Tin Can Topiaries

by OnTheFly...DIY
10 Materials
1 Day

Love topiaries and want to make a set out of recycled materials? Here's a fun, low-cost decor project that will have you upcycling your soup cans and using scrap craft items around your house.

You'll need several clean and de-labeled (is that a word?) cans. Please take care when cleaning out as the inner edge can be sharp. (And yes, technically, these are made of steel and tin but 'Steel and Tin Can Topiaries' doesn't sound as cute) :)

To spray or not to spray, that is the question. Do you want your cans 'el natural' or no? I adore this gorgeous Oil Rubbed Bronze metallic finish but I didn't want all of the cans to look exactly the same so I ended up spray painting only half of them.

Gather your materials! What are you going to turn into a topiary? It could be as easy as going outside and gathering pinecones or acorns! I used all sorts of things I already had around my house - chopsticks, drinking straws, clay pebbles, twine, leftover moss from another project, masking tape, wire, even a small glass bowl and a drawer pull! You'll also need a hot glue gun.

For a moss ball, I simply wadded up a tight ball of masking tape and hot glued moss over the entire surface. I finished the can by tying some twine around it.

I did the same thing with clay pebbles - a tight wad of masking tape plus hot glued pebbles!

Chopsticks plus craft wire plus moss equals...

...a mossy pyramid. I added the broken end of a curtain pull back as a finial!

Heavier wire plus craft wire plus moss plus a pine cone equals...

...an orb with pine cone center, sitting on a bed of moss.

Or this - spray paint some drinking straws...

...break apart pine cones into 'flowers'...

...and wad up another tight ball of masking tape. Hot glue the pine cone 'flowers' on and add it on top of the bundle of straws.

This one's ridiculously easy - hot glue a drawer pull on to the bottom of a decorative glass bowl.

You could stuff the inside with something but I liked the visual contrast of the clear glass with the other topiaries.

You get the idea! Keep making topiaries until you have as many as you want. I grouped them together and displayed them in my Simple Wood Box (see separate project tutorial for directions on how to make that). Mix and match with different heights for an eye-catching display.

Here's an easy to follow video tutorial covering the same steps!

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  2 questions
  • Laura Whitter Laura Whitter on Oct 29, 2020

    How do you get rid of the sticky goo left from the labels? Please don't tell me Goo be gone. I've tried that and soaking and some glues JUST don't seem to want to come off. Only way I got it off of many cans was to leave them outside for a month until the glue dried and flaked off with a wire brush. Great ideas. Love recycled products.

  • Nancy curtis Nancy curtis on Nov 08, 2020

    What did you use for the bead one

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  • Ella Ella on Oct 28, 2022

    Love this one, a good trash to treasure and so very easy, you could if inspired spray paint the cans different colors for different hollidays. Thanks for the share.

  • Mary Russell Mary Russell on Oct 28, 2022

    I'm 79 years old now but still remember my mom,who couldn't always afford to buy flower pots,doing this with metal cans she would get from the backwoods roadside dumps.When I was young and lived in the country,many people never had any trash disposal as such,so someone would start a dump over the side of a steep hillside out in some remote area and next thing you knew there was a local dump.