K-Cup Chaos: Ways To Upcycle K-Cups Creatively

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used k cup

K-cups have been controversial for how much garbage they create. So, how do you re-use them? Here are a few upcycling ideas to consider.


Recently, we learned that throwing out coffee K-cups is harmful to the environment as more and more of the little cups pile up in landfills. However, if you need a quick coffee fix, it’s hard to pass up the easy and tasty cup produced from a K-cup. Luckily, there are many unique ways to reuse them.

Create a seed-starter

If you’re looking for the perfect cup to grow seedlings for your garden, the small K-cups are the perfect size. Simply fill each cup with soil and fertilizer before you plant your seeds. The smooth, plastic outside of the cup makes it ideal for writing what you’ve planted on each cup so you remember what’s in there. Additionally, a small amount of coffee grounds left in the bottom of the cups will help acid-loving plants such as squash, tomatoes, and leafy greens grow.

Make unique party lights

You can reuse K-cups to make your own unique party lights. First, cut apart a K-cup and smooth it out so you can trace a shade template. Use this template to cut out covers on your favorite scrapbook paper and tape these covers over the K-cups. Then, simply cut a bigger hole in the bottom of each K-cup and pop it over the bulb on a light string.

You can also use a marker to draw spooky faces on each K-cup and pop these over a string of orange lights for fun Halloween decorations. During the day, the cups will look like ghosts and at night, when you plug the lights in, the K-cups look like jack-o-lanterns.

Use them for organizing your house

Whether you want to organize sewing supplies, craft supplies, or hair accessories, simply pick up some extra K-cup carousels and put the clean and empty K-cups back in. Then, put your small supplies or accessories in each cup. A spinning carousel makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for and keeps your work area neat and clean.

Freeze herbs to use later

We’ve all come across those recipes that call for fresh herbs that we don’t have on hand. However, with a few K-cups, you can freeze fresh herbs to use later. Stack a few K-cups together and plug the hole in the bottom with a dot of glue or some tape. Then, fill up the K-cup with herbs and a bit of water. You can store these K-cups in the freezer and pull them out when you need some herbs.

Make small hanging planters

If you have a little space or a child who’s interested in growing plants, you can reuse K-cups to make small hanging planters. Take a K-cup and punch a hole on each side so you can loop string through it to hang. Plug the hole in the bottom of the cup and fill it with dirt. Finally, place a small plant or succulent in the K-cup and hang in a window.

K-cups are a great way to get an easy and quick cup of coffee. Instead of throwing them out, keep these clever and practical ways to reuse K-cups in mind.


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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.