Whether it be for Christmas, Anniversaries, Easter, or Birthdays, up-cycling something for a gift is a budget friendly way to give your friends and family a gift that comes from the heart and is better for the planet.
If your household is anything like mine, then you most likely have a stock up pile of canned soup, vegetables, and or fruit. After you have peeled the lid back to use their delicious contents for your meal, you most likely throw them out. So as I was throwing mine out one evening, I had an idea! It felt an awful shame to be tossing out something that could be re-used—I try to recycle whenever I can, but I also try not to over collect items to be repurposed—and thought, "What if I used them as gift containers so they could grow a plant that they could eat later on?"
Perhaps that sounds a little odd, but it was generally like that. And not just for the used cans I was discarding, but with the very nice plastic containers that held the hemp medicine for one of our dogs. To help her move around a little easier, we give her a couple tablets of hemp each day, and the jars they come in are decently strong, clear plastic containers with white lids. So why not reuse them as well?
Disclaimer: The following DIY project ideas are just some things I have done and are examples of what someone else could do with the same materials. I am not responsible for any damage or incidents that may or may not occur if someone should attempt to duplicate these projects, nor if they take and expand on them. I am also not affiliated with any company mentioned in this post, nor am I claiming any ownership.
What I Used:
Smartphone or Laptop
Sewing Tape Measure
Cardboard Tube (optional)
Gift (plastic sandwich bags, dirt, and seeds)
Step 1: Clean the plastic containers and metal cans.
It all starts with the base, and just like foundation classes in school, you need to have a good start in order to have a great product in the end. For the metal cans, I washed them in the kitchen sink with dish soap and hot water. For the plastic containers, I removed any and all labels. The company we use only has one large sticker on their packaging, so it was fairly easy to remove for me. Then I soaked the plastic containers in a sink with Goo Gone and some water for a time before using the paper towels to clean off any residual sticky residue.
Special Note: For the metal cans, I was not able to get all of the glue off, but that is alright because I covered it up in a later stage.
Step 2: Spray paint the metal cans. (The next step will include the plastic containers again)
(No, your speakers are not broken. There is no sound with this video.)
Of course, whenever I go to spray paint something, I use a well ventilated area (such as outside) and have on my protective gear of a mask and so forth. For this specific project, I also used a thick cardboard tube that I could insert into most of the cans so that I could easily turn the cans as I sprayed and so that it would protect my hands from getting paint all over them. The paint I used was remnants I had leftover from past projects and I allowed the cans to dry over night before moving onto the next step.
Step 3: Pick your designs and use the Cricut machine to cut them out.
In this step, you are going to need your sewing measuring tape or a ruler to see what size your designs should be. The options here are endless in what you can pick to go on the cans, and it changes depending on the occasion that these gifts are for.
Now, this is where I covered up the leftover glue that is clearly still visible after I spray painted them. This is where the design comes into play, and personally, I found the challenge fun!
In this instance, my gifts were created for Christmas and are thus, winter and holiday themed.
Cricut Tip: If you can, and have the time, be carefully how you weed the designs because you can end up using the negatives for something else, and vice-versa. It is a way of getting multiple projects done by using less material and is nicer on your wallet.
Step 4: Okay, so you have a great looking can that could do with a hint of something more, such as an embellishment. That is where the brush and acrylic paint come into play. I used white acrylic for snow, keeping with my theme, but you can use whichever color you desire. Or skip this step all together, if you think no additional paint is needed.
Step 5: Next up is to add the star of the gift, so it is time to get dirty! (with actual dirt that is.) I used what I had around in our garage, organic raised bed soil, and divided it up into small plastic bags to match the number of cans and containers I had. I placed it inside the can, along with a packet of organic seeds I purchased online, and placed a little note explaining what it was and that their final plant would be edible!
Step 6: Congrats! Your gift is done and ready to be given to the lucky person who is going to have something to eat, after a little awhile. :)