Up Cycle Your Empty Food Cans To This!

7 Materials
1 Hour

This is an easy and frugal garden craft for anyone to do and it actually can serve a purpose. Kids, seniors, garden club members or anyone that wants to be creative can re-purpose used food cans into garden accessory containers. You will see that I also recycled one can into a lovely DIY hostess gift.
 SHOP for seed packets that would make a pretty label.  This was the fun part. Our local home improvement store had hundreds of varieties to choose from. The prices varied from 79 cents to $2.49.  Look for colorful images that are large enough to fit a food can. I tried to select seed packets that didn’t have a lot of writing on them or packets that I could cut the image out easily
 REMOVE the labels from your empty food cans.  Sometimes there is an area of a sticky glue left from the old label. Remove the glue the best you can.
CUT the labels so that you just have the beautiful image. You can keep it as a square or rectangle shape, cut it into an oval or simply cut around the edges of the photo.  Hold the image on the can to make sure it is the right size.
 MOD PODGE the back of the image with a  sponge brush and then place onto the can. I also put mod podge on the can where I was placing the new image label but it isn't necessary.  The image can be easily re-positioned if at first it isn’t aligned. If you are a crafter, most likely you have mod podge and sponge brushes in your craft supplies but if you don’t, you can easily find both at Wal-mart or your local craft store.
 MOD PODGE over the entire image.
While the mod podge is still wet, smooth out the label with your fingers so there are no creases.  Be sure to press firmly on the edges with your fingers or sponge brush to ensure the edges don’t lift up.  Wait for this to dry and apply another coat of mod podge. Let the final coat completely dry.
 SPRAY VARNISH on the inside and outside of each can to help prevent rusting since most likely these will be kept outdoors. It also helps seal the water based mod podge.  Be sure to spray the varnish outdoors where it is well ventilated. I had this varnish in my art supplies but any protective spray varnish will work.
When the  varnish is dry, you are ready to fill your new garden containers with your garden accessories.
Plant an herb and give to your helpful neighbor to say thank you!
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Diane and Dean DIY

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


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Pearl
    on Mar 15, 2018

    Do you think the boa that cans are lined with will leach into the herbs ?

  • Pearl
    on Mar 15, 2018

    Do you think the boa that cans are lined with will leach into the herbs ?

    • Trudi
      on Apr 8, 2018

      They already make sealers that are not toxic. I believe the mfr. is AMC. It is called SafeCoat AcriGlaze. They also make one for wood, so if you make your own wood bowls.

  • Barb
    on Jul 28, 2018

    Should holes be made in the can bottom for water drainage?

Join the conversation

2 of 19 comments
  • Daisy@TX
    on Jan 26, 2019

    I like this. I have been saving two size cans for something like this but I didn't quite know what. Now I have it. Thank you.

  • Nancy P
    on Jan 31, 2019

    I think it’s very pretty I will try it

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