14 Cool Things You Can Make With an Ice Cube Tray


Do you have an old ice cube tray stuffed away in a kitchen drawer? I'm sure if you dig deep enough, you'll find one hiding back with your fondue pot or some other useless kitchen gadget. Drag it out of storage and start using it for way more than freezing water. (See also: You Won't Believe How Much You Can Save With an Ice Cube Tray)

These 14 genius ideas will spur some creativity, and if you use ice cube trays for something else equally smart — let us know in the comments!

1. Coffee Cubes

Cool a batch of your favorite strong-brewed coffee to room temperature, then mix with your favorite flavors and sweeteners before freezing overnight in an ice cube tray. Put several cubes in a glass and pour over with your favorite milk or creamer for a delicious beverage that would cost you a lot more if you bought it at the shop.

2. Lotion Cubes

Winter is the season of dry skin. Take a preventative approach by mixing together a batch of DIY Lotion Cubes. Melt beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter together in a double boiler. Then add in any essential oils you like. Portion into cubes and let set before using. They make great gifts!

3. Multicolor Crayons

If you have lots of odd and ends of old crayons in your child's art supplies, take the wrappers off and melt them together in a silicone ice cube tray. Preheat your oven to around 200 degrees F and bake for 10-15 minutes.

4. Frozen Herbs

I got a little over-zealous at Thanksgiving and bought way too many herbs than I needed for cooking. So, I took the rest, chopped them up, and froze them with water in an ice cube tray. Now when I'm cooking, I just pop out a cube and toss into whatever I'm making.

5. Perfect Portions

The same idea applies when I freeze portions of ingredients like pesto, pizza or pasta sauce, salsa, vegetable stock or broth, etc. Many ingredients you have left over after a big cook can be chilled into individual portions and tossed in whatever you're making. For example, I regularly freeze homemade almond milk in cubes for use in my morning smoothies.

6. Smoothie Cubes

And sometimes when I don't leave enough minutes in my morning to make breakfast, I pop a few Smoothie Cubes in a cup and bring it on my morning errands. In a few hours, the drink is defrosted and ready to consume. Some smoothie cube recipes can also be used as baby food.

7. Candy Bars

You can make tiny candy bars at home using an ice cube tray. These bite-sized Chocolate Turtle Bars even allow you to make your own chocolate, customizing the flavor and ingredients if you have any dietary restrictions. Pour a small layer of chocolate in the tray first, let set in the freezer, then place in the caramel filling and more chocolate on top.

8. Cookie Dough

Skip the store version of ready-to-bake cookie dough and make your own. After you mix together your favorite recipe, portion out into your ice cube tray and let freeze. You can pop out each dough bite and store in an airtight container (or zip-top bag) until you're ready to bake. You may need to add a minute or two to the baking time to see those golden brown edges.

9. Granola Poppers

Yum. Mix together a few simple ingredients and then portion into an ice cube tray to make these Granola Poppers. They'd make a wonderful after-school snack or just help you from eating the entire batch in one sitting.

10. Dishwasher Tabs

I regularly make my own detergent, but I had never thought to store it in solid form until I saw this Dishwasher Tab recipe. Better yet, these tabs use all the standard ingredients (borax, baking soda, salt, etc.), but instead of putting vinegar in the rinse cycle, you add it right into the mix to help bind everything together.

11. Toddler Tray

I read a lot of Dr. Sears when my daughter was a baby, and he advocates letting kids graze versus eating large meals. His trick? The nibble platter. You can actually employ this concept quite easily using an ice cube tray filled with a variety of fresh fruits, veggies, and other healthy snacks.

12. Paint Palette

We also use ice cube trays as makeshift paint palettes for rainy day crafts and art projects. Just squirt different colors into each cube and paint. You can even mix custom colors easily this way, creating a whole world of new hues for your kids to brush around. Pretty simple, right?

13. Jewelry Organizer

If you're strapped for space or just don't feel like spending money on a jewelry box or case, use some ice cube trays to separate and organize things like earrings and rings. My daughter likes to take my rings and hide them around the house, so I stack trays in my dresser drawer to keep jewelry safe and out of sight.

14. Mini Candles

Here's a fantastic gift idea: Make mini candles for your friends and family using a silicone ice cube tray! This tutorial uses a heart shaped variety for some extra flair. Simply pick up some tea lights at the dollar store, remove the wax and melt with crayons for color, pour into your tray, and let set.

What cool uses for ice cube trays have you come up with? Please share in comments!

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Guest's picture

You can use ice cube trays to make mini survival candles. Buy up candles at thrift stores, garage sales, or Dollar Stores then melt the wax. Fill ice cube trays with dryer lint then pour the melted wax over the whole shebang. I pour the melted wax about half way up in each cube, tamp down the lint and add more lint, then pour the rest of the wax up to just below the top of the tray. The lint acts as a wick. Once the wax has cooled and solidified, you can pick out a piece of lint and light it. It's a great way to recycle dryer lint and a cheap way to make your own candles without the extra expense of buying wicks. Keep a few of these survival candles in your car, EDC, BOB, or stockpile them for barter.

Guest's picture

I also make bullion in the ice cube trays. Boil down left over chicken turkey ect the freeze the cubes. Use them in soup,stew,gravy ect

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