Recycle Your Tin Cans into Simple, Stylish Craft Storage!

comments (7) January 18th, 2009     

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susanstars Susan Beal, contributor
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Heres a top view of the beaded can-turned-scissor-storage, with the top strand showing.
All you need for this project is a clean, dry can, elastic and a needle, and some favorite beads (oh, and scissors and a hot-glue gun, which arent pictured).
I put two beaded necklaces on the can for contrast—they fit nicely into the metal grooves.
Heres a top view of the beaded can-turned-scissor-storage, with the top strand showing.

Here's a top view of the beaded can-turned-scissor-storage, with the top strand showing.

Photo: Susan Beal

Before you take the recycling bin out to the curb this week, why not snag a plain aluminum can for an instant upcycling craft project? I saved some large and small cans and converted them to easy, pretty storage solutions for my work table—this one corrals all my scissors, while others hold my covered-button kits, fabric markers, and other crafty essentials. There are a thousand ways to decorate your cans, but I like this simple beaded "necklace" that adds a horizontal stripe of color!

For one beaded can, you'll need:

  • A clean, empty can (make sure it doesn't have sharp or jagged edges)
  • Assorted beads of your choice
  • Elastic and a beading needle
  • Scissors
  • Hot-glue gun

1. Cut a piece of elastic about twice as long as the circumference of your can. Thread it with a beading needle (I like to use the twisted wire style with a collapsible eye) and add a piece of doubled clear tape or another stopper at the other end.

2. Randomly string beads onto your elastic (or follow a repeating pattern if you prefer) until the length of the strand is approximately the same as the can circumference, which you can quickly check by winding the strand around the base of the can. Once it's comparable, lace the strand around the can and tie a tight knot (pulling the elastic sharply so it grabs the can tightly), doubling it for security.

3. Snip the knot's tail ends and slip the knot into a bead if it fits. Adjust the beaded strand to the part of the can you want to embellish. If you like, secure it in place with a few small dabs of hot glue under the beads (especially if they are heavy).

4. Repeat to create a second (or third, or fourth, or however many-th) strand to decorate your can with!

Variations: How about using different beads or colors for each strand? Or adding charms along the way to dangle on the beaded stripe?

Did you make this?
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
posted in: recycle, embellishment, easy, beaded, storage, simple, can

Comments (7)

MarkSindone writes: Looks like something easy enough to do. Great idea which looks like I could modify by grabbing some of the nails and screws from my toolroom or from storage and hammer them into a tin can to get something similar!
Posted: 10:32 pm on August 31st
CameronRobertson writes: That's truly a great way to recycle stuff into something useful. I can personally foresee that I'll be using this idea to reuse and recycle tin cans into garage storage for nails and bolts and screws. The metal will have to be treated for rust once the wrapping comes off though, but that's easily solvable with a good coat of paint. That will also solve the problem of the can lookiong too girly for the my mancave haha! Thanks for the great idea!
Posted: 10:46 pm on June 15th
MrsBoopster writes: Hi I am new to this thread.
I have saved a bunch of vegetable cans for a craft project I would like to do in my teen Sunday school class. I need some ideas, any help would be greatly appreciated.
So far my ideas are to decorte the can and fill it with peppermints, candy canes, and maybe a few other small candies like chocolate balls, etc. I am thinking about using scrapbooking supplies to decorate the cans. Should we use a Christmas theme since they are for the women in the church for gifts or an anytime theme to be used throughout the year?

Posted: 2:43 pm on November 1st
kikoo writes: Hello!!
Esta manualidad me gusta porque tiene la sencillez, hermosura, calidez y buen gusto, de un utilitario reciclado.
Te felicito Susan Beal y continuaré mirando tus creaciones.
Un saludo lleno de cariño, desde La Floresta, Dpto. Canelones, Republica Oriental del Uruguay.
Posted: 4:48 am on January 30th
b_ziacoma writes: Neat idea...I just started saving cans and other miscellaneous food containers to use for craft items, etc. Thanks for some inspiration!!!!
Posted: 8:06 pm on January 28th
meganc writes: I love finding new uses for old cans, too. I drive my husband crazy with my large collection of glass jars and cans waiting for a second life.
I sewed slipcovers for cans several months ago after being inspired by a project on the blog Elsie Marley.
Here's a link to my interpretation:

Posted: 7:38 pm on January 19th
AKUA writes: I have long believed in and used tin can storage... and the challenge of getting cans wa met when i visited my grocery store and got their wonderful oversized cans (from their in store restaurant). These industrial sized cans are great for my rulers and knitting needles. I like the sleek, retromodern, neutral look of cans and they enable me to see just what color pencil or marker i if only everything else could be so easily, efficiently, or inexpensively organized.
Posted: 6:50 pm on January 18th
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