Repurpose your tin cans!

Do you recycle your cans? Try upcycling them into useful or decorative accents around your home instead. Check out these ideas and see if anything inspires you!
 
Customized lanterns. Have a few leftover cans? Remove the labels, then wash and dry the outside so that all residue from the labels is gone. Paint the whole outside of the can in whatever design you like—a solid color, a polka-dot pattern, whatever. Once the paint has dried, fill the can with sand and then water and freeze. Once frozen, use a hammer and nail to punch holes in the can. The frozen sand and water keep the force of the nail from collapsing the side of the can. You could nail holes at random intervals all over the can, or tape a sheet of paper with a printed design to the can and punch the holes along the outline. When you’re done, let the sand and water thaw completely and then empty the can. Insert a lit tea light and set out at your next get-together—or use a cluster of different-sized cans as a centerpiece!
 
Plastic bag storage. Do you have a plastic coffee container with a plastic lid? When you’re done with the container, wash out the inside and dry it, then replace the lid. Very carefully, use a sharp knife to cut a line through the center of the lid, then a line in the other direction, so you’ve formed an “x” in the lid. Remove the lid and fill the container with any plastic grocery bags you save. You can easily reach in through the slit in the lid to grab a bag at any time, and it keeps them all in one place!
 
Grow an herb garden. Use painter’s tape to mark off a section on the side of your can, then go over it in chalkboard paint for an elegant way to label the can. Fill about 2/3 of the way with potting soil, then plant seeds for your favorite herbs. You could also transfer herbs that are already flowering to the cans. Use chalk to mark the paint with what herb is in which can!   
 
Craft holder. Save, wash and dry a few tin cans or small coffee cans, and paint them in a few different colors. If you have a lot of craft supplies, you can use the cans to arrange the supplies in several different ways! You could punch a hole in the top of the can just under the lip, thread with wire, and then hang a few of them from a bar over your desk, so that they are at a slight angle in your direction. You could stack them horizontally on a desk or workstation, so that the mouths of the cans face you. Get them to stay in place with a bit of sticky tack pressed in between the cans. Or you could just cluster them rightside-up on the desk and use like normal! Fill with colored pencils, markers, writing utensils, photo brackets, craft scissors, or tall sheets of stickers.
 
Make candles. Do you dabble in candle-making? Tin cans are a great way to make some customizable (and long-lasting!) candles. You could make them out of anything from small tins (think tuna) to bigger tea tins. Many craft stores have candle-making kits that contain wax, wicks, and all the other candle-making supplies. You can customize the outside of your can to your liking, or just paint it white for a blank slate that the kids can decorate to their liking. This could make a fun afternoon project!
 
Party Favors. Hosting a party and giving away tall favors? What about a party where you want to give away a few different sprouting plants from your garden or the nursery? What about one where the favor is a stack of cookies or a collection of tiny bits and bobs? A set of washed, dried, and painted cans filled with party favors make simple and elegant gifts! If you fill with something that could easily fall out—cookies, for example—cut a length of cloth and secure to the lid with a rubber band or ribbon.  
 
Be careful of any sharp or jagged edges! If you use the cans as a container you’ll need to reach into, it may help to line the jagged edge with a few layers of hot glue so that when the glue dries, you have a blunt edge. How have you made the most of your empty tin cans?

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