If you drink a lot of coffee, you probably have quite a few metal coffee cans on hand. With just a little effort, you can make a useful and pretty handmade gift for your friends and family.
First, wash out your can and peel off any labels. Next, apply a coat of metal primer to your can. Let the primer dry thoroughly. Then, apply a coat of bright acrylic paint to the can.
Once your can is painted, you can decorate it. I like to apply crackle medium and then add a top coat of color. This effect is beautiful if you paint a deep blue undercoat and a rich red overcoat on your can.
You may want to rubber-stamp bugs or garden tools onto the can instead. To do this, use stamps that are flexible so that you can stamp onto the curved surface of the can. You can apply a light coat of acrylic paint to the stamp and then press the stamp onto the can, carefully rolling the stamp so that the whole image is stamped onto the can. If you mess up, don’t worry. You can wipe the stamped image off the can and start over.
Another great decorative technique for decorating cans is decoupage. Use empty seed packets with pretty artwork or cut pictures from magazines and decoupage them to the can in an attractive pattern.
Once your can is decorated, apply a coat of sealer to the finished product. If you will use the can outside, you may want to let this coat dry and apply a second coat of sealer.
Now, you are ready to prepare your can for planting. Turn the can upside down. Use a 3 inch nail and a hammer to poke drainage holes in the bottom of the can. Turn your can over and fill it to just an inch below the rim with good potting soil.
Next it is time for you to decide which herbs you will be planting in your can. Chives, basil, oregano, thyme and parsley all are great choices. Of course, you can also put a lovely scented geranium in the can, instead.
As a finishing touch, add a tag with information about caring for the herb and a few great recipes. It is easy to attach the tag with a simple florist pick.
Finally, consider other ideas for your coffee can. For instance, instead of adding potting soil and an herb, add a garden trowel, gardening gloves, a packet of seeds, a box of tea and a package of tea biscuits for do it yourselfers.