Easy Tree Art Recycle Bin or Trash Can Tutorial

3 Materials
1 Day

How to make a cute decoupaged tree art recycle bin or trash can. Includes free printable pattern!
I recently moved to a new city and it has been hectic to say the least! However one of the bright sides of moving has been my new city's recycling program. In my old city they used really small, open crates to hold household recyclables. They totally stunk. In my new city you get a full sized rolling cart that's exactly like a standard trash cart! Score!

Since the new outdoor bin really gave me the opportunity to increase the amount of materials my family can recycle from our home, I decided a new , larger (garbage can size) recycle bin was in order for my kitchen. I found this one at Wal-mart for less than $10. It matched the trash can I already had on hand for garbage but I needed a way for my kids to be able to differentiate between the two. Here's how I solved the problem.
First I sketched and cut out a tree from a roll of brown craft/wrapping/shipping paper.
Then I glued and sealed it on the front of the can using Mod Podge.
Next I cut out leaves from scrapbook paper.
I glued and sealed them in place as well.
I printed and cut out the word "recycle" and added it the top with Mod Podge as well.
Then I was all done!
For good measure I ended up adding "trash" to the top of the other can. Maybe (just maybe) my kids won't mix them up now!

This project was super, quick and easy. If you want to make it even easier, be sure to click on the link below and see the full tutorial on my site. There I have uploaded the pattern for the tree I made as a free printable.

Hope you enjoyed and until next time, happy recycling!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Diana Kremenliff
    on Jul 2, 2017

    Can the can be cleaned with water/soap without graphics coming off?
    • Cindy Corwin Lobb
      on Jan 24, 2018

      I THINK that since you are using Mod Podge and sealing it, you should be able to clean it when needed

  • Eve32031922
    on Dec 6, 2017

    Where can I steal a shopping cart?
  • Jewel Short
    on Oct 23, 2019

    I was definitely inspired about this project. I could not find the tutorial for the printable tree, leaves and words TRASH and RECYCLE. Where is it located? I know you said below but I couldn’t find it.

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