

    This may not work for the elderly crowd, but I ‘podged some cute paper onto them and my son uses it as a piggy bank. :)

  • Lauren said:

    I love kaleidoscopes and these are the perfect size and shape!

  • Mindi said:

    you can make BOO BOO BOXES.. similar to these (I used a larger nut container but also make the smaller ones for in the car and all the little ones in our life)

    I also made these ribbon dispensers out of the containers.

  • heather (author) said:

    I got some comments over at the Facebook page.

    Jeanette said: Hm… I just made a bird feeder this morning out of a plastic jar that had ground flax seed in it (from CostCo) and cut out an opening on one side, screwed the lid back on, and filled the jar about 1/8th of the way up with bird seed. I lea…rned the hard way that filling it up too much in this rainy climate means moldy, sprouted bird seed, and birds that won’t eat it anymore. So from now on I am just doing small portions at a time, and replenishing and cleaning the feeder frequently. All that to say that I bet these would make fun bird feeders. Since they’re clear, you could see when the food was running low. Drill some holes (or maybe use a heated screw driver or something) for bamboo skewers for the birds to perch on, and cut another opening right above the skewer/ perch to access the food. Drill two small holes at the top to loop some yarn or wire to hang the thing from a branch or hook.

    Sarah Rae said: Time capsule, Stack them together and make a glove/scarf cubby, mail organizer, in the car emergency first aid kit, impromptu car picnic kit…

    Kim said: I made this awhile ago http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=264929.0

    Crystal said: I’ve been saving those trying to figure out what to do! I want to turn one into a toothbrush holder

    Diana said: I have one that (years ago) my husband and toddler son covered with shells from a beach vacation. It’s one of my favorite vases!

    Annie said: Make photo copies of you kids pictures and put them on the side cover with clear contact paper and put sand it them cover lid you have a paper weight for your desk

    Heather said: I cover them with mod podge and cute scrapbook paper and use them to carry powdered baby formula. Here’s a photo

  • Iisha said:

    Use them to store ribbon, elastic, webbing, and the like in by just drilling a small hole in the top to feed the items through. You could even bind several together to make sort of a “notions rack” similar to a wine rack =D

  • summer said:

    They make good platforms for barbie doll tables (or gi joe workbenches), and they can be cut and cut out to make doll furniture of all sorts.

    They can be cut into armatures (support, stiffen) for stuffed dolls and toys.

    That’s all I got.

  • heather (author) said:

    Joanne said: I use a couple of the containers to hold makeup brushes and lipsticks. I also have one on my nightstand holding my reading glasses. They would look a lot spiffier, if I’d decorate them.

  • Ammie said:

    So many great ideas, ladies! Wow. I love the eyeglasses case idea, but so many of the little booboo kit, baggy organizer, treat and gift holder ideas are fabulous.

    Now you’ve got me thinking that the old round containers could make great ribbon holders. I have several little ribbon spools. Cut a long slit up the side. Decorate the container with pretty paper. Adhere a pencil or dowel to the bottom of the container with putty or hot glue. Then stack the spools on a pencil or dowel. Lace the ribbon through the slit. Trim the dowel or pencil as needed. Then re-attach the lid.

  • Beth said:

    Birdfeeder? The game that Tessa suggested looked like a birdfeeder to me. You could easily see how much bird seed was left.

  • Janet Casey said:

    You could turn them into lamps by using either a small lightbulb or a small strand of Christmas lights. (the rounder containers might look a little better for that) hang them or set the on a table, decorated or plain.

    You could cut them down and use multiple for drawer organizers for office supplies, beauty supplies, hair stuff, etc.

  • Amy said:

    I have an old country time lemonade jar (same concept, but shorter and rounder) that I use to store sewing thread and needles.

    I like the idea of a “boo boo box” – we always have so many boxes of bandaids in different sizes floating around and they fall out of the box, it’s good to corall them all in one place.

  • Meliisa said:

    I used a similar powdered drink container to store crochet hooks. It was just tall enough that the lid could still be used. I even crocheted a little sleeve for it :)

  • Kellie said:

    I am saving these containers (as well as lots of other things that will make something great someday).

    What I REALLY NEED is ideas for storing all these supplies in a small space!

  • Cece ~ Dill Pickle Picnic said:

    I covered them with scrapbook paper and used them as:
    office storage containers:

    flameless candles:

  • Andrea said:

    Use it when you go camping or hiking, put a plastic fork, spoon, and a knife inside, along with a rolled up cloth napkin. Break it out for lunch and you can use the container as your cup!

  • Allison said:

    I woke up in the middle of the night last night (thanks to my teething baby) and couldn’t stop thinking of this post. My big idea for the can was to create a Checkers carry along game set. Sew or glue a fabric checkers mat (was thinking felt?) that can be rolled up and placed inside the can. Throw in black and red buttons or painted bottle caps or painted washers and voila! A game you can throw in your bag and have whenever and where ever you want to play!
    Was inspired thinking of my grandmother who LOVES to play games!

  • breanna said:

    DSC readers are incredible….i am AMAZED at all these fantastic ideas!!

  • Momo B said:

    I used a round one for years as a terrific candle mold. Just be sure to use a release spray or medium inside first, and stick down the wick holder securely. I also have a pretty colored pencil holder made from the eliptical one which I covered with scrapbook paper that I printed; it has my monogram in the center. Our retirement community is involved with Operation Shoebox, and sends dozens (often over a hundred) of care packages every month to our troops overseas. Homemade goodies like granola travel well in these containers. I like the idea of a glasses case so I’m going to try that next! I’d love to see many more ideas for these great containers!

  • Paula said:

    These hold water so I use them as vases: http://www.jcsloft.com/2010/08/tip-for-tuesdaycute-containers.html

  • Allison said:

    This is more practical than crafty. I use them as a container to store snacks in my daughters diaper bag. It fits perfectly in the slots where baby bottles go and it keeps the snacks from getting crushed!

  • Donna said:

    I covered them with stickers, craft paper, ribbons, and made several of them and put them in a goodie basket for my daughter when whe left for college. In them I put cotton rounds (or cotton balls), q-tips, stamps, quarters (for laundry) she still uses them today 7 years later! They are great for storing craft beads,and I use mine to store my glue sticks.

  • pam-alabam said:

    NOTE: If you are planning on using these for an eyeglass case, be aware that you probably ought to line the inside with something soft. A month or two of pulling the glasses in and out against the plastic will produce scratches on the most rounded part of the lenses.

  • Erin K. said:

    I have several in my car…

    -misc crayons, pencils, etc for on the go art for kids
    -misc little “treasures” are collected by my sons on our trips out and about so they get dumped in here
    -cut into 1-2 inch pieces and used to seperate small objects within a drawer or box..ie earrings, necklaces, etc
    -made a cubby type thing to hang on wall for my sons rock collection
    -I keep one for each of my kids that has their smaller toddler sized set of silverware
    -would work great for small games…jacks, dice, etc

    Thanks to all for the great ideas.

  • Tracey said:

    I am loving these ideas! We don’t use a lot of powdered drinks, except for hot cocoa, so we have the cans floating around for a lot of different little things:

    *a place to store crayons
    *paint brushes
    *knitting needles (the shorter double-pointed ones)
    *school supplies
    *they also make great pet rodent houses (we have 2 rats that love them! though don’t use plastic with rodents)
    *gift boxes for small gifts like newly knitted/crocheted mittens/hats/scarves, Christmas ornaments, etc.

    For the plastic ones, VERY CAREFULLY hot glue some twigs vertically all the way around the container, then tie a pretty seasonal ribbon around it. Use as a vase for a centerpiece for a holiday meal.

  • micky said:

    I know I’m a late on this one but ever since i read it i was thinking about what could be done w/ these types of containers. When I started looking at the prices of the fancy christmas ornament storage set it hit me. The containers are the perfect sizes to store are special ornaments. I also kept the box w/ dividers from the set of cups I bought as well. Any other ideas for christmas decor storage would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

  • Yvonne said:

    My daughter loves wraps for lunch, and the round ones are the perfect size for storing them in her lunchbox.

  • BCheniful said:

    I’m planning to use mine as gift containers. I’ll just mod podge (imagine that!)on some pretty paper, add a bow and call it Awesome! :)

  • LouAnne said:

    I am “into” miniatures and use mine to hold things like milk jug pull tabs that make a good base for dollhouse dishes. I also keep all those little moisture absorbing packets from products. You will find the material inside is often different colors. Makes great sand and many other things for my dollhouse kitchen.

  • Launna Stafford said:

    This is what I made with my Crystal Light containers


    I’m not sure if this link will work.

    But I made bracelette holders with it.

  • Cibdy said:

    I put packets of soy, ketchup, mustard, etc in them in the fridge so they don’t move around. I have one in the car for these too, in case I forget to ask for ketchup in the drive through. I filled some with little cookies as Christmas presents. And I use them for dice, marbles, erasers, and other little things in my sons room that I’d rather not vacuum up.

  • ELLEN said:

    Cut them in half and glue together and make a sock/tie/undies/ drawer organizer

  • Pam said:

    I used them at Christmas last year. I put Gift Cards in them, ear rings, hair clips…etc. I wrapped the outside with wrapping paper and added a bow to the lid. The gift inside was wrapped in tissue paper. It gave the small gifts more of presence (presents? lol) under the tree.

    I have since also used them for a traveling sewing/embroidery kit. Skeins fit beautifully in it and don’t get tangled in my bag and I won’t get poked with pins digging in my bag.


  • Karen L. said:

    I’m so happy to have found this site! I ‘googled” uses for Crystal Light containers and found it. Have been wanting to find a use for them.

    Thank you!!!

  • Jen said:

    They make wonderful toys for toddlers! I fill each container 1/3 to 1/2 full with either rice, buttons, bells, pennies, sugar, water, etc. Glue gun the lids on and use colored duct tape or clear tape to ensure the lids stay on. I print a label that reads “RICE”, etc. The little ones love to shake them and listen to the different sounds. They also stack very well like blocks. The “ingredients” are endless. Fun and educational!

  • Danielle T said:

    My idea was to attaché magnets to the back and use them for holding objects (drill bits and fasteners), in and on my large tool box.
    I have also put a screw through the top backside and attached it to different areas where small “things” needed a home.

  • MaryAnn said:

    I covered one with duck tape that had mustaches on it. My daughter will use it for pens or make up brushes.

  • Pat said:

    I have used a couple of them for storing small toys that keep falling to the bottom of the toy box. One container will hold 6 or 7 matchbox size cars and a whole set of the very tiny Thomas the Train cars. The kids kept loosing the lids while playing with the cars so I have punched a small hole in the lid (near the end) and a corresponding one on the end of the container near the top. I ran a piece of elastic cord between the 2 holes knotting it on the inside so it doesn’t pull through. Ta-Da! No more lost lids. It’s always with the container. Now…where did those kids put that container?

  • Jenn said:

    Love these ideas!!

    I’ve used them to hold my son’s legos while traveling. He can take enough to play with, but not the HUGE number he was planning on bringing! It’s a win-win for us both.

    Also, I use them for my “work cereal” or “work milk”. Holds just enough for a few days of breakfast food. Same goes for snacks, perfect for nuts or granola on the run.

  • Nanakimmie said:

    I use them to store my hooks for traveling.

  • Belinda Turner said:

    I have one for each grandchild with a child size toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste inside. You can decorate them with their names and special stickers so they know which is theirs.

  • Anne said:

    I used several empty crystal light type containers when we went overseas for a couple weeks. They hold a couple granola bars (which kept them from getting crushed in my carry on) I put some cocoa roasted almonds in one so they would stay fresh in the humidity & keep critters out. Another I put a couple candy bars & a pack of M&M’s in so they wouldn’t be squished after they got hot in the travel process. (We were in Africa & had a 5 hour drive from the airport to the place we were staying. It was nearly 90 degrees & no AC.) They had gotten soft, but once they cooled off they were fine & NOT mashed. They also hold a number of mini candy bar size treats.

    Around our house, we use them for holding colored pencils, markers, twistables, pencils/pens, etc. You could also use it for snacks by either punching small hole in each side & putting yarn or ribbon through holes. Make a small knot inside so ribbon or yarn doesn’t slip through holes. Kids could hang it around their neck to make it hands free or put cross body or over shoulder. You could also put rubber band around bottom portion of container then tie ribbon/yarn around rubber band so the container stays water proof!

    I have also cut the lid to make a container that sugar could be poured out of. Just take the lid off, use heavy duty scissors to cut 2 parallel lines starting at the rounded edge on one side. You only need to cut in toward middle of lid about 2″ or less. Flex the piece back to it bends a little. Pour sugar into the container (take the lid off to do this step). Place lid back on & snap “spout” closed. I have covered top with plastic wrap or press & seal wrap then put lid on if I am traveling with container. It worked great at a graduation reception when we didn’t want to buy sugar packets. I wrote “SUGAR” on the container so there was no confusion. It would be cute all decoupaged with some coffee themed paper!

  • Ashcole said:

    I use them to hold straws for littles and adults.
    But I’m thinking for the older people you are teaching maybe straw holders or denture brush holder. I worked in a nursing home for awhile and remember the hassle of the brush. Some don’t have big counter tops. I don’t know just an idea. I do like the eye glasses case. Decorating it bright might help them keep track of it!

  • terrih said:

    They can be made into little first aid kits. Put a red cross on the outside to indicate first aid. Fill them with different sizes of bandaids, small packets of antibiotic ointment (can get a box of 25 cheap off of Amazon), stuff like that. Keep one in the car or put in a purse. They will be handy and won’t get crushed.

  • Gail said:

    I fill 3/4 way with water and freeze to put in ice chests.
    I also use them to freeze lemonade, ice tea, etc. to add to your beverage container when having a picnic or BBQ….so you aren’t diluting it with regular ICE.

  • Lindsay said:

    Pour paint into the container and if you are not going to finish right away, snap the lid on for later. Keeps paint usable for up to 3 days :) Also slice a slit in the lid and slide your paint brush handle through it and store the brush–will only last over night, but its better than having a brush dry out!