Gorgeous Colorful Planters to Brighten up Any Small Garden.

12 Materials
2 Hours

I live in a Victorian semi-detached house with a lovely but small walled garden. There isn't much space for growing plants, so I tend to grow things in pots that I can then stack on a stand.

I love to make colorful vertical planters for the garden and last year I made an amazing Morrocan one out of a pallet, which you can see here.

This time I used tin cans and instead of Morrocan I went all Nordic (Finnish) with my styling!
To achieve the Finnish look I used paper napkins in designs from the Finnish interiors company called Marimekko. I had quite a collection, as I love looking round Scandinavian furniture stores but can't afford to buy any of the furniture so I just buy a packet of Marimekko Napkins instead.

I know you may be thinking that you don't want to buy that many packets of napkins there are however sellers on eBay that will allow you to buy a selection of different paper napkins specifically for crafting.
The first thing you need to do is to prepare your tins for decoupage. This just involves painting them with a white/cream spray paint as an undercoat.
First, you will need to separate out the layers of the 3 ply paper napkins. I only decoupage with the top printed layer.
Next, cut your paper napkin to the size of the tin can.
Cover the tin can with a good decoupage glue like Mod Podge (see here).
Then using a foam brush carefully stick the paper napkin to the tin can.
Once dry cover the outside of the tin cans with another layer of mod podge.
Once the outer Mod Podge layer has dried, you will then need to spray the cans with an acrylic varnish to protect them from the elements. If you are just using them indoors you can skip this.
Carry on covering each tin can with a differently patterned napkin.
To use your decoupage as planters, drill a couple of holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.

Then add a layer of pebbles or broken stones in the bottom followed by potting compost and your plants. For more details visit the blog.
As you can see these planters are a riot of color in the garden. They will definitely brighten up any small space. Also as I'm a huge fan of the designs of Marimekko it's a great way to show them off.

You can, of course, use paper napkins in any design you prefer, look on eBay where you can buy mixed packs of napkins as you only need one per tin can.
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Claire at Pillarboxblue

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 18 questions
  • Delphaine
    on Jan 16, 2020

    Instead of paper napkins, how about using printed craft paper That comes in books and is a little heaver for the decoupage?

  • April Collier
    on Jan 16, 2020

    What about the inside of the can? Doesn't it need to be coated? Can they be sprayed with the acrylic?

  • Lizzie
    on Jan 16, 2020

    Trying to fix a chair used to be my mother and I don't know in Miami where to by cane webbing


Join the conversation

4 of 155 comments
  • Sandra K Barnes
    on May 17, 2020

    Did this and distributed 1 to ea of my card club buddies on May Day.

  • AlisonMary
    on May 20, 2020

    Great, they look hand painted just makes them really eye catching. I'm all for plain background and over the top colour for garden accessories, colour you may not be able to incorporate in with the home decor, the garden/balcony should be "out there"

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