DIY: Upcycled Tin Cans

Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei
March 4, 2014
Tin Can Crafts
Tin Can Crafts

It’s time to root through your recycling bins again, DIY crafters! Today, we are doing one of my favorite easy DIY projects — looking for tin cans and interesting and useful ways to use them in your home.

Dubbed the new mason jar by many event planners, tin cans are inexpensive and readily available in many recycling bins. They are so versatile.

  • Cover them with fabric
  • Paint them
  • Punch holes in them
  • Dip candles
  • Plant herbs

Endless possibilities and all are creative, inexpensive, and easy to do…some so easy that they make great rainy day projects for the kids!

A hanging herb garden, like the one seen here from Upcycled Stuff, is a great way to have fresh herbs available all year round. I love this project because it takes the humble tin can and uses mediums like chalkboard paint, twine and acrylics to turn them into something really special. It is also a great project to get your children involved in; have them pick out the herbs and watch their seeds grow!

Tin can luminaries are dreamy and romantic. I absolutely love these ones found on Indulgy. They are simple and rustic, but so romantic and give a fairy like quality to them. The twisted wire hangers are an easy addition to the cans, and giving the cans a weathered patina is easily achieved with some baking soda and vinegar. Use a hammer and nail to punch holes, or metal cutters to carefully cut out your design. Remember to file any sharp edges!

Get organized by painting various tin cans in your favorite colors, then nailing or screwing onto the wall, seen here. Keep all of your little odds and ends organized — measuring tapes, scrap fabric, scissors and pins, ribbon and so much more. Choose three bold colors and a neutral such as tan, white or gray. Then pair in an odd numbered grouping and not only do you have functional storage, but you also have a unique piece of custom wall sculpture!

Tin cans make great vessels for DIY candles, which are fantastic to have on hand as hostess, bridal shower, baby shower and birthday gifts. This simple DIY from A Winding Road uses soup cans specifically, but you could certainly use a tin can of any shape or size to create your custom candles. Add essential oils, and you have easy DIY scented candles!

Finally, as we gear up for spring, you are likely starting to plan out your gardens. What will go where; herbs, flowers, shrubs, berries. There are so many possibilities, and using garden markers is a great way to keep organized. These recycled tin can lid plant markers from Pin and Paper are an easy way to not only repurpose elements from your recycling bin, but also the mismatched forks that are in your kitchen!

Never underestimate your recycling bin. There are so many goodies and useful materials in there that can be repurposed into useful items to use around your house and garden. These tin can ideas are just the tip of the upcycling iceberg!

For more inspired living tips and ideas, check out Shannon’s blog Sweet Stella’s.

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