Vintage Garden Art, An Upcycling Project

April 16, 2022

Today’s project – Kitchen Herb Garden in a Can

Turning tin cans into rusty cans. If you like old things, vintage things, rusty – crusty then this project is for you. It was taking something new, and making it look old. An upcycling, down-cycle. Hope this makes sense.

DIY Hanging Rusty Cans Craft Project –

This Is What You’ll Need – Materials

  • Empty tin cans
  • craft paint – brown, golden yellow, orange, white
  • baking soda
  • paint brush
  • newsprint to cover your workspace
  • stencils
  • wire (copper wire)
  • hammer
  • nail

Step 1 – Clean your cans. Wash them in soap and water and let them dry thoroughly.

Step 2 – Using the nail and hammer poke a couple of drainage holes in the bottom.

Step 3 – Using the nail and hammer poke a hole in opposite sides of each can and insert one end the of wire from the outside to the inside. Coil the inside wire end a couple times around a pencil. This keeps wire secure inside. Remove pencil and push down the spring to flatten it. Do the same for the other side of can, and all cans.

Step 4 – Cover your workspace with newsprint. Paint the cans with the first coat of brown paint. Make sure entire can is dry before going on to next step.

1st coat of brown paint

I wasn’t too choosy about the color brown. I used what I had on hand.

2nd coat of brown paint

Step 5 – After the first coat of paint was dry, I painted the cans with a second coat.

Step 6 – I gave the cans a third coat of paint mixed with baking soda. This gives the cans the texture similar to a real rusty can. I painted it on pretty thick.

Step 7 – For the final paint step, I slightly mixed an orange and golden yellow paint to get that rusty appearance on the cans. I used a paper napkin to apply these two colors to arrive at a “Rust” like appearance by blotting the paint onto the can. I did this in a random fashion.

Step 8 – Using white paint, stencil the name of the herb on the front of the can.

Growing Your Herbs – Harvest as Needed

If you are not gardener, you should know that these herbs will not be able to remain in these little cans. I will eventually re-pot them into larger containers. These are good herbs to grow inside. They are perfect kitchen herbs, and you can cut them and use them in your cooking.

With most herbs, you can begin snipping them for harvest when they are just a few inches tall. Pruning back the herbs often means a larger, longer harvest. 

Tend Your Garden

Most herbs need regular water, but the soil should be allowed to dry out just slightly before watering again. Herbs do come with small stakes for directions on how to tend them. You should also give them a light fertilizer when necessary.

Other Uses for Cans

Use cans for storing art supplies, pens & pencils, or use as planters.

The finished cans are not for outdoor use, unless in a covered area, nor can they be washed.

I hope you liked my upcycling DIY project for a kitchen garden. Since Easter is tomorrow, have a wonderful Easter!

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