Let’s face it: with the way our world has changed in the last year, many of us have run into more packaging and recyclables than ever. So whether you’ve been making the most out of our 2021 Spring Foodie box or are just dealing with the aftermath of your latest grocery haul, here are some ideas in Spring 2021 Cooking Panda Box Upcycled Hacks to help you squeeze some extra life out of all the packaging that comes in and out of your day-to-day!
1. Pancake Batter Squirter
For perfectly round pancakes, simply make re-use of any sort of squeezable sauce bottle. Here, we cleaned out a syrup bottle and filled it with freshly-made batter for a quick solution to frumpy flapjacks.
2. Jar Shaker and Strainer
This will work with any sort of jar, but in our case, we used the tall jar of Otamot tomato sauce to create our own drink mixer and strainer. With a slim drill, create a series of holes a few millimeters apart along one half of the jar lid. You can now shake up a cool drink with the holes plugged and strain out the liquid, leaving ice cubes and garnishes safe inside.
3. Coffee Pod Confetti Poppers
This one admittedly has little to do with the kitchen, but who couldn’t use a bit more childish joy in their life? Make re-use of old coffee machine pods first cleaning and cutting out their bottoms. Then, take a small balloon, tie the end closed, and cut off the top half. Wrap this balloon-nib over the bottom of the cup, and you’ve got yourself some homemade confetti poppers. For instance, Just be sure to clean up after you’ve had your fun.
4. Simple Bird Feeder
Breathe new life into long plastic bottles to create a quick and easy bird feeder! Clean the bottle, then cut out a pair of holes on opposite sides of the bottle near its bottom, followed by another pair a little higher up and perpendicular to the first. After that, insert some long wooden spoons as perches for your forest friends, and fill the bottle to hang in your backyard.
5. DIY Cotton Ball Container
Turns out that a bit of wrapping paper can go a long way in creating colorful containers that fit your own vibe. Here, we repurposed a cup of oatmeal by carefully cutting and gluing on some floral wrapping paper. We then finished it all off with a cute pin in the center of the lid for use as a handle.
6. Hanging Mini Lantern
Jars can be endlessly useful, such as the tiny jars that house Little Jasmine sauces. Use these jars to house small candles, suspended from some pretty netting, to bring some ambiance and glow to your backyard get-togethers.
7. Easy Pantry Organizers
It’s time to bust out that wrapping paper again. If you’ve got a couple of old boxes, you’re good to go. Take three boxes of equal size and tape them front to back. Cut off the tops in a diagonal cross-section as pictured above, then wrap in your favorite wrapping paper for homemade pantry organizers.
8. DIY Mini Funnel
Got a leftover tube of sauce? Cut off both ends and wash out the tube for a quick and easy funnel. The sort of tube we had with some Kartago chili sauce worked particularly well given its flexibility.
9. Mini Tea Cakes
While you could certainly invest in some cookie cutters, you’ve got to admit that using a rounded Republic of Tea container to cut out tea cakes is poetic in some sense of the word. Of course, any container with a wide mouth and relatively sharp edges can be used to cut out cakes of any shape from a freshly-baked sheet.
10. Succulent Pot
Seriously, shout-out to Little Jasmine and their tiny jars. Anything that comes in a jar is to be celebrated, really, and any jar can be a new home for small desert-dwelling lifeforms. For instance, Don’t forget to give each of your plants its own name.
11. Fruit Koozie
After you’ve considered for a second how strange it is that fruits bruise-like they were rowdy children consider then how a drink koozie can be used to swaddle more than just beverages. Here, we used a Tecate koozie for the decidedly more wholesome destiny of shielding an apple from harm.
12. Coffee Grounds Holder
Farin’UP has a great line of dry baking treat mixes, which all come in this handy and distinctive package. We decided to re-purpose the bag to hold coffee grounds for easy store-and-pour.
13. Aluminum Cookie Cutters
The next time you’ve got some aluminum cans lying around, try your hand at some homemade cookie cutters instead of tossing them in the recycling bin. With a small hobby knife, carefully cut off the ends of a clean can. You’ll find yourself left with a sturdy sheet of aluminum that you can then roll and shape to your desire. Just be careful when pressing down against the edges!
14. Pasta Bag Piping Bag
If you’ve got one of those boxy plastic bags that house some pasta. Then all you need is a piping tip to get to decoratin’. Simply snip off one corner of the bag, insert the piping tip, and fill with frosting. This can of course work with any sort of bag, but we like to think there’s some extra magic to using the bag of Hello Kitty pasta that comes with our foodie box.