Tin Can Crafts

Tin Can Crafts

Soup, beans, coffee- tin cans are a staple in our pantries and ultimately our recycle (or trash) bins. But if you want to save some room in your bins, then set aside those cans for some of these tin can crafts and project ideas.

Tin Can Crafts for the Garden

vertical garden ideas with tin cans

Image credit: Creatively Beth.

Here’s a great way to maximize space in your backyard with the help of a fence and a few tin cans. A vertical herb garden like this is a great way to punch up your kitchen game while upcycling a bunch of cans instead of tossing them out.

Spinning Craft Organizer

craft organizer on a lazy susan

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

A lazy susan from the thrift store is the perfect foundation for this handy craft organizer. A large popcorn tin was attached to the center with several soup cans attached to the sides. What a great way to keep lots of craft supplies handy in the center of a table.

Decorative Wind Chimes

tin can windchimes

Image credit: Hearth and Vine.

Here’s a tin can craft that is ideal if you’ve accumulated cans in various sizes. These DIY windchimes look gorgeous now, thanks to some pretty decoupage, and are a fantastic way to repurpose a trio of cans. You could even incorporate a few bells inside for additional sound.

Tin Can Crafts with Boho Style

boho room decor from the recycle bin

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

For anyone who’s a fan of faux plants (ahem, me!), these planters made from larger cans look fabulous. Thanks to some salvaged trim from Indian sari dresses, these tin can planters add such a gorgeous pop of color to any room they’re in.

Tin Can Lanterns

tea light lantern from a tin can

Image credit: DecoArt.

Perfect for an outdoor party, these tin can lanterns look fabulous when they’re done. Requiring some metal cutting and “squashing” the cans carefully with weights means this is a project for more experienced crafters. But I think the result is definitely worth the effort, don’t you?

Tuna Cans for Office Supplies

office supply storage in tuna cans

Image credit: Birdz of a Feather.

Instead of tossing tuna or cat food cans into the trash or recycle bin, check out this brilliant upcycled organizer idea. And for your office supplies, no less. Isn’t this swing-out organizer for your desk an amazing recycling idea?

Oversized Ornament “Caps”

globe lights as ornaments

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Globe light fixtures- especially the pressed glass versions- are ideal for repurposing into oversized Christmas ornaments like these! You can set them in the yard, line your steps with them, or display them on the mantle. Ironically, it helps if you have a kitty at home- because those are cat food cans as the ornament “caps”, too.

Faux Washboard

faux washboard for country decor

Image credit: A Crafty Mix.

For anyone who loves primitive or farmhouse decor, here’s a tin can craft you can’t miss. This washboard is completely DIY, made from wood and- you guessed it- a tin can. A can that is cut and flattened out like a sheet of paper recreates the “ridges” on a washboard surface quite perfectly.

Tin Can Crafts for Tea Lights

tin can candle holders

Image credit: Refresh ReStyle.

Stackable candle holders are ideal for your outdoor living space. And this tin can craft is a perfect example of it, reusing those tuna, chicken, or cat food cans. First, give them a quick makeover, and then fill them with coffee beans (or sand) and a tea light.

Craft Room Organization in Soup Cans

upcycling a metal utensil holder into art supply storage

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

It really is true: soup cans have all sorts of reuse potential after you’ve cooked in the kitchen. They’re easy to paint and decorate so that you can repurpose them to hold any number of items. For those of us with kids or lots of craft supplies, they are perfect for keeping things like markers, pens/pencils, and paint brushes tidy.

Upcycled Treat Baskets

diy treat baskets with wine cork handles

Image credit: Pillar Box Blue.

Here’s a double-upcycled project to make: DIY treat baskets from tin cans. And the handles can be made with wine corks or wooden spools, whichever you’ve got more of on hand. While these were made with Easter in mind, you could personalize them for any sort of holiday or celebration.

Outdoor Lighting

outdoor lighting with vintage coffee cans

Image credit: The Heathered Nest.

The graphics on vintage coffee cans can’t be beat. But these outdoor light fixtures could truly be made from large popcorn or cookie tins, as well. Either way, they make for such a unique form of lighting on your pack porch or patio.

Wall Pockets

wall pockets made from tin cans

Image credit: Our Crafty Mom.

Wall pockets are such a fun way to create a hanging “pocket” for plants and flowers. And larger tin cans are a great material to make them with. Plus, you can customize the look with paint, decoupage, and other techniques to give it the style and look that you love.

Industrial-Style Tin Can Crafts

Industrial style decor with a wooden tool caddy

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

If you love the look of industrial decor, then file away this easy upcycle idea. A plain wooden tool caddy was given a crate-style makeover with stencils and hardware. And a trio of soup cans got a darker metallic makeover to round out (pun intended) the look.

Tiered Cans

vintage tin cans as tiered organizers

Image credit: Lora Bloomquist.

Vintage tins really do have fabulous graphics and don’t require any sort of makeover. But an upcycle like this is a great way to organize your supplies AND appreciate their graphics and designs.

Tin Can Crafts for Fall

tin can pumpkins

Image credit: Creatively Beth.

Every autumn, my motto of “anything can be a pumpkin if you try hard enough” proves true. Even tin cans, as it turns out. A collection of cans in various sizes are perfect for creating simple fall pumpkins that can be used decoratively throughout the Fall season.

Fabric-Wrapped Cans

recycled cans from crafting with flannel book

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

If upcycling those tin cans with paint or decoupage doesn’t appeal, try fabric instead. Wrapping cans in fabric (flannel, in this case) is a great way to give them a brand new look quickly and easily.

Coffee Can-isters

coffee cans as storage canisters

Image credit: The Navage Patch.

With the right makeover, coffee cans from the office break room can become fantastic storage canisters. Paint and and placemats are all you need to make these Chock full o’Nuts coffee cans look fabulous while keeping random bits and bobs safely tucked away.

Tin Can Crafts

tin can crafts to make

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods, Hearth and Vine.

There really are endless possibilities when it comes to upcycling those metal cans from soup, beans, coffee, and more. And while there is nothing wrong with chucking them in the recycle bin, nothing beats the satisfaction you feel when you create with them instead. I hope you found some tin can crafts and inspiration here for your next recycle bin project!

Craft on!


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upcycle ideas for tin cans

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.

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