Practical Crafts: Tin Can Storage and Recycled Gifts

Tin Can Storage

The old storage system.

Unless you are one of those lucky women with a vintage vanity table ripe with little drawers for all your make up and treasures, or Carrie Bradshaw with a fabulous medicine cabinet for keeping your girlie necessities, you might, like me, find yourself with a storage problem. I am lucky enough to have my own counter top in our bathroom; however, that counter top has only one shallow drawer and a cabinet underneath (which is home to toilet paper). My girlie stuff, then, has been allocated to various organizers on the counter to make it readily accessible. Clutter ensued. Then I had children and putting make up within their reach has led to a number of mid-afternoon baths. Needing a new solution, I enlisted mini plastic drawers. These worked okay, although the kids still got into them. And it looked even more cluttered. I needed a solution.

Enter Tin Can Storage. This project is so easy, I hesitate to even call it a craft. It has taken care of the clutter, got the make up out of little fingers range, and made it easy for me to see and access my stuff. (I did have more make up that the storage allowed for–this forced me to go through my drawers, throw out expired stuff, and figure out what I really use. The less used stuff went with the old plastic drawers into the cabinet where I could still get to it, but it wasn’t taking up space.)

Materials:

6 or more tin cans, washed and sterilized with one end open (use a smooth edge can opener)

Hot glue

Drill or electric screw driver and screw OR large nail and hammer

Optional: Pretty paper, paint, fabric, or other decorations

Preparation:

  1. Make sure your cans are clean and dry. Figure out how you want the connected cans to look on the wall. You might do a row or staggered pairs. I did a sort of flower with one larger can in the middle and a number of smaller cans on the outside.
  2. Glue the cans together so that any touch sides are adhered. Make sure the closed ends of the cans are level so they will hang flat on the wall. Let dry.
  3. Pre-drill a small hole from the back of the cans. It will save you time and annoyance.

    Make a hole in the back of one of the central cans. You can do this (like I did) by using the electric screw driver through the back. Or take the large nail and drive it through the back of the can with the hammer to create one large hole.

  4. Adhere your cans to the wall (I just used a single screw through the hole I created).
  5. Store your stuff! In my case, I arranged my products clockwise in the order in which I use them. I love this because I can start at the top and work my way around in a quick, easy manner. If you have longer items, like brushes or pencils, you might tuck them in the cracks between cans to give them a nook to rest in.

The new storage system. Love!

A note on decorating: I was making this while my kids were working on one of the projects below, so I wasn’t really concerned with the aesthetic of my cans. However, you could certainly paint them one or many colors, wrap them individually in fabric or paper, or embellish them in a number of other ways. If you elect to do so, I would do it before gluing them together. Or if you don’t have time for that, you might follow my lead: I gave mine the Norma Desmond treatment by wrapping them in a leopard print scarf pinned with a vintage costume broach.

I love this solution and plan on creating other variations of it for storing things in my kids’ rooms and our craft area.

 

 

 

Recycled Gifts

We had several things going on this past weekend, including my mother’s birthday and Father’s Day. I found my 5-year-old digging through the recycling bin on Saturday morning because she wanted to make a present for her grandmama. So Saturday saw our creation of the Water Bottle Bouquet and Plastic Cookie container which led to Sunday’s creation of the Tin Can Wind Chime.

Our final product featuring four Water Bottle Flowers and two Easter Egg Flowers.

Water Bottle Bouquet

Materials:

Plastic Water Bottles

Craft Knife

Scissors

Paint

Large Buttons

Craft or hot glue

Chop sticks, twigs, or other thin, strong wood remnants (ours were pieces from a bamboo mat that is falling apart)

Tin can, one end open

Rock or other small weight

Optional: Ribbon, stickers, beads, etc. for embellishment

Preparation:

  1. Make sure the water bottles are clean and dry. Cut off the tops of the bottles (where the smooth part meets the textured part is best). Leave the lid on the bottle. Make cuts from the detached edge to the mouth of the bottle so that you have strips. These can be as wide as you like, depending on what size you want your petals. Bend the strips back to open the ‘flower.’
  2. Allow children to paint the petals. Painting on the outside will cause the petals to look shiny from the front. Painting on the inside will make them mat. Let dry.
  3. While the flower are drying, paint the sticks if desired and let dry. You might want to cut the sticks or find sticks of different heights to add more dimension to your bouquet.
  4. Decorate the can which will serve as the vase.
  5. Once the flowers are dry, glue large buttons on the inside of the bottle top (opposite the lid) to serve as the center. If you don’t have buttons, you could also use spare bottle caps or some other light, large round object. If desired, you may round the edges of the petals to make them more flower-like. My daughter didn’t want to do that, so we left them square.
  6. Glue the stems to the bottle cap on the back of the flower.
  7. Arrange the flowers in the vase as desired. Place the rock in the bottom of the can to balance the weight of the flowers.

Easter Egg Alternative: We end up with plastic Easter eggs coming out of ears every year, so we always have a few for projects (or snack containers). Instead of water bottle tops, you can use Easter Egg tops. Cut the strips around the egg, leaving about a one inch circle in the center. Bend the petals back. Allow the child to paint it and adhere the stems as noted above.

Carrot cake cookies!

Now what did we do with the bottoms of those plastic bottles? So glad you asked.

We filled them with vegan carrot cake cookies, slipped the open end of one into the other, closed it with duct tape, and added a ribbon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for hanging!

Tin Can Wind Chime

For Father’s Day, Liliana and Alex took advantage of those tin can lids I had leftover from my storage project and created a wind chime (with some help).

Materials:

9 tin can lids

Small nail and hammer

20 paper clips

String

Optional: Paint

Preparation:

  1. Clean the lids and make sure there are no sharp edges. Place the nail at the top of a can lid and tap with the hammer until you have a small hole. Repeat with 7 of the 8 remaining lids.
  2. For lid number 8, tap 10 small hole around the edge of the lid. Eight of these will be for the chimes and two for the hanger, making this your base.
  3. Paint or decorate all lids as desired.
  4. Slip a paper clip into the hole in each lid. Put a paper clip in each hole in the base. Use a string to connect the base paperclips to the chime paper clips. You might try different lengths of string to give the appearance of levels. Do four on each side of the base, leaving two unattached paper clips across from each other.
  5. Connect the unattached paper clips to each other using string. You should now be ready to hang your wind chime!

Whew! We had a busy weekend! Next Thursday will bring more ideas for Practical Crafts, but please check back for other posts in the meantime.

XO

A

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Categories: Feed the Belly, The Little People and Furry Friends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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