Don't just toss those oatmeal containers!

We love oatmeal pancakes, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal & dried cherry muffins, granola, no-bakes, bake n take oatmeal cake...ok, this is turning into 101 reasons we love oatmeal, but I think you are getting the picture that we go through a lot of oatmeal around here, so there are always lot's of oatmeal containers around! Here are some ways you might use your surplus:

Fridge/Freezer storage for grains and baked goods.
I keep my freshly ground wheat and rice in them in the fridge so as to preserve the 'goodness' and keep them from going rancid. I don't have the lifestyle (or desire, I should say?) to mill on an as-needed basis, so it's what I do.

For the Kids

Building blocks

Robot pieces

"Tree Trunks"
one year I created a tree out of one for my 2YO(at the time) niece. I attatched a "branch" made out of a paper towel or TP tube, cut some doors and put some animal stickers on the inside for her to open up and see, and used green tissue paper for the leaves out the top. It wasn't meant to last, I was just using stuff I had on hand, but I thought she'd enjoy discovering it and tearing it apart. it was a fun project

Basically Anything:
kids' imaginations are so wonderful! I love having the containers around just to see how they will incorporate them into their play this time! Kids are usually more excited about the wrapping/paper/box/hangers/etc than the toys & clothes they contain.

("free!") toy storage
legos, little people, army men, playmobile, dinosaurs, etc., ad nauseum, 'nuf said!

I've found that wrapping them in wrapping paper (least durable), scrapbooking paper (more durable; coverage requires 2 sheets), or even fabric (most durable) takes them to a whole other level!

Gift Wrapping
I wish I had a photo of several of the gifts I've done this with- they look so striking!
Its unique shape and height lends handiness for all kinds of different presents, especially soft, or stackable, or foldable ones, while also making it stand out from the rest of the presents.

Table Tiers
I wrapped one with some fabric for a bridal shower that I was hosting several years back. I was looking for a way to create more space and add some visual interest to the table, and going up was the best way to do so!

I'm pretty sure I filled the container with something so as to add to its stability because I was a little nervous about it tipping as people took food, but we didn't have any problems whatsoever with that.

Plastic bag holders
for my fellow disposable diaper users out there- this is one of my favorite things! In order to combat the smell of diaper pervading the nursery and our home, we recycle the plastic bags we get at the stores (one reason I don't want them to be banned just yet!), putting the diapers in there and then out in the garage. For a while I was always carrying dirty diapers down to the laundry closet to grab a plastic bag. Duh! The idea struck me that it would be much simpler, and cleaner!, to just have plastic bags at my changing stations. So I grabbed my oatmeal containers (great for stuffing lots of bags into!) and made them pretty. If it's gotta be seen, it might as well look good!

How do you use your containers? I'm always looking for new ways to utilize this plentiful resource!


  1. Loved this post, Sarah. I am always commenting to Eli that I feel like I need to save all my oatmeal containers, but I'm not sure what to do with them all! Great ideas - I especially like the shower table idea, I think that I'll be using that one very soon!

  2. Love your ideas (as usual). I can't believe how different your dining room looks. I use mine for diaper cake centers (as I know you do) and storage. I put markers, foam pieces, chalk, pencils and other goodies in the oatmeal container and store them on their sides so I can then write on the tops and it is always visible. I've hear that they make great freezer containers for cookies, but I've been too scared to try it. No one likes a freezer burned cookie!

  3. Kudos, jeni! I totally forgot about the diaper cake centers....this is why it's good for me to make lists!