Creative Ways To Repurpose Your Old Coffee Mugs To Use Around The House

Whether your daily beverage of choice is coffee or tea, mugs are one of the most common items in the kitchen. Unfortunately, however, the fact that they're so common can mean you're left with a full cabinet of mugs that you'll never get around to using for your morning brew. Most people stick with a few favorites that they keep in a consistent rotation, and then the rest of their collection sits there collecting dust, even if they're still fully functional.

Luckily, mugs are also incredibly simple in design, so, if you have some that aren't getting enough love, consider repurposing them around your home rather than throwing them out the next time you decide to declutter. You'll be surprised by their versatility, and, with a bit of creativity, you could even save a bit of money by decreasing the amount you have to spend on new home and garden essentials.

Propagation station

Propagation is a great way to add some more greenery to your space without having to buy an entirely new plant, but that money-saving advantage is often diminished after buying specifically designed vases that claim to help your plant cuttings develop roots. Luckily, you can propagate plant cuttings in just about anything that holds water, including unused mugs, with about the same success rate. Simply put your cutting in a mug full of water, making sure to cover at least one node, and place it on a windowsill. You should notice roots forming after a week or so.

Candle vessel

Pouring your own candles is a great way to get creative, but you need a vessel that can safely hold your hot wax and handle the heat of a lit wick. Mugs are the perfect candidate — they're meant to hold hot liquid, they are a similar shape and size to most other candle containers, and they even have a handle that will allow you to move or shift your candle without burning yourself. After your home-poured candle has fully burned down, pour more wax into your mug or use it for yet another purpose.


One of the simplest things you can repurpose a mug as is a scoop. There are plenty of different places around the house where a scoop can make your job easier, like filling your pets' food bowls, putting dirt into pots in the garden when planting, or measuring out powder laundry detergent. Make sure to use the handle to your advantage to ensure your hands stay clean and dry, even when you're working with something that can get messy quickly, then store your mug next to or in your container for any easy job next time around.

Pen holder

If you have a mug that matches well with your office but you don't find yourself frequently reaching for when you're making your coffee in the morning, consider using it as a pen holder on your desk. This is a great role for those mugs that aren't the best when it comes to properly protecting your hands from heat or that tend to drip or spill. You can still enjoy its design, whether it's just a color you love or a personalized gift, but you won't have to suffer any of the consequences of a less-than-functional shape.

Mosaic art

If your mug is chipped, you might think that there isn't much you can do besides trash it. However, chipped mugs can be further broken down to create supplies for mosaic art. Put your mug in a plastic bag and smash it with a mallet, making sure to break the design into larger pieces if you want it to still be visible or readable. Mix it with other found materials — broken plates, upcycled old mirrors, or shattered glasses, for example — then lay everything out on your surface and add some grout to finalize your piece.


If you have a plant that needs a home — possibly one you've cultivated — consider using a mug as a planter. If your plant doesn't mind soggier soil, you can plant it directly in your mug without any modification. If you're worried about root rot or have a plant that prefers a more arid environment, however, it might be a good idea to drill a few holes in the bottom of your mug to promote drainage. Just be careful with this process, as ceramic can easily crack and shatter when faced with such a large amount of force.

Toothbrush holder

Specially designed toothbrush holders are great, but they don't offer much of an advantage over a repurposed coffee mug. Make sure the mug you want to reuse is clean, then simply toss in your frequently-used toothbrushes for easy access. If your mug is large enough, you can also use it to hold your tube of toothpaste to keep everything in one place. With this idea, however, it's important to frequently rinse out and dry your mug so water and toothpaste don't collect at the bottom, leading to the development of mold or bacteria.

Side table catch-all

Side tables, coffee tables, and countertops frequently end up looking cluttered with items, like reading glasses, pens, and nail files, but having a catch-all spot for these objects can help to ensure that everything remains in the same easy-to-find location and doesn't sprawl across the tabletop. An empty mug is the perfect item for the job, as they're usually fairly low-profile and can add a fun and decorative touch to your living space. Keep a couple around the house and you should notice that your items are much easier to find and less scattered around.

Piggy bank

People who frequently use cash know that spare change can quickly add up and overload your wallet, so having a convenient place to dump what you've acquired can help you shed a bit of weight. A mug by where you typically dump your keys is the perfect item for the job, as it's easy to empty your wallet and go or grab a few quarters on your way out of the door. Once it fills up, count it to see what you've collected — you might have enough to cover a snack or your coffee for the day.

Pin cushion

A pin cushion is a necessary part of any sewing kit, but the smaller options don't provide a ton of stability. If you want to make your own that's larger and a bit easier to grab onto, consider making one out of an old mug. Create a cushion out of some fabric, a rubber band, and your stuffing of choice (polyfill, sand, and foam would all do) that's about the same diameter as your mug. Place it inside, then hot glue it around the rim of the mug to secure the edges and keep it from slipping.

Paint cup

Whether you're an expert artist or simply a hobbyist, it's necessary to have a water cup on hand when you're painting. This cup is useful if you need to activate watercolors or rinse off brushes between colors, but it's unsafe and quite inconvenient to use something you regularly drink out of. Instead, try repurposing an old mug for this task — just make sure you choose something that's easy to differentiate from your actual cup of coffee or tea, as it's incredibly easy to accidentally take a sip from the wrong cup when you're focused in on your painting.

Bird feeder

Because of how easy they are to hang by the handle, coffee mugs make the perfect bases for suet bird feeders. Collect your mug, a stick, and some seeds, then melt down your suet. Fill your mug about halfway with the seed, then place it in the stick upright. Pour the melted suet over the top and allow everything to cool down. Once it's all solidified, hang the mug on directly on a branch or tie a ribbon around the handle to secure it to the tree at a more approachable height.

Cookie cutters

Perfectly round cookies are hard to freehand, but, if you have a mug lying around, it can easily be repurposed as a circular cookie cutter. Flip your mug upside down, apply some pressure, and wiggle it back and forth until you fully cut through the dough and feel that you've made contact with the countertop. Bake your cookies and then, after they're done, shape them with the mug again if they spread unevenly and you're looking for that picture-worthy final product.

Kitchen sponge holder

Kitchen sponges typically find a home on the back of the sink, but it's fairly common for them to fall into the basin. If you have an old mug, however, you can use it as a convenient holder in a pinch. Place it on the back of the sink and use it to hold your sponges or kitchen brushes when they're not in use. For an added layer of convenience and sanitation, you could also drill some holes in the bottom to ensure the sponge can properly drain and dry out each time you wash your dishes.

Flower vase

If you received some flowers as a gift and don't have a vase on hand, a mug can do the job. Fill it with cool water and flower food, trim down the stems of your flowers, and you have a rustic centerpiece. This works best with a taller mug so you don't have to deal with your flowers drooping over the side of the rim, but smaller flowers with shorter stems can also do well in a more squatty mug if they're properly arranged and supported. For an added layer of convenience, consider using this TikTok-approved tape hack.