8 Creative Uses for K-Cups

Although I love our Keurig single-cup brewing system at Sugar HQ, I do feel a little bothered by how many K-Cups we use and throw away every day without recycling. Turns out, there are many ways we can recycle K-Cups on our own; all it takes is a little creativity!

RELATED: 13 Cool Uses for Tape

Jell-O Shots

Instead of buying plastic shot glasses, use your old K-Cups. They are the perfect size for shots — not too big and not too small!

Freeze Leftover Sauces

If you want to store some leftover or homemade sauces but have nowhere to put them, pour them into K-Cups, cover with plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer. What's great about using these small plastic cups is that if you make a lot of sauce, you can freeze it in small servings. That way, you can defrost just enough for one dinner.

Freeze Specialty Ice

Want really cool-looking ices for your Summer cocktails? Freeze them in K-Cups! They will be bigger and have a more unique shape than ices made from a regular ice tray. Put fruits or flowers in them to make them really special. Experiment with different liquids like juices and 7-UP.

Jewelry Holder

If you have small pieces of jewelry lying around, then keep them organized by grouping them in little K-Cups. You can organize them by color and type.

Elevate Items

Do you need help elevating items like dishes for your dinner party? Use K-Cups to raise the plates. You can also elevate things like place settings.

Place-Card Holder

Make your own place-card holders for parties by wrapping cute paper around K-Cups. Cut slits on the bottom to hold the cards. Your guests will marvel at your eco-savvy and craftiness!

Garden Starters

Use K-Cups for seed starters. Fill one halfway with soil, dig a little hole, put some seeds in it, and cover it up. If you're growing different plants, then be sure to label them!


Cover the K-Cups with pretty paper and string them together with some holiday lights. For inspiration, check out this post on how to make garland made from Dixie cups.

Remember you can also reuse the coffee grounds left over in your K-Cups with these ideas.

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Guest's picture

Great article, but how do you reuse the Kcups for your Jello shots, sauces and specialty ices? The brewer puts a hole in the top and bottom of the Kcup during the brewing cycle. Any liquid you put in will drain out.

Guest's picture

I am all for creative uses for K-cups, and some of the later ones are pretty cool.

Just as a warning for those wanting to make ice cubes in them, once they are used there is a hole in the bottom of the k-cup. I suspect the ice cubes, sauces and jello shots might be a bit on the messy side without lining it with plastic wrap or something.

Guest's picture

Um, I don't have a Keuring, I have a Tasimo, but doesn't the process of brewing a K-cup involve the machine punching a hole through the plastic cup? I don't see how you can reuse the cup after that.

Guest's picture
Amazed by this post

K cups are too small for seed starters. I garden from seed every year.

Unless you can re-purpose 365 K-cups a year, ever single year, (drinking just 1 cup a day) K-cups are not eco-anything. Environmentally conscious friends will just be appalled you use K-cups, and you will appear ignorant. The are un-recyclable. Your yearly little K-cups, along with the other billions used each year, will be sitting in a landfill for perhaps a century.

K-cups average out to about $30/lb for coffee. This is neither sweet, not savvy. It is advisable to do research before writing an article, and not just jot down ideas you heard in a conversation, or dreamt up while drinking expensive, eco-disaster coffee.

Guest's picture

Thanks for pointing that out! I totally forgot to mention that you should put a bit of masking tape over the hole for some of these projects. We definitely wouldn't want jello seeping out from the bottom! ;)

Guest's picture
Debbra W

On the K-Cups, my family found that we could use the cups three and sometimes four times without a loss of taste or delight. We keep the "started" cups in a baggie in the freezer. We also mark one-two-three or four slash (/) marks in heavy ink on the cup "lid." After we mark the cup three times because of three uses we usually throw them away.

Now, we will not throw them but will recycle one of the ways suggested in the article. Fun!