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Does it break your heart when you pour that last cup of coffee down the drain each morning? For those who are hoping to reuse everything they can, even your leftover coffee has many clever ways to keep it from going down the drain. Maybe you use up every drop and are wondering what I mean by “leftover coffee”.  For everyone else, here are some ways to put that coffee to good use.

  1. Make coffee ice cubes.
    Simply pour your leftover coffee into ice cube trays to make coffee ice cubes. Use them to make iced coffee that won’t get watered down for a small fraction of the price charged at any café or coffee house. For an after dinner treat, pour milk, coffee flavored liquor, or Irish cream over your coffee ice cubes. If you can, use a tray that makes large ice cubes that will melt more slowly in your beverage.
  2. Make your own paint.
    Give your children that last dark cup of coffee and a few brushes to create some unique artwork. Allow them to appreciate the texture and patterns that they can create by using more or less of the coffee on their paper. Cardstock works best as thin paper is quickly soaked. Use leftover coffee as a light stain on unfinished wood for a rustic finish that cannot be matched by any store-bought product.
  3. Create antique paper for cards or scrapbooking.
    When you dip paper or cardstock into coffee and allow it to dry, it will begin to have an uneven weathered color, similar to aged parchment. This process can be repeated to gain the desired effect. When you use your paper for cards, scrapbook pages, or invitations, each piece will be unique and look as though you travelled in time to purchase it.
  4. Dye your own fabric.
    Whether you have stained items that you would like to dye a darker color or are starting with something new, coffee is a gentle dye that will allow you to create a subtle brown shade. Make sure that your fabric remains fully immersed in the coffee for even dying, and soak it overnight. Rinse and air dry to reveal the fabric’s new appearance. Repeat the process until the desired effect is reached. This dying process can create fabrics that appear aged, similar to the paper antiquing method, that is fun for creating new looks or costumes.


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