Recycle Metal Cans into Hanging Flower Baskets for a Spring Party! - CraftStylish

Crafty by Nature

Crafty by Nature

Recycle Metal Cans into Hanging Flower Baskets for a Spring Party!

comments (6) May 3rd, 2009     

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susanstars Susan Beal, contributor
Love it! 31 users recommend
These pretty pink ivy geraniums fill the hanging planter so nicely!
A small row of beads is a pretty accent among the leaves and flowers.
These hanging baskets are very easy to make and so inexpensive compared with the ones at the nursery.
These pretty pink ivy geraniums fill the hanging planter so nicely!

These pretty pink ivy geraniums fill the hanging planter so nicely!

Photo: Susan Beal
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I made four simple, pretty hanging "baskets" to decorate the backyard for my daughter's first birthday party and filled them with ivy geranium starts in assorted shades of pink—such a fun project! All you need to get started are clean, empty metal cans, some potting soil, galvanized wire, and trailing plants of your choice. I added a few beads to each wire for fun, but the possibilities for embellishing these are endless—my husband liked the look of the plain metal cans, so we kept the outsides simple, but you could also paint them or add rows of sturdy lace or ribbon, glued-down cabochons, stripes of beads on elastic or wire, or anything else that catches your eye.

What you'll need:

  • Large, empty metal cans
  • Drill or hammer and nail to make holes (I used both)
  • 20-gauge galvanized wire
  • Wire cutters and pliers
  • Beads or other embellishments (optional)
  • Pebbles and potting soil
  • Trailing plants (I used ivy geranium starts in three shades of pink, but petunias, begonias, spider plants, or others you like could be lovely)

1. Use a drill or hammer a nail to make several small holes in the bottom of each can.


Make holes spaced all around the bottom of the can.

2. Next, drill three holes near the upper rim of the can, spaced evenly around the perimeter, where you'll attach the wires to hang your planter.


The holes I drilled were about an inch below the rim.

3. Cut a generous length of wire (mine was about 2 feet long), slip it through the first hole you drilled in step 2, and form a wrapped loop, clipping off the end after you've coiled it three times. (If you'd like a wrapped loop 101, I have a short video showing how I make them here.) Repeat with the other two holes so that you have three wire tails to form a hanger later on.


Wrap your wire three times or so before cutting the tail off.

4. If you'd like, slip a few durable beads you like onto each wire strand. I alternated clear and pink on each one.


I used cheerful acrylic beads that won't mind rain or dirt at all.

5. Now add a thin layer of pebbles for good drainage at the bottom of the can.


The pebbles should just cover the bottom of the can but don't have to be thickly layered.

6. Add potting soil over the pebbles, leaving space at the top for your plants. Now that your hanging basket has some weight to it, hold the three wires tautly above the can so that they hang evenly. Choose about how long you'd like the wire section to be, and make a large loop with all three wires there.


Form a simple loop with all three strands of wire, large enough to slip easily over a hook or peg.

7. Using your fingers or a set of pliers, wrap the three wire tails around to form a coil below this large loop. Wrap them two or three times total, and clip the ends neatly once they're secured.


Wrapping the coil at least two or three times with all three strands makes a strong bond.

8. Add your plants in the configuration you like! I mixed three different colors of ivy geranium starts I got for 50¢ each so that they peeked through each space between the wires and the beads caught the light.


These ivy geraniums will continue trailing downward and to the sides to fill the hanging planter!

9. Make as many as you'd like, and hang your new planters on hooks or pegs along a fence or patio!


I hung my four planters along the fence in my backyard.
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posted in: beads, wire, how-to, recycle, flowers, easy, crafty by nature, outdoors, cans, planter, hanging basket

Comments (6)

Genie48 writes: If you are worried about rusting, spray with clear acrylic before peircing holes, etc.
You could also spray paint in bright colors.

Posted: 9:17 am on June 1st
Jewelles writes: great idea! I was wondering if herbs would work and hang them in the kitchen .. very cool ty for sharing
Posted: 8:39 pm on July 14th
tsailee writes: I made these this week and love them! So far, we only have 2 but I want to do a total of 6 to hang on our covered porch area to provide some privacy from the next-door neighbors. I used hot pink Wave petunias (love trailing petunias in the summer) and expect them to fill out a lot in the next month or two. Thanks for the tutorial!
Posted: 9:05 am on June 2nd
susanstars writes: Hi, and thanks for the comments! Colleen, they have rusted a bit in a month outside, but not dramatically. If I bring them in for winter, I will put them on something to make sure they don't mark a tabletop or any other surface.

merryme, my best suggestion for plants that wouldn't need drainage holes is succulents - I have some in closed containers in my kitchen and they've done fine. Otherwise, maybe putting a simple rug or towel under them could work, or piercing holes in an old tupperware or other plastic lid and rigging it up under the cans to catch the water? What a fun project to do with your class :)
Posted: 3:30 pm on May 18th
merryme writes: I have saved several cans for just such a project for my pre-k classroom, but I'm having trouble trying to decide how to deal with the problem of hanging plants indoors. The cans will be hung from brackets at the children's level. How do I keep them from draining on the floor? What kind of contraption could I make to catch the water? Or what kind of plants wouldn't require drainage holes at all? The answer's probably obvious, but I can't seem to get past this step.
Posted: 2:50 pm on May 3rd
colleenclevernesting writes: How do the tins do long-term with rusting?
Thank you, Susan, for these great instructions! I'm going to pass this post along!
Posted: 8:33 am on May 3rd
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