The last several weekends have passed by in a blur of weeds and wood chips at my house. We moved to last summer and didn’t dedicate much time to the outside while we were unpacking and settling in. So this year, as the warm spring weather woke up perennials and emboldened weeds to start invading the landscaping around our porch, it was time to get down to business.
I enjoy getting my fingers into the dirt, so after eradicating the weed armies with my bare hands, I headed off to a nearby greenhouse, eager to plant some cheery flowers around the house. I returned an hour later with several flats of flowers. And by “several,” I might mean several more than what I actually needed.
You see, I have a tendency to overestimate how many flowers I’m actually going to need for planting. And there’s always this nagging voice of warning in my mind too: You better grab a few extra because you’ll probably manage to kill a few.
Ya gotta have back-up plants, my friends. It’s the prudent thing to do.
Several days later, after planting several deck boxes, adding splashes of color to the landscaping with some annuals, and safely tucking some “spare” flowers into pots behind the garage, I still had a few flower plants left over.
What to do. What to do. The flower-loving romantic within cringed at the thought of simply tossing them carelessly into the trash. So she slipped a brilliant idea into my mind: You have a bunch of tin cans in the recycling bin right now. Why not turn them into little planters for these leftover plants and see if they’ll grow inside?
And that’s exactly what I did. Well . . . minus the part about using the leftover plants. When I pulled out my box of random leftovers from other craft projects to use for the project, I ended up finding some faux floral stems that just looked so sweet tucked into the finished flower pots. I never did end up using the leftover plants.
I’m sorry, cute little begonias. I let you down. (But trying to keep you alive inside was a pretty iffy enterprise to begin with. Your odds weren’t very good either way.)
Using up some odds and ends I had at home, I came up with several fun designs. And the best part? I got four out of the five planters I made were put together in just a half hour. (I decided to stain some popsicle sticks for fifth one, which required a little extra time for drying before assembly.)
These upcycled cans are a fun, easy project for crafters of any skill level. I hope you pick one (or two, or more…) to try, and enjoy letting your creativity play around with this sweet little project.
- empty tin cans, any size
- hammer and nail
- craft glue or hot-glue gun
- For Twine-Wrapped Planter: twine
- For Burlap and Ribbon-Wrapped Planter: Burlap, ribbon
- For Popsicle Stick Planter: Popsicle Sticks, Stain, Old rag
- For Mossy Planter: Adhesive-backed mossy material, twine
How to Make:
- Before you begin, remove the labels and wash out the cans with soap and water. *I used some Goo-Gone cleaner in order to fully remove the adhesive left behind by the labels.
- If you plan to use these pots for real flowers, you’ll need to add drainage holes to the bottom. Simply grab a hammer and nail. Tap the nail through the tin, and then pull it back out to create a small hole. Place 3-4 drainage holes on the bottom of each can.
- Place a thick line of glue along the “seam” of the can, leaving approximately 1/2″ – 3/4″ free along the top and bottom of the can.
- Place two other lines of glue on either side of this first line, about a 1/2″ apart.
- Place the end of the twine at one end of the glue line and begin wrapping it around the can. Each time you pass around to the back of the can, press the twine down along the lines of glue, securing it in place.
- Cut twine with scissors.
Ribbon/Burlap Wrapped Planter
- Choose ribbons of varying widths, or use a wide piece of burlap with a narrower ribbon.
- Measure the distance around your tin can, and then add 1.” Cut your bottom piece ofburlap/ribbon to this length.
- Secure one end of the ribbon/burlap to seam side of the can with glue. Wrap around and secure other end with glue.
- Now tie a longer length of ribbon around the can and secure with a knot at the front. (I just left the ribbon on the spool while I tied it around and trimmed to the length I needed after tying the knot.) Trim ends of ribbon if necessary.
Popsicle Stick Flowerpot
- If desired, stain popsicle sticks in stain of your choice. (I just used an old rag to smear a small amount onto each stick and then swiped it with a clean section of the rag to create a bit of variation in the stain. Mine were dry by the time I finished taking a lunch break.)
- Squeeze glue onto the back of a popsicle stick and then place along side of can, making sure that the bottom of the stick is pushed down against your work surface. (This will ensure that the top edges look nice and even.)
- Repeat this process until the can is covered. (I did have a very small gap between my starting stick and my finished stick. But it’s the back of the flowerpot where no one will see.)
- Place a couple of rubber bands around the can so sticks will stay firmly pressed while the glue dries.
Mossy Green Flowerpot
- Measure the height of your can, and the distance around your can.
- Cut a piece of your mossy material to these dimensions.
- Remove adhesive backing of mossy material and press around can.
- Tie a length of twine around the can.
- Clean up all the little mossy green pieces that fall all over the place while you worked with the moss! (This was the “messiest” of my can designs, for sure!)