upcycle food cans

How to make: upcycled storage cans

Are you like me and keeping all these pretty, empty food cans and containers rather than tossing them away? The hot chocolate is finished again and all that’s left is an empty tin can with a lid…but no, I don’t throw it away, because maybe…maybe I will need such an exact container someday for something very important. And then I will be very happy that I was so clever not to get rid of it. Sounds familiar?


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Today I got an idea for you to actually put all these empty cans to use. First of all: looking beautiful is the main goal and what ever follows is a bonus. To decoupage cans and containers is not at all a new idea, so take this tutorial as a reminder and the images as an inspiration. With this very easy technique all your hidden-in-the-cupboard, empty cans will take the front row on the shelves. Where they belong, these pretty bastards.


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How much more fun is making a tea, when you get your teabags out of a pretty upcycled tin can? Or pouring your cereal every morning from that container wrapped in this gorgeous paper, that just makes you smile every time you look at it…


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Store your art and crafts supplies in them, put flowers in, keep your spices or your kids’ treasures in these upcycled storage cans. Or use them as gift containers.


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Finally give all the collected cans and containers the task that they are here for. But make them pretty first. Here is how…


To upcycle cans you need:


upcycled storage cans material

  • empty, clean cans
  • pretty paper (I got mine from FLOW magazine international)
  • mod podge/wall paper glue
  • craft brush
  • cutting mat and craft knife
  • metal ruler



Preparation: prepare mod lodge or wall paper glue like instructed on the box.

1 – Messure the hight and the perimeter of your can and cut the paper into the right size (add a bit on the length, so that the paper will overlap) with the craft knife, cutting mat and metal ruler.

upcycling storage cans cutting


2 – Paint a coat of glue over the can.

upcycled storage cans putting glue on

3 – Apply also glue to the backside of the paper.

upcycled storage cans putting glue on paper

4 – Stick the paper onto the can while it’s still wet. Carefully rotate the can and press the paper on, rub out the bubbles. Apply more glue wherever the paper doesn’t stick.

upcycling storage cans decoupage

5 – Leave to dry. Done.


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Enjoy your new handcrafted storage containers. Don’t hide them, put them out there. And keep your treasures inside.

Enjoy making!





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