How to Find the Perfect Canister Set ~ Ceramic, Wooden, Glass, Plastic or Metal Canister Set?

This old-fashioned blue enamelware canister set is metal with wooden knobs.
This old-fashioned blue enamelware canister set is metal with wooden knobs. | Source

How to Find the Perfect Canister Set ~ Ceramic, Wooden, Glass, Plastic or Metal Canister Set?

When we moved into our current home, our new kitchen did not have the same color scheme or style as our former kitchen.

Six and a half years ago, we bought our current home - a fixer upper that required gutting much of the house and starting entirely from scratch, including the kitchen. When establishing the new color scheme for my current kitchen, I decided to use a black and brown granite tile for my counter tops. A granite tile such as the one that I used would normally be used to create a very elegant and sophisticated kitchen.

The tile I choose for my backsplash, however, was a Saltillo or terracotta type tile. This type of tile would normally be used in a more casual kitchen decorating scheme. In my opinion, this juxtaposition really pops. The terracotta tiles pull the brown bits of color out of the granite creating a very nice effect, while at the same time toning down some of its elegance leaving me with a great look that is both casual and sophisticated.

Because of my new color choices, the glazed raspberry-colored ceramic canister set that I had used in the previous house did not go well with this color scheme. Some changes had to be made.


Choices, Choices, Choices! Who Would Have Thought That There Would Be So Many Canister Types?

So I now find myself searching for the perfect canister set. In doing so, I also find that there are many different kinds of canister sets to choose from. I am not just talking about style or even color, although those are important. I need to also consider the material that they are made of. Do I want a ceramic, wooden, glass, plastic or metal canister set? Choices, choices, choices!


This canister set appears to have been carved from stone.
This canister set appears to have been carved from stone. | Source

Ceramic Canister Sets

Ceramic canister sets come in an unlimited variety of sizes, colors, shapes and styles. The ability to use paint in the creation of these sets allow for a vast variety of colors and details to be added to the pieces. Glazed stoneware is a beautiful example of ceramic canisters.

Ceramic canisters can be created and grouped together to form a scene. Note the birdhouse inspired canister set at the top right.

Whimsical canister sets are often crafted through the art of ceramics. Note the creative use of shape and color in the chef inspired canister set pictured right.

Ceramic canister sets can be hand painted and then glazed to protect the artist’s handiwork as shown in all the examples to the right.

They can provide lots of relief (texture) as shown in several of the examples. Note especially the wine cellar inspired canisters.

Ceramic canister sets do have some disadvantages. The lids can be heavy and easily slip from your grasp especially when wet. Ceramic items chip and break easily. During the kiln baking process, small cracks may have formed that will not be immediately apparent. These cracks discolor with age, weaken the overall structure of the piece, and can harbor bacteria.

Despite these disadvantages, many people choose ceramic canister sets because of their versatility and beauty.


Glass Canister Sets

Glass canister sets are generally clear, and are usually combined with another material, often having metal or wooden lids. They can be hand painted, but will not have the protective glaze that ceramic canisters have. Therefore this design can be easily damaged. They can also be decoupaged as the canisters pictured at the bottom right. Glass canisters also come in many shapes and sizes.

Glass canisters can be washed in the dishwasher, unless they are hand-painted. Hand-painted pieces will need to be carefully hand-washed and hand-dried to provide as little friction to the painted areas as possible.

Glass canister sets have many of the same disadvantages as the ceramic canisters. This would include their ability to chip and break easily. The lids could be heavy and slippery when wet. Clear glass containers will show dirt, fingerprints and smudges more readily.


This glass canister set is often displayed with a wooden lid or the metal lid as shown.
This glass canister set is often displayed with a wooden lid or the metal lid as shown. | Source

Plastic Canister Sets

Plastic canister sets are often more utilitarian. They serve their purpose and it often is not decorative. They too come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Plastic canister sets often take up less horizontal space because they can be stacked vertically. They can be washed in the dishwasher. Many of the plastic canister sets will be more economical than other types of canisters.

Plastic canister sets’ lids generally seal very tightly and if the canister is tipped or dropped the contents are usually held safely inside. They will not break or chip readily when dropped or tipped.

Plastic canister sets can soften and become misshapen if placed too close to the heating element in the dishwasher. The same thing could also occur to them if placed too close to the stove or oven. They can be fairly easily scratched; and the softer plastics could stain more readily.

These Dutch inspired canisters are a mixture of ceramic and wood. Notice the intricate details that have been painted on the canister fronts.
These Dutch inspired canisters are a mixture of ceramic and wood. Notice the intricate details that have been painted on the canister fronts. | Source

Wooden Canister Sets

If you prefer a more natural look in your kitchen, nothing beats the beauty of a wooden canister set. Wooden canisters can be hand-painted or stenciled; and the design can be sealed using a varnish that will need to be limited to the outside of the canister. Wooden canisters can also be decoupaged to add additional decoration to the set.

Wooden canister sets will not have the variety of shapes, colors and sizes that can be found in the other canister types. But what it lacks in these areas, it makes up for in natural beauty – namely the wood grain. Due to the nature of wood, you will not be able to wash them in the dishwasher. They are very sturdy and will usually stand up to being dropped. If the wood has not been sealed, wooden canisters may stain easily.

The swivel lid on the salt box (canister shown above) is an interesting design concept for a canister set.

Full Set of Vintage Aluminum Canisters
Full Set of Vintage Aluminum Canisters | Source

Metal Canister Sets

There are many different types of metals that are used to create canisters including copper, pewter, bronze, brass, tin, stainless steel and aluminum.

Metal canister sets can include many different types of finishes also - shiny, brushed, embossed, molded, pressed and hammered. They may also be decoupaged as shown in the canisters to the top right. Enameled metal canister sets can be found in many different colors. Enamelware can chip, and then the metal can rust if it is exposed to moisture.

Metal canister sets can be found in many different sizes, shapes and styles. They will not break when dropped or tipped.

Because of their reflective characteristics, metal canisters have a special appeal.

There are some disadvantages to metal canisters. Metal canisters and their lids can be heavy, but the metal is generally thin and this tends to not be a problem.

Some metals are softer than others and will dent and bend easier than others. If the canister becomes too bent the lid may no longer fit on the canister.

Some metals may tarnish unless a special finish has been applied. Some of the smoother finishes of the metal canisters will show fingerprints and smudge easily.


This set of vintage metal canisters has been given a facelift with this delightful paint job!
This set of vintage metal canisters has been given a facelift with this delightful paint job! | Source

Mixed Material Canister Sets

Canister sets are also available that are composed of various materials. In many of these canister sets, the container is one material and the lid is another. See the example at the top right. The canister container is made of glass, and the lid is made of bronze. This combination creates a stunning look.

Other canister sets may be composed of glass, metal and plastic to create a unique look such as the one shown bottom right which was created to resemble Saki bottles.


Even nontraditional metal canisters such as these pictured above can be used to store dry goods in your kitchen.
Even nontraditional metal canisters such as these pictured above can be used to store dry goods in your kitchen. | Source

Picking Out Your Canister Set

After deciding on a style, color, size and material, you are ready to choose the canister set that completes the kitchen of your dreams.



Which type of canister set do you prefer?

  • Ceramic Canisters
  • Glass Canisters
  • Plastic Canisters
  • Wooden Canisters
  • Metal Canisters
See results without voting

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Comments: "How to Find the Perfect Canister Set ~ Ceramic, Wooden, Glass, Plastic or Metal Canister Set?" 18 comments

jeyaramd profile image

jeyaramd 4 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

Another great hub. I currently own a glass cannister set. Its very nice. I like the look of the ceramics. However, as you had mentioned. It must be quite heavy for everyday use. Perhaps, it would work perfect for the occasional cookies. Great hub. Voted up.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge

I don't normally even read this type of article but you had me at canister. I have a partial set of canisters and spice jars from Germany made in the 1800's and another partial set circa 1860 plus single pieces that I just find attractive.

I don't even own a set of canisters that I use for the original purpose - unless you count plastic cereal dispensers. But I love to collect them and pitchers as well.

This is a very well organized, informative and attractive hub! I voted it up and am really impressed with this. I could easily see it published in a magazine!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Outstanding hub HSB! Great photos and details! I got tempted to purchase some canisters but I prefer ziploc baggies yet that wasn't an option in your poll:)


missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas

Very nice hub. I still have my glass Pier 1 canisters. I bought them 21 years ago and just love them. I always admire the canisters in the fine department stores. Some of them are just so beautiful. You have listed and provided pictures of very many beautiful and practical canisters. My favorite was the set in the 2nd picture - stone carved.

Thank you for sharing

voted up!


anjperez profile image

anjperez 4 years ago

glass and ceramic canisters are for longevity. plastic are for short term pratical functionality. metal are for industrial thematic (aesthetic). that's how i see it. i don't know for others. great hub!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

jeyaramd - some ceramic canister sets are heavier than others. The sets that lean toward stoneware and pottery are definitely heavier. Thanks for sharing!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Poohgranma - I don't use mine necessarily for their original purposes either. I use mine for sugar, tea bags, popcorn and recipes. Sounds like you have an interesting collection. If you ever write a hub on it, let me know and I will link it to this one! Thanks so much!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Sunshine625 - I almost added ziplock to the poll just for you ... but then decided ... NOT! Smiling!

Thanks for stopping by!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

missolive - I too enjoyed the stone carved ones, but I am partial to the things that nature provides for us. Thanks for stopping by!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

anjperez - That's an interesting thought on what the different materials could signify. Thanks for sharing your ideas!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Brilliant I loved this one and there is soething just great about those perfect canisters isn't there??

Thank you so much for sharing.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Eiddwen - I know what you mean. I am looking for the perfect set and hoping that the money is there when I find them. Thanks so much for stopping by. It is always so good to see you.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, I am so glad there is someone else out there that likes canisters! I was given a set of metal ones a few years ago, and hated them, put them away and forgot about them, then one of stone jars got broken so I had to use them, but now I have a lovely set of wooden ones with patterns on! lol!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Hey, Nell Rose! I am leaning toward the hammered copper. I love the color of copper and it would go so good in my kitchen. But i also love wood and the beauty of wood grain. So i haven't decided yet. But i am definitely thinking about it! Thanks for stopping by!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Wow Cindy,

What a wonderful, informative hub. I love kitchen stuff. This makes me a lil sad though because most of my household belongings are currently in storage :( I miss them. Thanks for SHARING!

Sharyn


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Sharyn's Slant - sorry to hear that most of your belongings are in storage. That must be tough. I do like my things. Thanks so much for stopping by!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Now that you've pointed it out, I'm realizing there are many different materials and considerations for container sets. Thanks for these tips. Voting this Up and Useful.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

alocsin - you are right! There are man choices. And even if you narrow it down to a material type, there are still many choices to be made. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the votes!

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