Unique Gift Packaging Ideas

Quick and Easy Recycled Craft Idea

Want a different way to wrap your presents? Look no further than your own trash can. I love to use leftover cans and cereal boxes to make unusual and personalized containers for gifts. Better yet, these packages are easy for others to reuse in giving a gift or they make a nice storage container. My kids invented this craft idea and I love it because it is cheap, quick, and easy.

Step by Step Photo Directions

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These cute containers are so easy to make!  They are good for holding things on a desk and make cute gift wrapping too.Supplies: can, paper, pencil scissors, Mod Podge, brush (hot glue gun if you want to add buttons or embellishments).  You can use scrapbooking paper, magazines, gift wrapping paper or newspapers.  Here I'm using a poster my daughter had in the trash.Step 1:  Put the can on the back of the paper to measure for cutting. Step 2: Brush Mod Podge over the outside of the container and roll on the paper.Step 3: Measure another paper for inside of can.  Put it inside--it should stick over the top and that's ok.  Brush Mod Podge over the inside of the can.Step 4:  Put the paper in the can and push against the walls.  Cut the edges of the top.  I don't show this step, but you can also cut out a circle to put on the bottom.  You could skip this step if you didn't want to worry about the inside.  Step 5: Brush Mod Podge around the rim and press the cut edges down.  Step 6: Cut a strip of paper about 1 inch wide (using a paper cutter makes this easier). Step 7: Brush Mod podge along rim (where cut paper is put down.  Put the strip along that top edge to hide the cut paper.  Cut the strip to just overlap a little bit.Step 8:  Brush Mod Podge over the whole container, inside and out to make it shine.  Push down any bubbles, but don't worry, they will generally disappear when everything is dry.Step 9: Decorate your can. Here is my daughter Mollie working on her can.  She added some circles of contrasting paper too.You can add any other decorations to the can that you might put on a scrapbooking page: flowers, stickers, buttons or ribbon.  You can attach these with glue dots or a hot glue gun.Step 10 Tag:  Make a tag by cutting leftover paper in a rectangle and folding in half.  tear along one edge of the tag for a contemporary look.  Punch a hole and make a cut through the hole so you can slip it on a ribbon.Step 11: Let dry and Wrap your gift!You can tuck in some tissue paper and tie yarn or ribbon for tag.
These cute containers are so easy to make!  They are good for holding things on a desk and make cute gift wrapping too.
These cute containers are so easy to make! They are good for holding things on a desk and make cute gift wrapping too. | Source
Supplies: can, paper, pencil scissors, Mod Podge, brush (hot glue gun if you want to add buttons or embellishments).  You can use scrapbooking paper, magazines, gift wrapping paper or newspapers.  Here I'm using a poster my daughter had in the trash.
Supplies: can, paper, pencil scissors, Mod Podge, brush (hot glue gun if you want to add buttons or embellishments). You can use scrapbooking paper, magazines, gift wrapping paper or newspapers. Here I'm using a poster my daughter had in the trash. | Source
Step 1:  Put the can on the back of the paper to measure for cutting.
Step 1: Put the can on the back of the paper to measure for cutting. | Source
Step 2: Brush Mod Podge over the outside of the container and roll on the paper.
Step 2: Brush Mod Podge over the outside of the container and roll on the paper. | Source
Step 3: Measure another paper for inside of can.  Put it inside--it should stick over the top and that's ok.  Brush Mod Podge over the inside of the can.
Step 3: Measure another paper for inside of can. Put it inside--it should stick over the top and that's ok. Brush Mod Podge over the inside of the can. | Source
Step 4:  Put the paper in the can and push against the walls.  Cut the edges of the top.  I don't show this step, but you can also cut out a circle to put on the bottom.  You could skip this step if you didn't want to worry about the inside.
Step 4: Put the paper in the can and push against the walls. Cut the edges of the top. I don't show this step, but you can also cut out a circle to put on the bottom. You could skip this step if you didn't want to worry about the inside. | Source
Step 5: Brush Mod Podge around the rim and press the cut edges down.
Step 5: Brush Mod Podge around the rim and press the cut edges down. | Source
Step 6: Cut a strip of paper about 1 inch wide (using a paper cutter makes this easier).
Step 6: Cut a strip of paper about 1 inch wide (using a paper cutter makes this easier). | Source
 Step 7: Brush Mod podge along rim (where cut paper is put down.  Put the strip along that top edge to hide the cut paper.  Cut the strip to just overlap a little bit.
Step 7: Brush Mod podge along rim (where cut paper is put down. Put the strip along that top edge to hide the cut paper. Cut the strip to just overlap a little bit. | Source
Step 8:  Brush Mod Podge over the whole container, inside and out to make it shine.  Push down any bubbles, but don't worry, they will generally disappear when everything is dry.
Step 8: Brush Mod Podge over the whole container, inside and out to make it shine. Push down any bubbles, but don't worry, they will generally disappear when everything is dry. | Source
Step 9: Decorate your can. Here is my daughter Mollie working on her can.  She added some circles of contrasting paper too.
Step 9: Decorate your can. Here is my daughter Mollie working on her can. She added some circles of contrasting paper too. | Source
You can add any other decorations to the can that you might put on a scrapbooking page: flowers, stickers, buttons or ribbon.  You can attach these with glue dots or a hot glue gun.
You can add any other decorations to the can that you might put on a scrapbooking page: flowers, stickers, buttons or ribbon. You can attach these with glue dots or a hot glue gun. | Source
Step 10 Tag:  Make a tag by cutting leftover paper in a rectangle and folding in half.  tear along one edge of the tag for a contemporary look.  Punch a hole and make a cut through the hole so you can slip it on a ribbon.
Step 10 Tag: Make a tag by cutting leftover paper in a rectangle and folding in half. tear along one edge of the tag for a contemporary look. Punch a hole and make a cut through the hole so you can slip it on a ribbon. | Source
Step 11: Let dry and Wrap your gift!You can tuck in some tissue paper and tie yarn or ribbon for tag.
Step 11: Let dry and Wrap your gift!You can tuck in some tissue paper and tie yarn or ribbon for tag. | Source

Materials Needed

  1. Cans or oatmeal boxes
  2. Gift wrap or scrapbooking paper (leftovers are fine). You can even use magazine pictures.
  3. Mod Podge (find at craft stores), you can also use regular glue but it may not be shiny or work quite as well.
  4. Paint brushes.
  5. Scissors.
  6. Hole Punch and paper cutter (useful if you have them)
  7. Hot glue gun (for attaching heavier decorations)
  8. Optional: stickers, buttons, flowers or other scrapbooking type embellishments

Instructions

  1. Measuring and Cutting Paper for Front: Put the can on the back of the paper to measure for cutting. Roll the can and mark using a pencil. Make sure you cut the paper a little bit longer than the can so it overlaps. Cut the paper at the line you marked with a pencil.
  2. Attaching the Front: Brush Mod Podge over the outside of the container and then place the container on the edge of the paper and roll it on. Put a little Mod Podge on the edge of the paper where it overlaps so that it will stick. If you don’t want to do the inside of the can, then you can skip to step 9.
  3. Measuring and Cutting Paper for the Inside: Measure another paper for the inside of the can by rolling it up and sticking it inside. Make sure it goes all the way to the bottom then mark where it meets the top of the can with a pencil. Pull it out and cut about a ½ inch above the pencil line.
  4. Attaching the Inside Paper. Brush Mod Podge all over the inside of the can. Put the paper back inside the can and press against the sides.
  5. Finishing the Top of Can. Make small cuts all around the outside of the paper sticking up out of the can about every ½ inch or so. Put a line of Mod Podge around the edge of the can and press those cut pieces down.
  6. Top Edge Decoration: Cut a strip of contrasting paper about 1 inch wide. Brush Mod Podge on the top of the can (on top of the cut strip line. Press the contrasting paper strip around that top edge of the can to hide the cut strip and make the top smooth.
  7. To finish the bottom and inside of can: use the bottom of the can to measure a circle to cover the bottom. If you want to cover the bottom of the can then cut the second circle. When you put the bottom circle on the container, you will want to push it up against the sides.
  8. Make Can Shiny: If you want your can to have a glossy finish, then brush Mod Podge over the whole can.
  9. Let can dry. Set your recycled gift container on a piece of wax paper or plastic bag to dry. It will take about an hour.
  10. Add Decorations: You can dress up your can in lots of ways. You can add stickers, or buttons or flowers (use a hot glue gun or glue dots for heavier items).
  11. Make Tag: make tags for your gift by cutting matching papers into rectangles that are 3 inches by 6 inches. Fold them over and hole punch one corner. Make them fancier by tearing one edge (as you can see in the picture) or adding a button or other embellishment.
  12. Wrap Your Gift: String a ribbon through the hole and tie it around your gift container when it is dry. Tuck in your gift and a few sheets of tissue paper. Your friends and family will love this useful container that they can use to wrap another present in, or as a decorative place to store craft items, office supplies, bathroom items, toys or other small items.

Recycled Can Craft ideas

Easy Craft Idea for Groups

My kids have loved making these easy recycled cans. I like the fact that these are a useful and cheap project you can make with a large group. Most of the items can be brought from home. They can make a good VBS craft project too.

You can do more decorating to the can too. My kids have decorated them with flowers, stickers, and scrapbooking embellishments. My readers must like this idea too because I suddenly got 100 people looking at this hub in one day! If you are one of my new readers, I'd love you to comment and tell me what you think!

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Comments 7 comments

VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 4 years ago from United States Author

Thanks Rosie! My kids have also slipped these into a slot in a homemade birthday card or thank you note as an extra gift.


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hiya VirginiaLynne, I'm a new reader and I love your recycling cans as gift containers. What a great idea! I love doing crafts, and I'll start saving my emply cans and make them for Christmas. Voted up and shared. Cheers!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

So simple and fun! This definitely makes a great, versatile gift and allows for a lot of creativity in the process. Thanks for sharing!


galleryofgrace profile image

galleryofgrace 5 years ago from Virginia

Excellent hub- a great contribution to recycling. Just in time for the holidays too.


VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks for the nice comments. I'm just so into this idea that I'm having trouble throwing out any cans or boxes! Yikes, they are piling up! I'll be making some hubs soon on using boxes and re-using bags from stores.


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 5 years ago from United States

What an awesome idea! It seems easy enough and can be used for so many items. Voted up!


SarahLinny profile image

SarahLinny 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

This is a great Hub! I love this idea -- it looks like a lot of fun and seems to be a very simple craft. Thanks for sharing!

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