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Crafts | Make Decorative Vases from Tin Cans

Crafts | Make Decorative Vases from Tin Cans
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It’s flower season in New England — daisies, lilies, petunias, zinnias, and other brightly colored flowers are blooming in every corner of the region.  If you don’t have  a flower garden of your own, farmer’s markets are bustling with flower vendors.  Road side stands also offer charming bouquets for reasonable prices.

As much as I love flowers, however,  I do not keep vases (it’s a quirk of mine — as soon as a vase enters this house I love to fill them with flowers and give them to someone else).  Instead, I enjoy transforming recycled and re-purposed containers into “vases” for bouquets.  This month I made such containers from recycled tin cans — tomato paste and olive cans were just the size I needed for these petite bouquets from the garden.



Decorative tin cans

Photo/Art by Bonnie ThomasDecorative tin cans

I used a paper pattern with lighter colors to match the brightness of the yellows and pinks of the mixed bouquet.

Decorative tin cans

Photo/Art by Bonnie ThomasDecorative tin cans

I chose darker papers to accentuate the orange hues of the tiger lilies.

And when the bouquets expired, I repurposed the cans once again as desk organizers.


Decorative tin cans as desk organizers

Photo/Art by Bonnie ThomasDecorative tin cans as desk organizers


This project is so quick and easy– I especially love customizing the papers on the cans to fit the decor of a room, dinner table, windowsill or desk top.  Wallpaper can even be used as the decorative paper.  Ribbon can be added for detail as well.

Decorative tin cans

Photo/Art by Bonnie ThomasDecorative tin cans

Materials needed:

  • Tin cans
  • Decorative paper
  • Clear tape
  • Ribbon (optional)


  1. Thoroughly clean and dry the tin cans you are using.  
  2. Measure the height of the can from the lip at the top to the lip at the bottom.
  3. Cut a strip of decorative paper to fit the height of the can.
  4. Wrap the strip of paper around the can.  If it is too long. you can trim it as needed.
  5. Make sure the paper is wrapped tightly and then tape it into place.  Tape the “seam” where the papers overlap.
  6. Add fresh flowers.
  7. Add water to the can.  Be careful not to drip water on the outside of the can or the paper will get wet.


Decorative tin cans

Photo/Art by Bonnie ThomasDecorative tin cans

Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas shares her ideas and instructions for simple Yankee crafts. Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child and family therapist in Southern Maine and is also an established artist and author. She has published two books via Jessica Kingsley Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities and Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling.

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One Response to Crafts | Make Decorative Vases from Tin Cans

  1. Alyce Arsenault July 23, 2013 at 7:33 am #

    I used to make these containers with a group of Brownie scouts years ago using both contact paper and ball fringe on the top. The girls made them for their MOTHER’S DAY – it was good to see that people are still making them. THANKS FOR THE HAPPY MEMORIES. a.a.

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