Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Tutorial - Rusted Can Planters - DIY Gift Ideas

I haven't met a person yet who doesn't appreciate a handmade gift.  Knowing that someone put their time and hands to a gift gives a warm fuzzy feeling that just can't be bought.  Here's a simple and adorable DIY tutorial for this rusted can planter so you can spread the warm fuzzies this holiday season.                                                                I made this project from recycled cans and scrap stuff I had on hand (I did have to buy peroxide and floral moss).  Even if you need to start from scratch and buy everything to make this, you'd get all you need to whip up a few planters for under $10 (plus plants). That makes this project both budget and environmentally friendly! Double yay!
You'll need:
Soup can (I'll show you how to make it rusty)
Hydrogen Peroxide (I got mine in the First Aid section of the pharmacy.)
Little foam dots/pads.  Cut your own, or buy some like these.
Black tape (I used hockey tape)
Jute Twine (Mine came from the dollar store.  Your hardware store should also have it.)
A Plant with soil
Floral Moss

Mixing Bottle
Rubber Gloves
Spray bottle
Hot glue gun

1. Start with your can.  Remove the label (obviously), scrape off any glue, and clean the inside and outside with dish soap.

2. Mix up some scouring slush.  I didn't do any fancy chemistry here, just dumped some (oh... about a quarter-cup) coarse salt in a bowl, then added plain white vinegar until the salt was covered.

3. With gloved hands (or your skin will hate you), rub and scrub salty vinegar slush all over the outside of the can.  Let that dry, then repeat the process.

4. After the can has dried from your second scouring, put some hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spritz the outside of the can all over.

5. And now the magic starts to happen!  Ohhhh Ahhhh.... look at the rust forming! The magic of science!
When the can dries, respray with hydrogen peroxide to increase the rusting.  Repeat until you like the amount of rust you've got.

6. Rinse and dry your can.  This is how mine looked... some rust, not totally rusted. Rustic.

7. You're going to want to protect yourself (and anybody you might give this to) from getting a nasty cut.  Put some black tape on the inside of the can to cover the edge where you cut the lid off.

8. Glue a few felt or foam dots on the bottom of the can.

9. Time to dress this can for the holidays! Glue the end of some jute twine into the middle of the can.

10. Start wrapping that twine!.

11. Wrap, wrap, wrap and secure the end with some hot glue.

12. Tie some festively coloured ribbon in a bow on top of the jute wrapping.

13. Use a dab of hot glue to hold the bow in place.

14. The next step is to prep your plant.  I live in a wooded area, and these tiny fir trees grow everywhere - between patio stones, beside our driveway, under the deck and other places that they have no business growing.  So, I just dug up a few for my planters.  If you don't have access to a plethora of tiny, free trees, check out your grocery store and discount stores for any pretty green foliage.  Potted herbs such as rosemary or sage would be especially lovely.

15. Put the plant in the can.  Pretty complicated, eh?

16.  As a final finishing touch, I added some floral moss on top of the soil.  I think this gives it a more polished look.  I got my floral moss at Dollar Tree for a buck.

17. TaDA! Your sweet little living handmade gift is done!

Now you can try out a few different versions. Here I used some inexpensive green cotton yarn instead of twine.

 Here I layered two colours of ribbon over wrapped yarn, secured the ribbons with some glue, then stuck on a coordinating button.
It doesn't take very long to make a whole bunch - and doubly-good, they're a great addition to your holiday decor until you can give them away. 

Try this yourself! I'd love to see any you make.

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