Decoupaged Can Upcycle

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Upcycling=Good For The Planet + Super Fun + Super Cheap + Super Cute!

This is one of my favorite, easy, cheap upcycles I’ve been doing for years!  A decoupaged can upcycle! The finished product looks amazing, is super versatile, and it’s sooo easy!  I am a huge fan of decoupaging.  For those of you who aren’t sure what that is, it is basically a fancy term for gluing something (often paper) onto something.  I decoupage everything.  My favorites are cans and frames.  Both are very affordable and the end result is a shiny customized item.  You decoupage using Mod Podge.  It’s available at any craft store, and even stores like Walmart or Target.  There are recipes to make your own Mod Podge but none I’ve tried work like the real thing.  A large bottle is about ten bucks and last sooooo long it’s totally worth it.

For this simple project the best cans to use are from Progresso soup.  They have a pop top that leave no sharp edges, are wider than your regular can, they aren’t very expensive, and we love the contents as well.  If you’re not finding a great price they go on sale often in the colder months and frequently offer coupons for an even bigger savings!

 decoupaged can upcycle

Now you can decoupage almost anything onto them but my favorite simple, cheap, and classy looking results come from scrapbook paper that you can pick up at Micheal’s or any craft store.  They are about $.70 each for a large square sheet. If you catch them on sale they are only $.10 each!  Perfect time to stock up and let the kids pick their favorites too!  There are so many beautiful options.  Too many.  Sometimes I find myself pulling out about twenty choices and lay them down until I pick the right ones and then have the fun of restocking them!


How To Decoupage Tin Cans BEAUTIFULLY


 decoupaged can upcycle

STEP ONE: Take the paper label off of the can you will be using nicely and lay it out of the paper you will be using to decoupage!  Trace the label for a perfect fit. If in doubt always cut a little more than you need.  It’s simple to trim some off but if you over cut then you’ll have to come up with either another layer or some crafty way to cover the gap around the top. (Like a cute little ribbon.)

decoupaged can upcycle

STEP TWO: Paint half of the can with a thin layer of Mod Podge.

 STEP THREE: Press the center of the paper vertically along the can and rub down toward one edge slowly and smoothly.  Your fingers will get all gluey, it’s ok!  If they get too much glue on them it dries quickly and rolls or peels of easily when rubbed.
decoupaged can upcycle

STEP FOUR: Add Mod Podge to the remainder of the can. The proceed to wrap the remaining paper around the other side of the can.  Some excess and overlap is ok but you don’t want too much.  Trim any excess.


STEP FIVE: When happy with the placement, add a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the beautiful paper now encircling your can.  Work slowly, starting at the point you originally began, and rub the paper horizontally to work it into all the divots around tin cans.  Continue working toward the slight overlap you should have.  There may be tiny wrinkles but once everything’s all nice and Mod Podgy (no not really a word… but in my world it should be!) they should smooth down quite nicely.  If I have ended up with any ripples on the edges I add a little Mod Podge under them and smooth them out.


 decoupaged can upcycle
STEP SIX: Add a little more Mod Podge to make sure you have full coverage and will end with a smooth, shiny, pretty, water resistant product.  Mod Podge dries clear so if it looks a little white just be patient.
STEP SEVEN: Allow to dry.  Now marvel at the beautiful product you created!!
upcycled cansupcycled cans

Sometimes I get a little fancy and cut out bits from one paper to glue onto cans of other papers (as you can see in the above picture for my new map theme in the bathroom) to make a cohesive theme.  Like a bit of a map or a butterfly.  This makes it so easy and cheap to change up your theme and decor whenever you get that urge!


decoupaged can upcycle


Now while we’re one the subject of decoupaging cans here’s another really fun and simple project for you that is even easier for kids.  In addition to decoupaging I also love collaging!  Let’s all say that five times fast!

Go through old magazines and cutout whatever your and their little hearts desire.  Lucky me I love all things beach and my hubby loves surf magazines, so I always have plenty of beautiful material to work with.  My six-year-old loves babies so she always gets the parenting magazines.

After however much your guys want to cut out use the same method (glue on the can, add the picture, glue on top, smooth into the ridges of the can) to adhere the clippings.  It’s a good idea to map out your placement first by arranging the cutouts on a flat surface to map out your can.  Sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way with little hands grabbing at their favorite photos but it’s just a suggestion!

These don’t turn out quite as classy looking but they are more personal, eclectic, and have a fun vibe!  If you’re feeling like undertaking a much bigger project this also works great on coffee cans which make wonderful toy storage tins!

upcycled cans

Ready for some more great fun to try with your kids? Head over to 101 Creative, Free, Fun Kids Activities for TONS of ideas!

There you have it!  Fun, messy, creative, beautiful, and cheap!!  What more can you ask for?  I hope you have fun making these.  If you run into any bumps along the way feel free to ask questions in the comments below!  What theme did you make your cans?

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