What is that old saying we all know and love when it comes to creation?
“Necessity is the mother of invention!”
A situation comes up where you are inspired, or sometimes forced, to create something to satisfy the needs or demands of said situation. Thanks to my wife, a situation arose that required an immediate solution and cardboard – thankfully – became the answer.
The situation involved beer! Or to be more specific, the copious amount of empty beer cans that litter our kitchen counters, storage pantry, and shelves. You see, I love beer and almost predominantly buy canned European beer, because I feel they provide the best value for the money. As someone who lives in Ontario, Canada, with its strict alcohol monopoly, I pay high prices for all sorts of alcoholic beverages and my beloved Euro beer is best bought in canned form.
However, after my enjoyment and consumption of canned beer, I am left with an empty aluminum husk with no real storage solution beyond leaving it with others somewhere and anywhere in the kitchen until I have enough to bring back to The Beer Store for the $0.10 per can refund. It doesn’t make sense bringing back a couple cans at a time. I usually wait until I have at least 20 empties and this in turn annoys the missus!
After receiving the “last straw” ultimatum from my extremely patient and spectacularly beautiful partner (yes, she will be reading this), I decided to use my collection of cardboard to devise a solution to the empty beer can litter conundrum. It was actually her idea to use cardboard to store the cans. As she put it, “if you can make a swimming pool and snow shovel with cardboard, you should be able to build something that can hold practically empty lightweight cans of booze. Come on now – do what you do!”
The solution became a wall mounted vertical beer can holder. She blessed it with the name ‘The Cardboard Can Corral’.
I designed it with two open slot sections that can hold 10 cans each of various sizes. A curved opening was place at the top of the design to help the cans roll inward and to add some design flare. A flat storage box would be boring. Curves add some depth and esthetics.
Just like the aforementioned swimming pool and outdoor shovel ideas, I waterproofed the inside of the Can Corral to ensure the cardboard wouldn’t warp or mold if some drops of unconsumed beer leaked out of stored cans.
The whole structure is held together with glue. 20 empty beer cans barely register 2lbs in weight, so glue is more than sufficient to keep the design together. Some twine was glued to the back to allow the Can Corral to hang anywhere on the wall by hooks or nails.
For the bottom section, dollar store door hinges and Velcro were added to allow two latches to open and close with ease. The latch is detached and the cans neatly fall downward into a bag or box.
I’m happy to report my wife loves the concept and how it fits neatly on the corner of the kitchen wall. I like that it’s simple, yet a practical upcycling concept that is easy to build. The kitchen is again a neat place free of straggler beer cans. Now, when it comes to the complaint of my habit of leaving dirty dishes in the sink – still figuring out how cardboard will help that battle…