Miniature snack servings?
February 21, 2010 9:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm an 18 year old college student. Is there anything interesting I can do with old film canisters?
posted by DoublePlus to Home & Garden (27 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Keep drugs in them.
posted by aaronbeekay at 9:40 PM on February 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Oh yeah, I planned on saying something about how I didn't want to use them to store drugs. Can't believe I forgot to write that.
posted by DoublePlus at 9:43 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmm, did you check out the suggestions offered by Google? This page offers lots of wacky suggestions, and it includes this note: "we can't recommend the use of film containers to store food, spices, vitamins, etc."
posted by dreamyshade at 9:45 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Possibly more helpful: old film canisters are pocketable transportation devices for bunches of laundry quarters, parking meter change, bus tokens, etc.

Also good for storing small screws, if you tend to put together and take apart computers (for example). Or if you like to surreptitiously put up flyers around campus, thumb tacks.
posted by dreamyshade at 9:52 PM on February 21, 2010


Cut out the bottom, and then cut a slit vertically the long way - you can then use it to bundle up some cords (electrical, ethernet, phone) neatly at one end.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 9:54 PM on February 21, 2010


Are you in a painting/art course? Put your paint in them, put the cover on when you're finished. Voila, money/paint saver!
posted by biochemist at 9:56 PM on February 21, 2010


It measures out the perfect serving of spaghetti, trust me.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:57 PM on February 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Best answer: Dr. Evil: Put on the most avant-garde outfit you own, borrow somebody's macbook pro, go to the photography class at your college and ask the instructor for some time before class starts. Explain to the class that you have a limited supply of "legacy film preservers" like they used "back in the day, in hollywood." Tell them that you know that they as photographers probably know a million and one things you can do with these babies, so you figured you'd let them have first dibs. Cost: $5/per canister

Dr. Spock: Grow your sideburns out a little longer. Put on a turtleneck and a corduroy jacket. Glue a bunch of these to a foamcore base, trying your best to make a copy of stonehenge. Call it "[your first pet's name] captured on film, or the angst of memory." Type that into Google Translate to get the German equivalent, and there's your real working title. Use it to help you get into a graduate program.

Dr. Watson: Take some photos of the film canisters that make them look rather large in proportion to very large items like dumpsters, etc. Make flyers that show these huge canisters next to cars in the parking lot, on the roof of the school. Offer a $1000 reward for information that may lead to the capture of the culprits. Put a throwaway email address at the bottom of the flyer. See what rolls in.

Dr. Zhivago: Ask dorky dating-type people what some fun romantic things to do with film canisters would be ;-)
posted by circular at 9:57 PM on February 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


When my kids were in preschool we used them for science experiments. Put baking soda inside, then add white vinegar, close it quickly and put it on the ground and run.


kapow.


Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
posted by Edubya at 9:58 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


If they are the semi-transparent type, you can cut a small hole in one end and use them to turn a small flashlight into a neat makeshift lantern. This trick is surprisingly useful while camping.
posted by Diplodocus at 9:58 PM on February 21, 2010


We punch holes in them and use them as bait boxes in fish and crab traps.

This is stinky.
posted by fshgrl at 10:00 PM on February 21, 2010


Best answer: Along the lines of Edubya, turn canned air upsidedown, spray inside canister, cap very quickly, and roll under someone else's desk. (Startlingly loud) POP!

(We called them photobombs. But I guess that's something entirely different now.)

Also used for a few vodka shots once upon a time.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:01 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Make an air horn.
posted by suedehead at 10:03 PM on February 21, 2010


cut a whole in the top and use for toothbrush travel case.
posted by Jeebu at 10:10 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


if you run out of things to do with them, donate the rest to a children's or science museum, or a local school! They are great for sciencey demos/projects because they are relatively watertight and float/sink depending on what you put inside them, and they are getting harder to track down in large quantities...
posted by heyforfour at 10:15 PM on February 21, 2010


Make a pinhole camera out of them.
posted by jedrek at 11:17 PM on February 21, 2010


Stick a nice label on them and then sell them to responsible smokers as stink-resistant butt carriers.
posted by flabdablet at 12:00 AM on February 22, 2010


Or a matchbox pinhole camera?
posted by Magnakai at 12:52 AM on February 22, 2010


This question was a bit of a standing joke on The Guardian's letters page for some months in 2005. They collected a few of the best suggestions here. You can probably find more by searching their site.
posted by Blacksun at 1:55 AM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've used the translucent ones from E6 Fujifilm* to store spare buttons, small brads/nails/screws/etc in my toolbox, keep putty or clay soft, store a kneaded eraser in my studio supplies (so it doesn't pick up foreign dirt), keep a stack of quarters in my glovebox for parking meters, and similar storage-related things.

I remember from childhood occasionally taking vitamins or ibuprofen camping in them, and those items acquiring an unpleasant taste. So while Kodak's stance is that they're probably non-toxic, I'd advise against putting anything edible in there.

*because they're easier to see the contents, and that's often what I have
posted by a halcyon day at 4:12 AM on February 22, 2010


Give them out to smoker friends so they don't drop their butts on the floor:
Cigarette filters are not biodegradable as commonly thought. The filters are made from cellulose acetate, a type of plastic, and persist in the environment for many years. Cigarette filters also contain tobacco, a powerful insecticide. Estimates of the time it takes for a cigarette filter to degrade at sea vary from 12-15 years.
posted by turkeyphant at 4:26 AM on February 22, 2010


Laundry quarter storage.
posted by smackfu at 6:28 AM on February 22, 2010


Best answer: Fill each of them with a random letter from a scrabble game (no blank tiles!) and seal them. Put all of the canisters in an unusual-looking box and bury it somewhere (actually bury it, and cover it up, and don't make it so that anyone can tell at a glance that something is buried there). Draw a very understated treasure map -- not even identifiable as one at first glance -- and post copies of that map absolutely fucking everywhere on your campus. Do not tell anyone you are doing this, not even your best friends.

You will confuse the living shit out of people.
posted by Damn That Television at 7:13 AM on February 22, 2010


Funny that a lot of film comes in wrappers now. I think it took a long time to realize that film canisters are not that useful.
posted by sully75 at 8:44 AM on February 22, 2010


Build a cannon!
posted by Rhomboid at 9:02 AM on February 22, 2010


Damn That Television: "23Fill each of them with a random letter from a scrabble game (no blank tiles!) and seal them. Put all of the canisters in an unusual-looking box and bury it somewhere (actually bury it, and cover it up, and don't make it so that anyone can tell at a glance that something is buried there). Draw a very understated treasure map -- not even identifiable as one at first glance -- and post copies of that map absolutely fucking everywhere on your campus. Do not tell anyone you are doing this, not even your best friends."

The best part about this idea? The real treasure, if they figure it out, is that they'll end up here!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:17 AM on February 22, 2010


When my kids were in preschool we used them for science experiments. Put baking soda inside, then add white vinegar, close it quickly and put it on the ground and run.

donate the rest to a children's or science museum, or a local school! They are great for sciencey demos/projects because they are relatively watertight and float/sink depending on what you put inside them, and they are getting harder to track down in large quantities...

Seconding both these. My local science museum used them to make "rockets" for our kids at a camp last summer. They put half of an Alka-Selter in the cap and a bit of water in the canister, then close, put cap side down on the ground, and step back. They *pop* and fly in the air. The kids loved them.
posted by I am the Walrus at 12:43 PM on February 22, 2010


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