15 Tin Can Crafts to Get Kids Excited About Recycling

Kids Activities
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15 Tin Can Crafts for Kids | If you're looking for upcycle projects to enjoy with your children or students, this post has lots of great ideas to inspire you! From owls and snowmen, to lanterns and phones, and even a guitar, these DIY projects go beyond decorative jars and vases to store flowers in, and you can use cans of any shape or size - large, small, and even recycled tuna cans!

When it comes to crafting, a simple tin can is magic!

They’re easy to find in just about every cabinet or pantry and provide a sturdy base for a wide range of crafts.

From musical instruments and home decor, to stylish storage and holiday decorations – the choices for tin can crafts are truly endless.

10 Tin Can Craft Essentials

Before you get started, take some time to gather the essentials:

    1. Tin cans – You can use any type of tin can – not just your basic soup can – to create your projects. Try an empty can of beans, a tuna can, pet food can, or even a coffee tin.
    2. Can opener – Make sure to choose a can opener with a sharp blade to help you avoid creating jagged edges. Using a side opener rather than a top opener will also help.
    3. Sturdy work gloves – To protect your hands from any sharp edges.
    4. Sandpaper – Helps to smooth out any rough edges.
    5. Variety of crafting supplies – This is where you can let your imagination run wild. Some of our favorites include colorful yarn and string, twine, wrapping paper and craft paper, puffy paints, washi tape, pom pom balls, tissue paper, permanent markers, buttons, stickers, bottle caps, googly eyes, and felt.
    6. Outdoor inspiration – Have your kiddos gather some supplies from nature such as leaves, small sticks, and acorns.
    7. Hot glue gun – For attaching craft supplies and bulkier materials.
    8. Tin snips – Better than scissors, tin snips are powerful and extremely sharp – perfect for cutting thinner metal.
    9. Hammer and nails – Used to punch holes in the can
    10. Paint – Acrylic paint or spray paint is fine for indoor use, however you’ll want to use enamel paint for anything that will be used outdoors. If you do decide to use a spray paint, make sure you and your child(ren) wear a mask.

4 Tips for Crafting with Tin Cans

Once you’ve grabbed your essentials, you’re ready to learn the basics of tin can crafts. These 4 tips will help you properly prepare your tin can and avoid any mishaps.

  1. Prepping your can – Open up your tin can and remove the top and contents. If the label is difficult to remove, soak your can for a bit in warm water. Finish up by washing out the can with warm, soapy water and then dry completely. Don’t use any cans that are damaged or rusted.
  2. Avoiding sharp edges – You always want to make sure to remove or cover all of the sharp edges. Make sure your can opener is sharp enough to avoid any snags. Use sandpaper or attach a sanding wheel to a power drill to eliminate tough spots. You can also use duct tape or heavy-duty ribbon folded over the edge to add some additional protection.
  3. Punching holes – Before punching holes in your tin can, you’ll want to place them in the freezer. When the can is frozen it will be much easier to hammer it without bending it which would make it unusable.
  4. Making it outdoor friendly – If your project is going to come in contact with water or the elements, you’ll want to make sure the cans don’t rust. You can spray your can with a clear polymer sealant. This is an adult-only project best done outdoors.

15 Tin Can Crafts for Kids

Owls, snowmen, lanterns, and even a guitar. So many to choose from!

    1. Tin Can Owl | i Heart Crafty Things
    2. Tin Can Stilts | One Creative Mommy
  1. Painted Wind Chimes | Hands On As We Grow
  2. Tin Can Lanterns | There’s Just One Mommy
  3. Tin Can Bird Feeder | Turning the Clock Back
  4. Tin Can Guitar | Hello Kids
  5. Halloween Tin Can Bowling | Red Ted Art
  6. Snowman Tin Cans | Hands On As We Grow
  7. Tin Can Magnetic Sculptures | Teach Preschool
  8. Paint Dipped Tin Cans | A Greener Life for Us
  9. Tin Can Mini Shelves | Blue Bear Wood
  10. Tin Can Flag Windsock | By Stephanie Lynn
  11. Tin Can Phones | Childhood 101
  12. Tin Can Christmas Tree | Babble Babble Do
  13. Cockatoo Pencil Tins | The Craft Train

What are you waiting for? Grab your tin cans and some craft supplies and surprise your kids with a project they’ll love!

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