How to Recycle an Empty Can Into a Flower Planter
Why Recycle Cans?
I'd never thought about making anything out of an empty food can: I used to throw away the empty cans from the food that I'd already cooked. This attitude changed when the coronavirus came into the world.
A few weeks before the lockdown in Germany, we started storing non-perishable food like canned goods from different kinds of vegetables, sausages, meat, canned bread and many food essentials like flour and sugar. We stored frozen food, too.
Every time I opened canned carrots, peas and sausages, my yellow plastic trash bag for plastics and cans grew heavier. I was thinking that maybe one day, there would be no more men to collect our garbage because of the lockdown. So, I was thinking of recycling the empty cans I have instead of throwing them away—I need planters for my plants on the balcony, anyway. The idea of turning a can into a planter came to my mind in a flash.
Things You Need
- Old newspaper
- Tissue paper or kitchen paper
- 1 empty can (any size you wish)
- 2 brushes (a thin one and a bigger one, as seen below)
- White, green, and red acrylic paint
- Gold oil paint
- 1 plastic bowl with water
- Small wooden palette where you can mix the paint
Some Tips Before You Begin
- It is easier to make this project when the food can has a kind of a ring-pull mechanism, so that you can open the can by just pulling it. This kind of can is not sharp on its edges.
- You can use all acrylic paints, as they dry fast.
- Every time you use the same brush for different color, dip it first in the water and then wipe it with a paper tissue or paper towel.
- The bigger your can is, the more flower pots you can paint.
- You can use your imagination and be creative.
- This craft is good for saving the money you'd ordinarily spend buying planters!
Step 1: Prepare the Empty Food Can
- Soak the empty food can in hot water until it's easy to peel off the label.
- When you get the label off, flatten the opening side of the can with a small hammer, just in case it's sharp—that way you won't hurt your hand while painting the can. Let the can air-dry, or use a kitchen towel to dry it.
- Find a table where you can paint. Put down old newspaper so you can protect your table. Put the paints, the brushes and the other things you need on the newspaper.
- Make 3 holes in the bottom of your can.
Step 2: Add a Base of White Paint
- If you're right-handed, keep the can in your left hand while the brush is in your right hand. Paint the can towards you or downward and keep it moving while painting. You can see it in the video below.
- For the first coat, paint the clean can with a white acrylic color. You don't have to paint the bottom of the can. Let the can dry for at least half an hour (acrylic paint dries easily).
- For the second coat, paint the can again with the white acrylic. Let it dry again for at least half an hour.
Step 3: Add Green Paint
- Using the thin brush and the green acrylic color, paint the lower part of the can. This will be the grass in your design. Paint the grass as thick as you want it.
- With the same brush and the same green color, make green flower pots on top of the grass. How many pots you paint depends on how big your can is.
Step 4: Paint Gold and Red Flowers
- Add golden oil paint to your flower pots when the paint is not yet dry. Mix it onto the wet green color of the flower pots.
- Put red dots of paint above the flower pots. Then add more red paint to the dots until they resembles flowers.
- Paint 1 golden flower between 2 red oblong flowers on top of the grass. These 3 flowers should be in between the big flower pots.
Step 5: Add Green Details and Clean Up
- Going back to the green paint, add green branches and the leaves of the flowers in the pots.
- Let the painted can dry until the next day. Note: Be careful—if you used oil paint for the gold layer, the golden flowers might not be dry yet. Oil paints dry slower than acrylic paints.
- Clean the brushes with warm water and soap after using them.
I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.— Mother Teresa
I hope I have given you an idea what to do in your spare time during lockdown and self-quarantine. I hope this coronavirus pandemic will end soon. Please take precautions in going out of the house, wear mask and gloves if possible. Keep social distancing as well. Take care. God help us all. Thank you.
© 2020 Thelma Alberts