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Inevitably you have chucked a few tin cans in the garbage or recycling bin before without considering their potential for thrifty crafting. Reusing is great for both the environment and your wallet, so why not turn this trash into treasure? Today’s post features five ways to repurpose tin cans for both practical and decorative purposes.

1. Twine Vases

The Thrifty Crafter took the olive and artichoke cans she bought for a party and used them to create twine vases with white lisianthus for the table centerpieces. After cleaning the cans, she simply sprayed them with adhesive and then tightly wrapped around the twine. So not only are these eco-friendly, but they look so elegant. I love the look of the natural twine with the crisp green stems and white flowers. Simply gorgeous!

eco friendly twine can craft

2. Pincushion

This project is great for using up some of that scrap fabric. Susan from Living with Punks turned an almond can into a chic pincushion for her craft room. She adhered the fabric to the outside of the can with Mod Podge and then stuffed fiberfill into the can to give it a little cushion. After topping it with a circle of fabric, it was ready for sticking! Susan jazzed hers up a bit with a funky flower that she made from the top of the almond container.

Tin Can Pincushion

3. Clutter Catchers

I have seen many great projects that demonstrate the organizational power of tin cans. This clutter cup idea from HGTV though is one of my faves, as it offers a creative solution for managing small toys and craft materials. By hot gluing heavy duty magnets to the backs of tin cans, they can easily be retrieved and then stored on a steel cookie sheet. I gotta admit that I am wondering if the cans actually hold to the cookie sheet without sliding off. Anyone tried this?

4. Tea Light Holder

Scott from What I Made… turned a baked beans can into this elegant tea light candle holder. Scott assures that with the right tool (in this case, some tin snips) it is just like cutting paper with scissors (so don’t be scared off!) On top of “creating beautiful things out of junk", Scott is an awesome illustrator and features hand-drawn instructions for projects like this one.

tin-can-tealight candle

5. Herb Garden

Angela from Secrets of a Super Mommy and her daughter worked together to create an herb garden using old tin cans. I love that you can get your kiddos involved, not only with the creation, but the upkeep of this project. I remember how Isaac used to get so excited about helping water and take care of my garden. These colorful planters would also be pretty for displaying flowers on a patio or porch.

Tin Can Herb Garden

Do you stockpile reusable items like tin cans? If so, how do you repurpose them?

Thanks for visiting “5 Ways Saturdays!”

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  1. These are great ideas, Beckie! I don’t routinely save tin cans, but seeing these ideas makes me think I should think twice before I toss them into the recycling bin.

    Remember coffee cans? I miss coffee cans. Those were the best for so many uses. My aunt used to bake pumpkin bread in 1 lb. coffee cans–the loaves were beautiful and made the most elegant-looking round slices!

    My favorite thing to do with a coffee can when I was a girl was to poke holes in the plastic top and use the can to collect baby frogs. I always let them go, of course (who wants grown-up frogs?), but coffee cans were the perfect vessels for holding such collections!

  2. You can buy heavy duty magnets at Lowe’s. I glued them to sippy cups and yes they stick right where you put them. I’m certain the supply cups would stay.

    I love the little herb garden, so cute.

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  4. I stockpile glass jars to the point of my husband’s annoyance but don’t really know what to do with them besides turning them into vases. I would love it if you did a “5 ways” segment on them!

  5. Love these ideas! I was just going to run to the dollar store to pick up some storage for the numerous crayons,pencils,markers etc. that are creating chaos in one of my kitchen cabinets, but now I’m just going to use some soup cans instead!

    BTW- so great to meet you yesterday! I wish we could have talked a bit more- I’m a little more shy in person 🙂 Hope we get to do it again sometime!

  6. Love the twine…that’s my new favorite thing right now actually:)
    The herb garden is really cute, and wow, the tea light holder is gorgeous! How creative.
    Thanks for the FB shoutout, BTW! I appreciate it- you’re awesome,

  7. I was bummed about that too. You were the only one I didn’t feel like i had connected with. Boo! I would have liked to get to know you better.

  8. I agree! I think tin cans are becoming more rare…at least the large ones. I think they still do that size in bulk at places like Costco and cash N Carry. I used to do the same thing with lightning bugs!

  9. Great ideas! I love anything that deals with storage and functionality. Only problem I had with this was the tea light holder…wouldn’t the edges of those cut up cans be sharp? Maybe not such a good idea for anyone with children or pets.

  10. Good stuff! Not only do I save my tin cans, I find myself buying certain foods *because*of the can (that’s when you know it’s bad!) ….love that idea of attaching them to a board as a catchall center. If I was nimble enough to handle the slicing, those votive holders would be all over my house!

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