10 Genius Ways To Repurpose Cardboard Drink Holders Around The House

While we're all trying to save a buck or two, some days call for going out and treating yourself to something tasty. After a hectic morning at the office, you might be tempted to grab a couple of coffees for you and your favorite co-workers during your lunch break. After your order is complete, the barista will likely hand over your beverages in a cardboard drink holder.

While your instinct may be to discard the recyclable container, you can repurpose it to better your home. Think of it this way, you'll basically be making back the money you spent on the beverages by reusing the drink holder. So, not only are these DIY tips — which vary from children's crafts to ornament holders — good for the environment, but they are also good for your wallet. Here are 10 unique ways you can alter cardboard drink holders to best fit your needs and aesthetics.

Make an adorable tea organizer

If you have a cardboard drink holder at your disposal, you're likely a fan of hot beverages. By following a few easy steps, the recyclable container can become an adorable tea organizer. For this craft, take out your hot glue gun, scissors, fabric chalk, and fabric of your choosing. While any aesthetic is suitable for this project, you may be inclined to pick something delicate and floral to suggest the image of a quaint British tea room. Measure out how you would like each piece of fabric to fit the container. Draw the shape onto the fabric with your chalk and cut out the pieces accordingly. From there, hot glue the fabric pieces to the cardboard. If you make a mistake, do not fret. Just cover up any errors with decorative elements like ribbons or rick rack trim. 

If you want to do something even simpler, purchase decorative tape, such as this floral patterned Duck Tape or this flamingo pink roll (both available on Amazon for under an $1 per foot). Measure your container and cut the necessary amount of tape. Take your pieces and place them on your recycled drink holder. After you decorate the container, you can choose your preferred individually wrapped tea bags to be displayed in its four holders. 

Your guests will enjoy cardboard containers during a fun movie night

Watching a movie with friends is a wonderful way to spend a Friday night. You get to curl up on your couch and listen to your friends' commentary on whatever film you're watching. To make the night extra special, give your guests their own snack and drink containers. You will need a cardboard drink container with a handle for this upcycle. 

You can just place your friends' favorite movie snacks and bottled sodas in each holder. However, if you want to go all out, personalize the recycled holder by writing on each of your friend's names. Watch the video above for some inspiration on how you'd like the box to look. In addition, you could design the cardboard snack holders in a corresponding theme with the movie you have chosen. For instance, if you are having a "Jurassic Park" movie marathon, spray paint the containers an olive green and adhere some dinosaur stickers.

Cardboard drink holders can make the perfect base for children's crafts

If your child wants a decorative piece for their bedroom or needs a craft project on a rainy afternoon, look no further than a cardboard drink holder. Depending on their interests, the containers can become a snowy mountain or an adorable elephant. Children who are interested in making a miniature mountain should collect a cardboard tray carrier, brown acrylic paint, a paintbrush, ripped-up cotton balls, scissors, and a hot glue gun. Have your child flip the holder over and coat the container in brown paint. They can then hot glue ripped-up cotton balls to give it a snowy effect. If your child is too young to safely use a hot glue gun, take over for this part of the craft. 

For the elephant, grab a two-drink cardboard holder. Trim the middle piece in the shape of an elephant's head, including its ears and trunk. The bottom parts of the holder will be the elephant's front and back legs. Hot glue the pieces together and have your child decorate their elephant however they please. 

Several cardboard containers can become a rustic papier-mâché bowl

If you collect enough cardboard drink holders, you can mash the containers into a pulp and create a rustic-looking papier-mâché bowl. First, pile up your cut up cardboard pieces in a large bowl filled with hot water for at least a full day. After 24 hours have passed, break down the damp pieces with a blender or a food processor. Once it is your desired consistency, put the pulp in a strainer and massage the material so that most of the water is released. 

After obtaining an adequate amount of pulp, make a barrier between the substance and a metal bowl with saran wrap. Then pat on several layers of the still damp pulp onto the plastic-covered bowl. Air dry the material for 48 hours and then decorate the papier-mâché bowl with some acrylic paint. Spray paint is also an option. 

A decorated cardboard drink carrier can make for a handy fruit holder

Organizing your refrigerator can be a tedious task. While you can invest in organization products to keep your fridge under control, if the crisper drawer of your refrigerator looks crowded, you can also simply grab two or three cardboard drink containers, depending on the dimensions of your fridge. Once inside the crisper drawer, the cardboard container is the perfect spot for your fresh fruit. This tip works best when the fruit is circular and on the larger side, like oranges, grapefruits, pears, peaches, and apples.

If you do not tend to refrigerate your fruit, the drink carrier can also be a fruit holder for your kitchen counter. While you can leave the container as is, you have the option of decorating it. Just be sure to use food-safe craft supplies. For example, Mod Podge isn't food-safe, so instead of turning to découpage, you may want to rather embellish your ad-hoc fruit holder in simpler ways, such as with hand-drawn or stamped designs on the exterior However, if you want to create a gift caddy for non-food items or packaged snacks, like in the above video — or fill it with fake fruit — feel free to use Mod Podge to découpage the holder.

Clean up your art supplies space with a drink holder

If you are on the artistic side, you likely have a bunch of craft supplies. One category of must-haves to update your home arts and crafts studio area is adequate pen holders and containers to hold small bits and bobs. Here's how you can use a drink holder as an art supplies organizer. 

Coat the cardboard in the spray paint color of your choosing. After it dries, adorn the carrier with glitter, sequins, rhinestones, or stickers. Basically, go for something that will make you feel inspired when you sit down and rummage through your supplies as you come up with your latest project. From there, purchase or repurpose four clear plastic cups for each one of the holders. Take a fine-point sharpie and label each cup to indicate the items it will carry. If you don't love your penmanship, opt for a label maker. Whichever you decide, your desk will look much neater.

Your ornaments will be safe with two cardboard drink holders

If you celebrate winter holidays, the month of January may be a little bleak. After all, restoring your home to its regular, non-festive state while being filled to the gills with eggnog can feel like a chore. What's more, Christmas decorations can be tricky to pack away neatly. If you're not carefully, you may wind up with a tangled coil of Christmas lights, and bunch of baubles laying at the bottom of the decorations box, getting squashed and scratched. One of the best tips for storing Christmas ornaments is to simply place them back in their original packaging. But what if you didn't save the boxes, or have hand-me-down, vintage ornaments? 

The blog Sew Many Ways has a clever trick to ensure that your holiday decorations don't get ruined. Gently place any circular ornaments between two cardboard drink holders without handles. You can wrap the cardboard holders with some bubble wrap before taping them up for extra protection. Put the containers in a cardboard box that has also been lined with bubble wrap. Depending on the size of the box, you may want to make a small tower out of the holders. If you're running out of drink holders by this stage, you can also buy or upcycle plastic cups to protect your Christmas ornaments

Your drink holder can be a beautiful floral centerpiece

If you agreed to host a dinner party for your group of friends, you'll want to make your dining area as beautiful as possible. If you're wondering how to set up your home for a memorable dinner party, an easy way to beautify the space is to have a floral arrangement in the middle of your dining room table. While you may be inclined to use a vase, a cardboard tray holder is also a great option to place flowers in. Cover the bottom of each of the four holders in plastic wrap. Then place water-soaked floral foam into the holders. From there, trim the flowers of your choosing and stick the shortened stems into the foam. You can leave the cardboard plain. However, it never hurts to get creative and make the centerpiece even more eye-catching.

The beauty of the plain cardboard container is that you can decorate it to fit your home's aesthetic. You can découpage the exterior, or hand paint a design. If you're crunched for time, you also can simply spray paint the holder a color that complements the rest of your tablescape.

Cardboard drink holders make for the perfect picnic caddies

While having a picnic is meant to be relaxing, there is quite a bit of planning that goes into it. You have to choose what refreshments to bring and figure out how to transport them. While you are worrying about those logistics, you may forget that you need some utensils and napkins.

You can bring those items in a zip-lock bag and call it a day. However, a cardboard drink holder with a handle can help you create something a bit more aesthetically pleasing. All you will need to do is make a few adjustments for it to become an adorable caddy. For instance, you have the option of placing self-adhesive red gingham paper (available on Amazon) on the container for it to better fit the picnic theme. If you are feeling extra fancy, hot glue on some artificial baby's breath, sunflowers, or daisies. Pack the caddy with knives, forks, napkins, and a couple of condiment bottles for a cute picnic blanket centerpiece. 

Your drawers will never look better thanks to an old drink holder

Even if your entire house is spotless, you likely have a secret zone where you keep miscellaneous objects, such as chip clips, old holiday cards, or extra rubber bands. In less polite terms, most of us are guilty of having a junk drawer. To make better use of the space, use a drinks holder tray. This cardboard drink holder hack will help you keep your drawers clean and organized without spending a penny. 

You have the option of leaving the containers plain and simply popping them into your drawers to act as organizers for small items. However, you can make the holders more appealing by coating them with some spray paint. If you're itching to do a more intricate craft, get a hot glue gun, fabric, and ribbon. Measure out the fabric so it will fit the holder, cut it accordingly, and use your hot glue gun. Alternatively, you can skip the gluing and use contact paper. Like the tea holder craft, any mistakes can be covered up with some ribbon.