Recycled Tin Can Wreath DIY Tutorial

3 Materials
2 Hours

This rusty, country style wreath may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it looks right at home in my rural garden, so I’m sharing it just for fun!

While going through old garden magazines last year, I caught just a glimpse of the side of a tin can wreath hanging in the picture of a garden, so of course I felt the need to make one. I threw a bunch of dog food cans in a tub of water to soak outside for a few weeks and start the rusting process.

After dumping the cans to dry, I creased them in the center with the side of my foot, and drilled a ½” hole through them.

I used twenty eight, 22 oz. cans for my wreath, and a 5 ft. length of heavy fencing wire. Cans are heavy, my wreath still sagged a bit, but the fencing wire helped it hold a circular shape. 

A small loop was bent in one end of the wire to hold the cans as they were threaded on. I did a pattern of three as I threaded .. two with the crease one way, them flipped the third, but they can be put on any way you want. 

After all the cans were threaded on, the wire was cut close to the end, a hook was shaped to go into the loop, and squeezed tight.

That’s it, easy peasy.  

My wreath has been hanging in the garage for the last year, out of sight, out of mind, until now.  An awesome find of a big bird nest, dislodged from one of our pines during a recent thunderstorm, prompted me to adorn my wreath with Mother Nature and hang it in the garden. A step out to the gravel road provided a few stones for makeshift eggs; a little surprise for my four year old granddaughter when she sneaks a peek … she’ll be delighted!

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Vicky Kloppenborg

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Karen Long
    Karen Long
    on Aug 30, 2019

    How long did it take for the cans to rust?

    • Em
      on Aug 8, 2020

      Use a plastic bucket or plastic storage box. Pour white vinegar in and swish item around or sit in and use a spray bottle to get the top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Take out of vinegar and spray with hydrogen peroxide. Let bubble. Toss salt on top. Let sit another few minutes rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Some say you can mix all 3 ingredients in a spray bottle but have not tried it that way. Takes about 10 minutes.

  • DD53
    on Aug 25, 2020

    I love this idea and can’t wait to accumulate enough tin cans to make it. Do you know what gauge wire you used to make the wreath?

    • Vicky Kloppenborg
      Vicky Kloppenborg
      on Aug 25, 2020

      Thank You DD53! I'm sorry, I don't know the gauge. My husband says he's always heard it referred to as #9 wire. What I have came from a salvage pile so I really have no idea what it's original use was, but I do believe it is purchased in a coil. Maybe try a farm supply store.

  • Renee Willard
    Renee Willard
    on Aug 29, 2020

    Wondering if a person could use a heavy wire hanger then formed in a circle? Smaller cans perhaps?

    • Vicky Kloppenborg
      Vicky Kloppenborg
      on Aug 29, 2020

      Worth a try Renee! With smaller cans it may be strong enough. The dog food cans I used were heavy and needed the heavier wire. Please, if it works for you, let us readers know.

Join the conversation

3 of 37 comments
  • Doreen Kennedy
    Doreen Kennedy
    on Sep 9, 2020

    I love collecting rusted cans. Your wreath is adorable

  • Cathy Mahnken
    Cathy Mahnken
    on Feb 24, 2021

    Yes can't wait to try this! Going to use less cans therefore wreath will be smaller. Christmas gifts for 2021 here we go. Did you drain water off cans at anytime?

    • Vicky Kloppenborg
      Vicky Kloppenborg
      on Feb 25, 2021

      I hope you have fun with the project Cathy! I left mine outside in a tub of water until I was ready to use them, the longer the better. Because of their composition, most cans will not rust completely, but I like the variation in color. I did discover that this is also a good place for wasp to nest. It didn't bother me because it is in my garden, but you may want to be watchful if it's hung near where children play.

      Please share a picture here when you're done, I'd love to see what you create!

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