Fourth of July Door Decor Made From Trash

4 Materials
2 Hours

Hello There,

I know I am kind of repeating myself here but, I had such fun with my last project, making Alice in Wonderland yard art, I decided to make another tin can art decoration. One of the best things about this project is that you can make it in pretty much any size or shape. This time I made it into a piece that will hang up but you can also make them stand up as I did with the Alice in Wonderland figures.

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For a quick overview of the tools and materials used in this project, check out my Amazon Idea List for this project. If you need one of the items and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I thank you in advance for your purchase. If you just want to check out all the required supplies, this is the easiest way to find that information. Also, read the comments section for the recycled materials you will need to collect.

Step 1 – Gather and rust tin cans

If you have seen some of my other projects then you know I like to use rusted tin cans for a lot of my projects.

I am skipping over the rusting part in this post but if you are interested in how I quickly rust tins can you can check out this video.

Step 2 – Cut and flatten cans

I have a couple of different sizes of scissor shaped tin snips that I use to cut the cans. Once the top and bottom of the can are removed the metal can be flattened using gloved hands (the edges are sharp) and also using a hammer to flatten further.

Step 3 – Layout tin pieces

The size of your art will determine how many cans you will need just make sure to over lap the can at least 3/4 of an inch.

Step 4 – Rivet cans together

This part is a little tricky and hard to explain. The main point is that you want to have the rivets evenly spaced and inside the field of your art and definitely not along the edge where you will be cutting.

I recommend watching this video tutorial even though it is for my other project. It will give you more information on assembling the pieces together and the project as a whole.

Step 5 – Cut out the shape

I chose the USA shape for my door ornament. The easiest way I have found to cut the shape is by holding the paper pattern into the tin cans with some clothespins. And then just taking my time to carefully cut out the shape using the tin snips so that I can capture all the details.

Sorry this picture is from my other project but this gives you the general idea.

Here is my new piece once it was cut out. It needs a few more rivets added but I prefer to add the extra rivets once I can see the finished shape.

Step 6 – Add hooks and hanger

To make the hanger for the back I used some twine, two soda can pull tabs and a small circle of tin can. The pieces are held together with a rivet. Sorry this isn’t the best picture but it shows one side of the hanger on the back of the piece.

Step 7 – Painting

This step is optional and you can add as much or as little paint as you want. I like to use a paper towel to dab the paint around and let some of the rusty can still show through.

Step 8 – Finishing

I used Minwax Polycrylic to seal my pieces but it is recommend for indoor use. So if you have a clear drying product for outdoor use I would recommend using it.

Here is the finished piece. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of it hanging on a door before I gave it away.

Thanks for checking out my project.

Happy Upcycling,


Suggested materials:
  • Tin Cans
  • Tin Snips
  • Rivet Gun
See all materials
Cindy @ Upcycle Design Lab
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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4 of 26 comments
  • Donna Donna on Jul 25, 2021

    Please don’t get me wrong, because I absolutely love your idea of the USA map. I just would like to add an idea for kids, or the big kids in us, ROLLER SKATES 🛼 🛼

    • That is the beauty of this project. You can pretty much make any shape you want. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  • Emmawilliams1 Emmawilliams1 on May 02, 2022

    How beautiful and patriotic...Have bags full of cans...Will try before fourth of July! With everything going on in this world, you brought tears to my eyes! thank you!!!!!!! Of course Memorial day and Flag day coming up so I better get a move on!!!!

    • Hi, I am so happy to hear that my project inspired you. I find keeping my hands busy quiets all the noise in my head. 😊