Inside: A tutorial on the easy way to decoupage tin cans for outdoor and indoor use. With a list of different decoupage materials, you can use at the end.
I partly made these decorative tin can planters to use up some of my paper napkin stashes!
Whenever I go into a Scandinavian/Nordic interior shop, I wander around swooning over all the beautifully designed furniture. I can’t afford the furniture but don’t want to leave empty-handed, so I buy a pack of Marimekko paper napkins.
Marimekko prints are a favourite of mine and have used their designs in lots of nordic crafts and DIYs. I even have a Marimekko wallpapered staircase in my home and a unique decoupaged Marimekko bench in the garden.
DIY Colourful Spring Decorative Tin Can Planters
This time I thought it would be fun to show off lots of the Marimekko designs in one go. That’s when I got the idea for making a load of upcycled decorative tin can planters for the garden with paper napkins. I love repurposing tin cans into planters and collecting them throughout the year.
You may think you aren’t a paper napkin decoupage addict like me. And you, I don’t want to buy lots of packets of paper napkins, to make some decorative tin can planters.
Well, you don’t have to; many sellers on eBay sell paper napkins in small amounts specifically for decoupage. You can easily buy a variety of Marimekko paper napkins without having to buy lots of packets.
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Materials Needed For Decoupage
- Empty tin cans – I used lots of the normal soup-sized cans and a few big catering tin cans.
- Marimekko Paper Napkins – As I have mentioned on eBay, you can buy just a few napkins at a time rather than a whole packet for each design. You only actually need one napkin per tin can.
- Drill with a steel drill bit
- Small Stones
- Potting soil
- Bedding plants
How To Decoupage Tin Can
Step 1: Spray paint the tin can planters before decoupaging them white. The paper napkins are very thin, and the planters will look better with a white background.
I think tin cans in various sizes look great with this upcycle.
Step 2: Next, cut up the Marimekko paper napkin to the size of the can to be covered. I used a rotary cutter and mat for this.
With the larger cans, you may need to use more than one paper napkin per can.
Step 3: Next, cover the whole of the tin can in Mod Podge or other decoupage glue. It is best to add glue to the can, not the napkins, as they are very thin and likely to tear.
Step 4: Then, separate the cut three-ply napkin to the top printed ply. The ply layers should separate more easily if you gently rub the paper napkin between your thumb and forefinger.
Carefully lay the paper napkin onto the Mod Podge covered tin, and press down using a large foam brush. Wrap the napkin around the tin until it is all covered.
Step 5: Once the glue has dried, spray paint the decorative tin can with at least two coats of acrylic varnish. Allowing the varnish to dry in between coats. This will help protect the decorative tin can planters from the elements,
Making The Tin Can Planters
I planted the Marimekko tin cans the same way I planted my colourful tin can planters.
First I drilled holes in the bottom of the cans for drainage. I then added a layer of stones before the potting soil and bedding plants.
Now, all that is left is deciding how to display the decorative tin can planters. I sprayed my Marimekko planters with acrylic spray as I wanted them outdoors in the garden rather than indoors.
They brighten up the brick wall in my traditional Victorian walled garden.
Decoupaging with Other Materials.
Even though paper napkins work well when decoupaging tin cans, other papers and materials can also work well, such as;
- Gift wrap – check out these tin can Easter baskets.
- Old road maps – Maps can make a tin can upcycle special if you use maps of places relevant to you
- Fabric – Fabric decoupage can look vibrant; check out this fabric vase.
- Wallpaper samples are just the perfect size to wrap around a standard tin can.
- Book pages, newspapers and magazines
Other Related Craft Ideas
One thing is for sure these Marimekko planters are a cheap and easy way to add a lot of colour to my garden. I’m busy saving more tin cans to upcycle into decorative planters.
I think the more, the merrier. I’ve even made some oriental vase tin can planters for the garden to add to this collection.
I have an indoor version of this craft with the Marimekko mini bud vases made from upcycled Yakult bottles.
This post featured in the 50 best upcycles for the garden.