Repurposed Tin Can Planters DIY

As a child, I loved gardening. I was in charge of my mother’s huge rosebush and I loved to plant other things as well. Now that I live in my own space, I unfortunately do not have a garden. One day, when these things were getting me down,  I realized that it had never occurred to me to have some houseplants. I right away set about finding planters. When I found these at ikea, inspiration was a natural next step. They look almost  like tin cans.

img src: ikea

If you’ve been following my blog for a few months already, you’ll have learned that I love to up-cycle. While I admit that I’m not as crunchy as I’d like to be, I still care and I love the challenge of finding a new use for something that seems to be gone. While we can recycle, the process of reconstructing the recycled products uses lots of resources as well. In March, I repurposed tin cans as Winnie the Pooh themed food packages. This was one of my most popular articles so far. Those that I gave the packages to used them as pen holders, and my aunt even used it as a vase.

I think the vase may have been the final inspiration for these flower pots. This is not like my usual tutorials which brings more step-by step directions, as it’s really just idea-sharing. Since the materials really depend on you, instead of a materials list, I’ve linked to the recommended products. I will be happy to hear you share your own ideas in the comments area below.

STEP 1 PREP CANS
These use the super-large Hunt’s or Redpack tomato sauce cans (I think they’re 28 oz.). I ALWAYS open them using a safety can opener such as this one and of course they are scrubbed and dried.

STEP 2 – DRAIN HOLES
I forgot to photograph mine before they were filled, so here’s a bottom view with the soil peeking out. The holes were made using a hammer and a nail. We may need to make more – I will have to see if this provides adequate drainage, but I do think it will.

STEP 3 – EMBELLISH
As you can see they do look a bit plain as is.

Unleash your creativity! This is the most fun part of course. I actually did it backwards and potted them first as I had already bought the herbs and they did not come in proper pots. There is more you can do if you first decorate and then transfer the plants. I used Gorilla Glue with ribbons. It would probably have gone smoother using a hot glue gun or E-6000. You can try spray paint, or decoupage on some tissue paper. You can even try to “enamel” it using the techniques described here, although there is a lot of ground to cover (no pun intended.) Or, you can dip the bottom half in paint for a color block effect. I actually like the industrial look of the tin cans as that was the inspiration for using them in the first place, but the small ribbons did not detract from that and simply softened it up.

STEP 4 – POT ‘EM
Of course, you need to transfer your pots. These are lemon thyme, peppermint, hypoestes, and exotic angel plants. I’m not sure if the last two are poisonous or not, so we may have to get rid of them once the baby starts getting around more. I don’t have enough cans for them yet – I think I need to do another batch of eggplant dip.

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10 Comments

  1. What a great way to use the cans. This reiterates my notion that most everything is reusable!! 🙂

  2. This is such a cute idea. I have been thinking lately of trying to come up with a cheaper way to plant plants (besides buying pots)

  3. This is such a cute idea. I have been thinking lately of trying to come up with a cheaper way to plant plants (besides buying pots)

  4. These are so cute. A great way to reuse a tin can.

  5. Your inspiration becomes my motivation! How darling and what a cute gift that would make too! Love it! I’m buying cans in large sizes from now on!

  6. I love this! Way to upcycle & reduce, reuse, recycle! 🙂

  7. I love this idea. So simple yet so much can be done with them. Thanks for sharing.

  8. This is one of those, why didn’t I think of that! It’s fantastic 🙂 My youngest son especially loves to plant the seeds from the fruit he eats and I’m constantly running out of pots and having to say no. Now we can! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. This is such a great idea. And even when they look rusty, they will look “rustic.” I may need to get out there and lines some shelves with cans and see how that looks.

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