From Tin Can to Pot Plant

From Tin Can to Pot Plant

Posted by Kim on 16th Aug 2018

Here's a handy way to upcycle plain tins that we so often buy. Because I planned on using plants in these I opted for the larger size tins - 2 tins had fruit in, and 1 was an old Milo tin.

I started by knocking a few holes into the bottom to allow water to escape. I used a screwdriver to pierce the tin & a hammer to force the screwdriver through the metal. The tins are quite strong, so give it a nice hard knock a few times with the hammer. I did about 10 holes in each tin.


You can leave the tins the silver colour, but I wanted to go for a trendy bronze colour. I bought a spray can at a hardware store, (Buco I think it was) for around R70 & there was more than enough for my task.

Start on one side & work your way around the tins. Work in light, even sprays to avoid run marks of excess paint down the sides.


To avoid spraying your hand, place your tin on a surface that can get sprayed & carefully move the tin around while avoiding touching the wet paint.

When the paint is dry you can decide to further decorate your tins with a moroccan pattern. I used some of my small 15cm stencils that are part of my stencil range. You can see them here

I carefully & gently taped the stencil in place on the tin. Make sure you only stick the tape down gently, so as not to pull the new paint off the tin when you remove the tape.

For the stencil paint, I used Chalk Paint because it sticks to most surfaces without needing a primer. I had dark grey & light beige in my house from other projects, so I used those colours. I used a small stencil brush to dab the paint over my stencil, making sure I got paint into all the areas of the stencil.

I repeated this process over the 3 tins, using a different pattern on each tin.


Finally, I added some soil & a basil plant that I recently bought at Builders Hardware, and a few succulent clippings from my garden in the other 2 tins. to collect more tins for more plants!

See the stencils here (I used the small 15cm versions)