Amazingly Clever DIY Crafts to Upcycle Tin Cans

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s throwing away still-useful items.

Upcycling projects are a great way to make use of something that might otherwise end up in the trash. And if there’s one thing that most of us have a lot of, it’s all those tin cans leftover from canned food and sauces.

Here are some clever ideas on what to do with all those empty cans. Just make sure you wash them thoroughly, and sand any sharp edges they might have.

Let’s Play With Tin Can Toy Drums

tin can drums
A Beautiful Mess

These toy drum are so adorable, and you’d never guess they were upcycled from tin cans. This is such a fun idea for kids, and doesn’t even require a ton of crafting skills to accomplish. The tin cans are wrapped in decorative fabric, and the drum heads are just circles cut out of leather with leather laces strung through holes.

Try making drums out of different sized cans to get different sounds. And you can customize the colors or patterns depending on your home decor and what your kids like.

Use Tin Cans to Make Bird Feeders

tin can bird feeders
Mom Endeavors

I love when the birds start coming around our patio, so what better way to attract more than with cute little bird feeders? They’ll not only bring more birds, but they’ll also add a sweet pop of color.

This project is super simple, but it’s one of those projects that makes you ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

A Unique Tin Can Light

tin can light
Those Northern Skies

I’m a sucker for puns, so here’s a can light made out of an actual can! There’s something really cool about the DIY and almost industrial feel to this lamp.

This particular light was created from a desk lamp found at a thrift store, but it would be just as easy to use a desk lamp you have hanging around your house already.

Painted Tin Can Wind Chimes

tin can wind chimes
A Girl and a Glue Gun

Enlist your kids’ help for this simple project. Like the toy drum project above, try using different sized cans to get different sounds from each of them. You can try smaller soup cans, regular vegetable cans, and even larger coffee cans, if you have them.

The kids will have a great time painting the cans and getting creative. Just make sure an adult hammers a nail into the top to punch a hole for the string.

Cute Tin Can Luminaries

tin can luminaries
Craft Foxes

Upcycle your tin cans to dress up your patio this summer. It’s as simple as punching holes into the can with a nail and hammer, and then painting it any color you like. You could get creative with decorative patterns, or just punch holes of different sizes all over. Either way, they’ll light up the evening and bring some color to your patio.

Plant a Tin Can Kitchen Herb Garden

tin can planters
Homey Oh My

As a plant lover and cooking enthusiast, this is definitely my favorite suggestion of all! Not only is it a great way to upcycle those cans, it’s also incredibly useful to grow your own herb garden.

These have been spray painted copper, but you could choose any color you like. Plant whichever herbs you tend to use the most in your cooking! You’ll have them fresh and ready right from your kitchen window sill while you’re cooking.