Instant, single cup coffee makers like the Keurig machines are hugely popular right now, both as a way to save time and a way to save money at the coffee shop. The little cups – usually referred to as K cups, no matter what brand you actually use – can be a bit of a problem though as they are not exactly very environmentally friendly. Sadly millions of them are ending up in the garbage (and therefore in landfills) every year and that fact is giving these convenient coffee makers a bit of a bad rap in ‘green’ circles.

You don’t have to throw all of those K cups away though. With a little bit of time and imagination they can be given a second life, and kept out of a landfill, in a number of different ways, which will help you feel a bit better about your love of your Keurig while also adding some cool decor and storage touches to your home. Here are just a few ideas:

K Cups in the Garden

One very practical use for used K cups is to use them as tiny planters for seedlings. The hole in the bottom means they drain away naturally in the same way as a standard plant pot and as, for example, the foundation of your own indoor or outdoor herb garden they can be very handy. Once the seeds begin to grow you could even choose to use them to create a hanging indoor garden!

K Cups for Home Organization

Can anyone really ever have enough storage? For most of us the answer is no, not really. Clean out a few K cups though and you can add a little bit of efficient storage in minutes. All of those odd bobby pins, hair ties and clips that always seem to get lost so easily? A K cup can be a great place to store them. And they make great craft or office supply organizers too.

Getting Crafty with K Cups

If you have the time you can get even more creative with all of those used coffee pots. Give one of the ideas a try:

K Cup Garland Lights

No doubt you have seen all of those great looking photos in glossy home and garden magazines that feature outdoor living spaces – porches, decks and patios – that are adorned by strings of twinkling fancy fairy lights. But why spend money on such things at the store when you can make them yourself using just a few dollar store supplies and those K cups you usually throw away?

What You’ll Need

A plain string of colored mini lights (most dollar stores carry them)
12 (or more) clean, empty K cups
Craft knife
Craft paint (optional)

How It’s Done

If you want a ‘fancier; look for your lights begin by using craft paint – spray paints work very well – to color the outside of the K cups. Cover as desired and set aside to dry.

Unwind the light string and working one by one poke a light bulb through the bottom of a K cup until all of the lights have ‘shades’. The K cups, if already used, will already have a small hole in the bottom, but as you will need to thread the small light bulb through you may need to make the hole a little larger in order to work the light bulb through. Hang as needed and enjoy.

K Cup Mock Bell Chimes

Speaking of the outdoors, a little extra decoration rarely goes amiss either if you want to create a great outdoor living space. One way to do that easily is with these great looking mock bell chimes.

What You’ll Need

Clean, used K Cups
Metallic spray paint
Poster paints
Thin Ribbon
Colored duct tape

How It’s Done

Spray each K cup with metallic paint and set aside to dry. Once the first coat of paint has dried you can decorate each cup even further using poster paints to help you create a really unique looking decor piece.

Once everything is dry thread each cup onto a length of ribbon, knotting the ribbon after each one is threaded to keep the cup in place. Once you have threaded all the cups you want use the remaining ribbon to create a hanging loop, reinforcing it with a layer of colored duct tape for extra durability.

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