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Recycle Coffee Cans - Retro Gift Containers

Frugal Crafts and Homemade Gifts (featured column)
Submitted by Kristen Porter

Recycled coffee cans

My theme for last year was "Homemade Christmas." I made a lot of small kitchen items (herb packets made from garden herbs, soaps made from lavender, etc.), and needed a way to package them. I decided to make these gift containers out of empty coffee cans and a 1940's era cookbook I bought at a thrift store. You could put anything in them and the recipient can use them for storage too!

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Items needed:

Coffee cans
Old cookbooks, magazines, etc. (thrift stores are great for this!)
Decoupage glue (or just regular white glue with enough water to make it spreadable)
Paint brushes
Acrylic Craft Paint
Tags ( I used small wooden hearts that were leftover from another project, but you could just cut them out of paper too)


Empty and clean coffee cans, drying them thoroughly. Cut out enough retro images to cover the can. Brush decoupage glue over the surface of the can and place the cut-outs all over – making sure to cover the entire can. Brush the glue over the entire surface again (on top of the cut-outs). Let dry for a half hour or more. Put two more coats of the glue on, letting the tin dry for around a half hour in between coats. The glue will dry clear and give the can a shiny, finished look. After the decoupage is complete, fill the can with goodies.

Place the lid on the can and cut two slits in the top where the ribbon will come through. Cut a piece of ribbon so it is long enough to wrap around the can and tie on the top. Find the middle of the ribbon and tape it to the bottom of the can. Take the lid off and then thread each end of the ribbon through the slits in the lid. Then, close the lid and tie a bow with the ribbon. Now it's time to decorate the lid: Make homemade tags with paper, wood or anything you have that will work. Glue them to the lid. Decorate the lid as desired. I just painted dots around the edge of the lid to give it a little decoration.

Recycled coffee cans 2

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Copyright © 2009 by Kristen Porter. All rights reserved.

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