Craftivism Craft Ideas- Tin Can Crafts

Published on July 28th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe

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8 Craft Ideas for Tins and Cans

Craft Ideas- Tin Can Crafts

Last week Craftzine linked to an awesome tutorial for deconstructing cans over at Adaptive ReUse. Since then, I’ve been sort of obsessing with craft ideas to reuse the metal that would normally hit our recycling bin.

Some of these projects involve taking the tins apart, while others use the entire thing to create something fun and new. There are project ideas for a bunch of different skill levels, so don’t fret if you’ve never done any metal crafting before!

Ready to get reusing? Me, too!

Tin Can Craft Ideas: Beginner to Intermediate

Craft Ideas: Tin Can Phones1. Craft Bits has an easy peasy tutorial for turning an empty can into a sweet little lantern.

2. Looking for something more kid-oriented? Check out this uber-adorable coffee can totem pole from Family Fun.

3. Of course, there’s also always the good old tin can telephone, if you’re looking for more kid-friendly projects.

4. Here at Crafting a Green World, Jackie shows us how to alter tins with just some paper and glue!

5. I’m digging this nature-inspired pencil holder from Mustard Seeds.

Tin Can Craft Ideas: Advanced

Craft Ideas: Tin Can Unicorn

6. If you want to try something fancier, why not sculpt with pieces of tin can like this majestic unicorn (pictured left)? Deconstruct the can, cut up your pieces, and get sculpting! For more inspiration check out the rest of these pictures from the Red Bull Art of Can exhibit.I’m imagining that there is some sort of molded form underneath this sculpture…maybe papier-mâché? How do you guys think something like this would work?

7. With some beer- or soda can tops, a drill, pliers, and s-hooks, you can turn those can tops into a really rad wall adornment or room divider. (pictured right)

8. Grab your Dremel and your tin snips, and you can transform old cans and tins into a lovely necklace like this one from Urban Woods Walker. If you’re feeling less into donning leather gloves and protective eyewear, you can also pick up Urban Woods Walker jewelery in her Etsy shop!

Have you done any fun crafts with tins and cans that were headed for the recycle bin? Tell us about it in the comments!

Finally, all of this can talk has one of my favorite scenes from The Jerk playing on a loop in my head:

Image Credits:
Work Desk. Remixed Creative Commons photo by Urban Woods Walker
Tin Can Phones. Creative Commons photo by Julia Tenney
Red Bull Art of Can Exhibit. Remixed CC photo by eschipul
Beer Can House. Creative Commons photo by eschipul



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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://www.adaptivereuser.com Christine Terrell

    I’m flattered that my deconstructing tins post was so inspiring. Thanks for putting together some great examples of reuse here. You might also check out a current doyenne of tin–Harriete Estel Berman. http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info/

  • http://www.mustardseeds.typepad.com Janna

    Thanks for linking to my blog and tin can tutorial!

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