I’ve found a lot of the products I purchase come in tin cans. While I always recycle them, I also try to find creative ways to repurpose them. If you are looking for creative uses for tin cans, try one of my fun suggestions below!
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Easy and creative uses for tin cans
As a first step, properly clean each can and file any sharp edges. Consider lining the edges with Duct or masking tape for extra protection. As a reminder, please supervise your children during these crafts.
Make a Tin Can Vase
Remove any labels from the can and spray with white paint for a simple vase and lovely centerpiece. With a little water and some brightly colored flowers, you’ve just added a touch of spring to your table! You can even leave the can unpainted for a more rustic look.
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DIY Upcycled Ribbon Organizer
If you have ribbon in your house for wrapping gifts, it can often get tangled beyond repair. Make a DIY ribbon organizer and keep your ribbon nice and organized for free. You can paint your old cans and add stickers or decoupage for a festive look.
Indoor Herb garden
Take several cans and create a unique herb garden! After you remove the labels, paint your cans the color of your choice, or simply leave plain. Using a hammer and nail, poke a few holes in the bottom of each can and fill with soil. Plant a different herb in each can, using a decorative plant marker to label each. Line them on a tray facing the sun and watch your garden bloom.
Make a tin can phone
Remember that old game of telephone you played as a kid? Help your child make a tin can phone out of your empty cans. Here is a quick run down on how to do it:
- Wash the empty cans and carefully dry them.
- Hammer a nail through the base of the cans to make a hole in each one.
- Insert one end of a string through one of the nail holes. Tie a knot in the end so it doesn’t slip back out. Repeat with the other end of the string.
- Hold one tin can, and give the other tin can to someone else. Send them into another room to see if your voice carries over the string.
Cheap Kids Craft Supplies
Whether you use them to store paint brushes in or decorate them for the holidays, old tin cans are incredibly useful. Make sure they have no sharp edges on the inside where the lid was removed. If they do, you can sometimes file them down with a metal file to smooth them out.
Outdoor utensil holder
Using a touch of glue and some attractive scrapbook paper, decorate the outside of three tin cans. Choose the colors or patterns of the paper you use to match the season or holiday you are celebrating! At your next picnic, fill the tins with forks, knives and spoons, and place next to your plates and napkins. The brightly colored cans will add a nice touch to your outdoor table.
Small, round tin cans, such as the ones that hold canned tuna, are great for organizing small desktop items like paperclips and pins. Place several open cans in a large, shallow desk drawer and fill with various office supplies.
Next time you go searching for a rubber band or push pin, you’ll find they are much easier to track when neatly contained! Check out Suburbia Unwrapped for this DIY desk organizer made from upcycled tin cans.
Tin can bird feeder
This project can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. Poke a hole in the base of a tin can and thread a string through the hole. Tie a knot in at the top. Next, glue a dowel to the inside base of the can to act as a perch.
Fill the can with seeds and hang it sideways from branch. If you want to get creative, paint the can and use a decorative ribbon instead of plain string – see photo for inspiration.
No creative uses left? Recycle tin cans, please!
I’m sure your family goes through a fair number of tin cans. What creative uses have you found for them? If you have no other ways to use them, definitely toss them in the recycling bin. Or, offer them up to crafters in your area or on Craigslist. Tin cans should never end up in the trash can!
Like these creative uses for tin cans? Try these upcycling tips, too:
- Creative Uses for Brown Paper Bags: From paper bag crafts to homemade book covers, learn to reuse paper bags instead of throwing them away.
- Creative Uses for Egg Cartons Once You Eat All the Eggs! I have become quite the queen of upcycling and reusing egg cartons is incredibly helpful in many ways.
- How to Recycle Soap and Creative Uses for Soap Around the House: I am going to share with you a few tips on how to recycle soap so that it stops going to waste. I will also share with you a few creative uses for soap around the house.
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.