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Make Your Own Can Planters


Before you toss the empty food cans from dinner, consider this fun DIY planter project! Ordinary tin cans, like those used for soup, take decades to decompose naturally in a landfill. If it is aluminum, it can take even longer—more than 200 years to decompose! Yes, you can recycle your cans (and that’s a great thing to do), but even that requires energy and emits some greenhouse gasses into the environment.

What’s an even greener solution than recycling? Upcycling! Instead of spending your hard-earned money at the home supply store on new planters for the plants in your home, turn your empty food cans into a unique planter you can be proud of.


Keep your cans.upcycledplanters_paint
Save empty food cans like coffee canisters and soup cans.

Gather your materials.
Take a look through your drawers,
and you’ll find that you likely already
have the materials you can use for this project on hand. Grab any paint, stencils, glitter, scrapbook paper, brushes, and papier-mache.

Here are some items that work well:

  • Moss: You can buy moss sheets at most craft stores to cover your planter. upcycledplanters_rocksYou can also glue on seashells or dried flowers.
  • Painted: Paint will rejuvenate any can. Why not take it a step further and use glue to draw a design. Then paint over it, giving it texture.
  • Paper: Take old scrap paper lying around the house or buy paper in fun patterns. Cut the paper and attach to the can with glue.
  • Rocks: You can go outside and find interesting rocks, or buy some at a craft store. Then glue them to the outside with hot glue or super glue (depending
    on the weight of the rock). This upcycledplanters_twine particular planter will blend in especially well outside.
  • Twine: Wrap the whole can with twine, ribbon or yarn, securing it with glue.

Prep the cans.
Once you’re finished decorating, carefully poke a few holes in the bottom of the can using a hammer and a nail, and place a handful of pebbles or glass stones in the bottom of the can to help with drainage.

Share Your Planters
And that’s it! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Not only have you handcrafted a unique planter, you have also done your part to help make the environment just a little cleaner. These planters are perfect for flowering plants, cacti, succulents, herbs, and more!


Try your hand at this craft, and let us know what you think! Post your photos and reviews on American Lifestyle’s Facebook or Instagram pages. #ALMcreate

For more fun DIY projects and recycling tips, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/recycle.

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