Remember the old can “coolies”? Those foam, can-shaped coolers you slid over canned drinks to keep them cold? If you were like most people you somehow ended up with way too many of those coolers. Few people use those types of can coolers anymore since now you can purchase ones that look like Hawaiian shirts or ones that wrap around the can and Velcro in place.
If you open your cupboards and you see a pyramid of the foam coolers inside why not put them to good use? Those coolers can easily be turned into an art supply holder or a carryall for something else. Kids can easily tote around the lightweight organizer that’s easy as pie to make.
One way to make the organizer is to purchase a round piece of wood. In the center, glue a large-diameter, but somewhat short, dowel rod. Instead of wood you can even use a round cardboard piece from a pizza box. Paint the wood; cover the cardboard with fabric – embellish these bases any way you want. Align the coolers, side-by-side, all the way around the circle of wood or cardboard. Glue each one to the base and you’re done!
Make a different design by using a square or rectangular piece of wood or cardboard. With this design, you’ll use a piece of thick cardboard as the handle. Cut the cardboard to be as long as the base. Cut an oval or rectangular shape out of the top area to make the handle. Now position this cardboard piece on the wooden or cardboard base. Place it so that it goes down the center of the base. On each side of the handle piece, glue several can coolers, side-by-side, to create two rows with the handle piece between them. The coolers must be glued to the handle as well as the base.
Make a stationary design by using a long, large-diameter wooden dowel on a wooden base. Glue the dowel to the center of the base. Glue the coolers all the way around the base. Leave a large gap then glue more can coolers around the dowel. This two-level organizer is great for a desk or an art table.
Since the can coolers have a small hole in the bottom you can cut a piece of foam or paper to glue to the bottom and keep small things from falling out. This step is only necessary for the two-level organizer, and only on the top level. The finished organizers can hold paintbrushes, markers, writing implements, building blocks, dolls and their clothing, and much more. It’s a handy way to use those old can coolers for more than dust gatherers!