At the beginning of the year, I decided to be more conscious of the things I throw away. Once I started, I realized that I was tossing out some pretty good stuff that could be repurposed for something entirely different than its original purpose. Tin cans have turned out to be the most versatile of all. I am honestly amazed at how many ways you can repurpose a tin can! It’s very simple to fix them up and make them absolutely unrecognizable as a tin can too.
How to prepare tin cans for use
Before reusing tin cans for any purpose, remove the lid and sand down any rough edges. Remove the label and wash the can thoroughly. Dry completely. When ready, you can spray paint the tin can a nice color, or even cover it with heavy-duty craft paper. Embellish with ribbon, craft tape, or other accents.
Once you begin collecting tin cans for a future purpose, you’ll see that you go through a lot of them. I was shocked at how quickly mine added up. And because there are many different sizes of cans, they can each be reused for something different. Here are some ideas for you to start.
Candle holder – 30 ounce tin cans, like those that hold spaghetti sauce or whole tomatoes, work great as a candle holder. Before fixing up the can for decorating, drill holes in the can to release a pretty light pattern as the candle burns.
Luminaries – Keep bugs away by placing citronella candles in small tin cans outdoors. Or, use larger cans to line walkways, driveways, or walking paths at night. Again, drill holes all around the can so that it releases the light.
Table centerpiece – Need a quick centerpiece idea? Cover several tin cans in pretty craft paper and add a few flowers to each one. Arrange a line of cans down the middle of the table, and you’re done. You’ll be surprised at how pretty the finished product looks. You can also repeat this look on top of the fireplace mantel.
Craft organizers – Need a place for the kid’s crayons, scissors , markers , and other craft supplies? Paint several tin cans bold primary colors, and decorate them with letters and numbers. Use the cans to keep all art and/or craft supplies attractively organized. This idea works for adult crafters, too!
Cutlery coral – It’s a simple way to use tins cans, a piece of wood, and a strip of leather to form a portable cutlery holder. It’s bright and pretty, and made of 100% recycled materials. Love it!
Cotton ball and Q-tip holder – Old tins cans are just the right size for holding cotton balls, Q-tips, gauze pads, band aids, and other small items in the bathroom.
Outdoor planters – Drill holes in the bottoms of lots of different tin cans, and bracket them to a oversized piece of plywood. Plant your favorite plants or flowers in the tin cans, and voila! A living wall filled with an assortment of outdoor planters.
Birdhouses – Give our feathered friends a place to nest with an adorable tin can birdhouse. These adorable birdhouses hang from branches in the backyard, and only use a handful of materials to make. Ribbon, an old tin can, paint, and a dowel rod are all you need.