Mini Tin Can Christmas Tree – Upcycled Crafts

8 Materials
2 Hours

Are you looking for a fun and simple Christmas craft to make from recycled materials? Here is a quick tutorial on how to make a cute mini Christmas Tree decoration using items from your recycling bin.

Step 1 – Gather Tin Cans

For this project, you will need several different-sized tin cans. I used cans in the following sizes, 46oz, 24oz, 15oz, 10oz, and 6oz.

Advertising Disclosure: Upcycle Design Lab may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services or your clicking on links posted on this website.

Step 2 – Use Safety Can Opener

Before you consume the canned goods, be sure you have a safety can opener. Safety can or clean edge can openers allow you to open your cans without leaving the sharp edges left by a regular can opener. These unique openers also leave a short curved lip on the can lid.

Step 3 – Rust Tin Can Lids

This step is optional, but I like the finish better once the shiny silver has been removed. You can find how I quickly rust tin cans and prepare them for projects in the video below.

Step 4 – Paint Tin Can Lids

I used my lazy painting method to cover both sides and the edges of the lids. To use this method I started with the darker green color, I used a paintbrush to dab on some color in splotches. As I mentioned, I like the rusted finish underneath, so I don’t cover the entire piece with paint. Next, the light green color is layered on top using the same technique.

Step 5 – Cut and Paint Wine Corks

For the tree trunk, I cut five wine corks in a graded stair-step pattern and painted them the same way as the tin can lids.

Step 6 – Wrap Wine Corks

Then I used three more full wine corks glued together in a triangle shape and wrapped them in some twine to make the tree’s base.

Step 7 – Assemble Pieces

Starting with the largest can lid, I used a combination of E6000 glue and hot glue to attach all the pieces. I like to use these two types of glue together when I need a quick hold from the hot glue and a more permanent heat-resistant hold from the E6000 glue. Then I assembled the pieces from largest to smallest alternating between the cans and the cork pieces.

Step 8 – Seal the Finish

Once the tree pieces were assembled, I used some glossy mod podge to seal the mini Christmas tree decoration.

Step 9 – Make Tree Ornaments

To make the mini tree ornaments I used a gold foil candy bar wrapper. I started by cutting the wrapper into small squares and then shaped each square into small, loosely crumpled balls. I have also used colored foil gum wrappers for this step. Five gums peppermint flavor is my favorite, and it comes wrapped in pretty blue foil. 🙂

The second part of making the Christmas tree decorations is to glue a small piece of wire inside each ball and finish crushing the foil into a small solid sphere.

The final step for the ornaments is to trim off the excess wire and bend a slight curve into the end. The hook allows the ornament to hang on the lip of the tin can lids.

Step 9 – Decorate

To complete my mini Christmas tree Decoration I used some gold cord, my handmade foil Christmas ornaments, and a tree topper made from gold star sequins to decorate my Christmas tree. Once the decorations were in place, I secured them with a little bit of the mod podge to keep them on the tree.

Thanks for checking out my post.

Happy Upcycling,


Advertising Disclosure: Upcycle Design Lab may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services or your clicking on links posted on this website.

Suggested materials:
  • Tin Cans
  • Mod Podge
  • E6000 Glue
See all materials
Cindy @ Upcycle Design Lab
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 6 questions
  • Vik20865138 Vik20865138 on Oct 26, 2021

    What are the paint colors you use? The pic is too small to read the colors on the front and the finish -- glossy, matte, flat, etc. Looks like a fun thing to try. Thanks for sharing!

  • Eileen Eileen on Dec 16, 2021

    Sweet trees!

    Could you paint and mod podge all the pieces before you assemble them?

  • Jeannette, FL Jeannette, FL on Oct 25, 2022

    I think these are adorable! Thanks for sharing.

Join the conversation
4 of 35 comments