“Turning Trash into Treasure: Upcycling Empty Food Cans into Artsy Planters”

“Turning Trash into Treasure: Upcycling Empty Food Cans into Artsy Planters”

Turning Trash into Treasure: Upcycling Empty Food Cans into Artsy Planters

I absolutely love finding creative ways to reuse and repurpose items that would otherwise end up in the trash. It’s so rewarding to turn something destined for the landfill into a beautiful decorative piece for my home. One of my favorite projects is transforming empty food cans into cute little planters for succulents and small houseplants.

Gathering Materials

The first step is gathering up a variety of emptied tin cans. Soup cans, bean cans, tomato cans – anything with fun colors, shapes, and sizes will work! I save cans from foods I regularly eat like chickpeas, coconut milk, tuna, and beans. Just make sure to rinse them thoroughly after emptying to remove any food residue.

You’ll also need some basic craft supplies:

  • Acrylic paints in fun colors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sandpaper
  • A drill with various sized bits
  • Twine or jute string
  • Hot glue gun

Preparing and Painting the Cans

Once I’ve gathered a good stack of potential planters, I start prepping them for paint. It’s important to lightly sand the surface to help the paint adhere better. I use a fine grit sandpaper and simply rough up the sides and bottom of each can.

Next, I wash the cans with soapy water and let them fully dry before moving onto the fun part – painting! I like to paint the interiors first, usually in a bold color. Then I’ll do the exteriors in a contrasting color or fun pattern. Let dry fully before proceeding.

Drilling Drainage Holes

One of the most important steps is drilling drainage holes in the bottom of each can. I’ll use a 1/4″ drill bit for most cans. The holes allow excess water to drain out so your plants don’t get overwatered.

Be sure to drill several holes spaced out in the can’s bottom surface. You can place a piece of scrap wood inside the can while drilling to prevent the drill bit from puncturing the other side. Drilling drainage holes is crucial for your plants to thrive!

Adding Twine Handles

Once the painted cans are fully dry, it’s time to add the twine handles! I cut lengths of jute twine, often in a contrasting color, and hot glue the ends onto opposite sides of the can near the top rim.

Crisscrossing two pieces of twine makes a cute handle for carrying or hanging the planter. I’ll wrap the twine ends around the can and secure with more hot glue. Handsome hangable planters!

Planting Succulents and Plants

The final step is choosing petite plants to pot inside the upcycled food cans. Miniature succulents like baby hens and chicks or tiny aloe vera cultivars are perfect. Small cacti, herbs, or compact houseplants also look wonderful.

First, put an inch or so of potting soil into the bottom of the can. Gently pack the soil around the plant roots and leave a half inch or so at the top. These food can planters are so adorable on windowsills but also make thoughtful gifts!

Upcycling food cans into artsy little planters is one of my favorite DIY projects. It keeps useful items out of landfills and results in charming decorative accents for my home. Get creative with paint colors and plant choices – the options are endless!