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Recycle for a Greener Tomorrow: Amazing Things to Do with Empty Tin Cans

Tin cans might not seem like the most exciting thing in your house but, believe it or not, they’re actually a really crafty resource to have around! We’ve stumbled across quite a number of amazing ideas recently that were made from tin cans and we were so impressed that now we’re kind of obsessed with the idea. That’s why we’ve been keeping our eyes peeled lately for new concepts to make with the things from our recycling box, rather than just putting them by the curb!

Just in case you’re feeling about as intrigued by the idea of getting crafty with tin cans as we were, if not more, here are 15 of the designs that we’ve come across so far in our search for inspiration.

1. Pop can earrings


Having access to a can that already has some colour to it is a blessing because it’ll help you add some extra personality to your project where most metals just give you silver finishes to work with! That’s exactly what The Beading Gem used here to create the flowers in their lovely tin can earrings, letting the red of a pop can stand out against the silver to really grab people’s attention.

2.  Pop can candle holder


Particularly if you’ve always had a love for things that are slightly more industrial themed in their aesthetic, here’s a project that will help you make something more old fashioned in function but metal and modern looking in style! We love the way Aurelia’s Little Room carefully curled stripped pop cans in to make a candle holder that’s almost steampunk in its finished look.

3. Sparkly pop can lanterns


Just because you’re making something out of recycled metal doesn’t mean it can’t also be a great example of glitz and glam! This lovely hanging lantern project from Guidecentral is the perfect example of what we mean. They show you how to make the right cuts and bends in the metal to let a tea light candle show through, as well as how to add sparkles to the strips for some excitement!

4. Pop can keychain


Perhaps the idea of making something from a branded pop can that once held your favourite soda really appeals to you, but mostly because you like the design and logos rather than just the bright colour of the metal? In that case, we have a feeling you’ll get a really big kick out of the way Diary of A Crafty Lady made these little heart shaped pop can keychains, sealing the metal with resin to soften the cut edges.

5. Beautiful pop can fall leaf wreath


Not everything made from tin cans has to be pop culture inspired or industrial looking! It’s actually quite possible to make something very pretty and delicate looking as well. This stunning metal leaf fall wreath created carefully by Saved by Love Creations is the perfect example of what we mean. Their tutorial even shows you how to change the colours of the leaves!

6. Festive pop can stars


Have you long admired vintage Americana style stars that are often seen in places like old farmhouses or traditional hotels that have been downtown for a century? Well, buying the authentic thing can get a little pricey, so we’d suggest starting with this impressively accurate looking DIY version that Milo Made shows you how to created from different kinds of metal can.

7. Pop can butterfly wind chimes


Just like most metals, the metal that pop cans are made from will make a light tinkling sound if it taps against another kind of metal, making it a great material for wind chimes! That’s why we were so pleased to stumble across this cute little DIY wind chimes idea from Made by Marzipan! Their tutorial teaches you how to cut the butterflies out of pop cans.

8. Tin can cookie cutters


In our house, baking cookies together is one of our kids’ very favourite things to do but we often find that they want to create shapes that we don’t own cookie cutters for and they’re too little to freehand it successfully. That’s why we also love following this tutorial from DIY Home Sweet Home to make custom cookie cutters from pop cans in any shape we please!

9. Tin can pin cushion


If you ask us, one of the best things in the world is when one crafting project makes one of our other DIY projects a little easier to do! That’s why we thought this tin can pin cushion was such a neat idea. Not only do we get to make it, but we get to keep on using it afterwards while we make other things! Get the full details for making one of your own on Design Sponge.

10. Cute tin can crown


Perhaps your kids’ absolute favourite thing to do at home is actually play dress up, so some of the most popular crafts in your house are ones that they can make now and wear after? In that case, we have a feeling this absolutely stunning tin can crown, outlined in detail thanks to Robin Dudley Howes, will be right up your alley! We love the way they embellished it with old jewelry.

11. Summertime tin can lanterns


Did we actually really catch your eye when we mentioned tea light candle lanterns made out of tin cans but you’re just not sure that the previous style we showed you was quite the one for you? In that case, perhaps you’ll get along better with this hole punched design version outlined step by step on Inhabitat instead!

12. Tin can craft caddy


Has your favourite idea so far on our list actually been the one where we talked about using your DIY skills to make something that will help you make even more things later on? In that case, we think you simply must look at the way Cynthia Shaffer made an entire craft caddy out of tins cans! It even turns, Lazy Susan style, to make the things organized into each different can accessible.

13. Outdoor drink holders


Have you ever been spending time in the backyard with your kids and wished that you could put your cold drink down at the end of the yard where you’re playing a game with them, rather than leaving it in the grass where it might get kicked over or walking all the way back to the patio to put it on the table? Then we think you’ll really enjoy the way Positively Splendid made these awesome drink stands using tin cans that have been decoupaged and attached to the end of poles embedded into the grass.

14.  Mini tin can grill


Just in case nothing you’ve seen so far has been quite as unique and functional as you were hoping for when you started venturing into the world of tin can crafts, here’s a design that will actually help you make yourself food! We’re completely obsessed with the way Dian Thomas outlines the steps for making an actual working miniature frill from a simple tin can, some tinfoil, and a bit of  grating.

15.  Outdoor tuna can lantern


Perhaps you’re kind of intrigued by the idea of making something involved a tin can on the end of a pole because you see so many possibilities for your backyard but you’re not convinced you’ll actually use the drink stands? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how In My Own Style made these fantastic vintage looking glass lanterns out of shallow rounded tuna cans!