I love to repurpose and upcycle the things around me, especially what others would consider trash. With my latest project, I have made some cute repurposed tin and soda can planters.
I have made many different types of tin can planters in the past, such as my beautiful Marimekko planters. But these planters are different, as they are hanging planters. Also, the shape of the cans has been altered, so that they hang better.
I’ve made hanging soda can planters and planters out of food cans. Both are made in virtually the same way.
These planters have a wire handle and can simply be hung from a nail. But I did make a wooden hanger and put my house number on the planters. When planted with succulents, this makes a cute display outside the front of my home.
This is a very easy and affordable craft. The planters cost almost nothing to make and don’t require any specialist tools.
What You Need To Make Soda Can Planters
- Empty soda cans or beer cans. I just used standard 330ml coke cans. Use bigger or smaller cans to make bigger or smaller planters.
- Tin can opener, pliers and scissors
- Old wire or craft wire
- White paint
- Paper napkins
- Mod Podge / decoupage glue
- Acrylic Sealer
How to Cut Up A Soda Can
Step 1: First, using a tin opener, take off the top of the soda can. With a good standard home tin can opener, this should be very easy to do.
The lid should come off cleanly, but if there are any sharp edges, just dull them with a file.
Step 2: Next, with the tip of some sharp scissors, pierce the bottom of the soda can. Go as close to the base as you can. Then cut away the base.
If you haven’t cut tin with a pair of scissors before, you will be surprised at how easy it is. It’s almost as easy as cutting paper. Don’t worry about any sharp edges at this stage.
Step 3: Next, flatten the bottom of the soda can, so that the cut edges meet. Then using a pair of pliers, fold up the squashed edge by about 5mm.
Folding the bottom edge can hide any sharp edges. It also makes the bottom of the can more leakproof. It won’t make the soda can planter completely watertight though.
This is a good thing, as it allows for drainage in case you overwater your succulents.
Step 4: Then using an awl, pierce a hole in the top of the soda can near the lip. Then place another hole directly opposite. After decorating the cans, you will be able to thread a length of wire through the holes, to make a wire handle.
Using Food Cans
Step 5: If using food cans, remove the top and bottom of the food can with a tin opener. Then squash the bottom of the can, so the edges meet.
Food cans are harder than soda cans to squash. I recommend using a hammer to flatten the base. There are no sharp edges with the base of the food can, so no need to fold over the flattened edge.
Decorating the Soda Can Planters
Step 6: The planters can be decorated with paint or decoupage. I decorated the soda can planters with Marimekko paper napkins. I had some leftover from other Marimekko crafts I’d made. Also, I just love their patterns and designs.
First, I painted the soda cans white so that the cans logo wouldn’t show through.
I then used the paper napkins to decoupage the cans. Cover the can in Mod Podge. Separating the napkin layers so that only the top layer is used.
Cover the can in the paper napkin. Use some screwed up plastic wrap to push the napkin onto the tin.
Step 7: When the paper napkin has dried, sand off any overlap. Then cover the outside of the napkins in another layer of Mod Podge, to provide protection.
Decorating The Food Can Planters
Step 8: I painted the food can with a white undercoat I then painted them a variety of blue colours just using some paint sample pots I had.
When the paint had dried on the tin cans, I decoupaged a number on the front. My house number is 153, so I painted and decoupaged 3 planters with the numbers 1, 5 and 3.
You can download the sheet of numbers I used here.
Finishing Off The Tin And Soda Can Planters
Step 9: Use a length of wire to make a hanging handle for the can planters. Thread the wire through the punched hole in the top of the can. Then secure the wire in place by twisting it with some pliers.
If hanging the planters outside, spray them with acrylic varnish to protect them from the elements.
Planting The Soda Can Planters
Step 10: Finally, plant up your soda can planters with either succulents or flowers. As mentioned before the base of the planters will let some water through. This is a good thing as it will aid drainage, in case you overwater your plants.
I also add a layer of small stones in the bottom of the cans to help with water drainage. The stones also give the planters a bit of weight which makes them more stable.
I’m no expert when it comes to planting succulents, but there are some great expert tips here.
Hanging The Planters
All that is left to do is to hang the planters. They can be hung on a nail on the wall, or you can make a simple wooden hanger using scrap wood and knobs.
I think that the planters look good hung together in groups of three. They can be hung vertically or horizontally, depending on the space you want to fill. Because the cans have been flattened, they hang better than if they were left unsquashed.
The Numbered Planters
My house number is 153, so I hang the numbered planters in that order. I just can’t decide which way to hang them.
- Old soda cans, coke cans or beer cans
- Wire for hanging
- Paper napkins for decoration
- Decoupage glue such as Mod Podge
- Acrylic spray varnish
- Tin opener
- Awl or sharp object for punching holes
- First, using a tin can opener, take the top off the soda can. File any sharp edges.
- Next, using a pair of scissors cut away the base of the soda can. You should have a soda can tube open at both ends.
- Squash the base of the can so that the bottom edges touch. Then using the pliers, fold over the bottom to hide any sharp edges.
- Using the awl, punch two holes into the top of the soda can. Just below the lip and the same distance apart.
- Next, paint the can with a white undercoat. This is to hide the printed logo on the can.
- Then using Mod Podge and a paper napkin, decoupage the tin can. Once the glue has dried, remove any excess paper napkins by sanding the edges.
- Thread a length of wire through the holes to make a wire handle. Use pliers to secure the wire.
- Spray the soda can planter with acrylic spray varnish to protect it.
- Finally, plant the succulents. Use a base layer of gravel before adding the soil.
You can find many more green craft ideas here.