Up-cycle a Tuna Fish Can - Make Three Dimensional Displays - Craft with Stickers and Duct Tape
Tuna cans turned into panda fun time.
I so love to come up with new crafts, or new twists on crafts, for kids. For the last eleven years, I have taught developmentally disabled children, often through crafting.
One of my pet peeves is crafts for kids that my students could not pull off and get a nice looking product, with a reasonable amount of effort. This project affords children, and those of us who are artistically challenged, a way to still get a good looking result.
I'm retired from teaching, officially as of this month. I'm finding the crafts I used to never be able to finish myself, because I was too busy bouncing from student to student, I'm now able not only to finish, but to take beyond what I have done in the past.
I can't wait to do this again with a new theme!
Moms, a choking hazard exists for small children because of the rhinestones and some of the smaller puffy stickers. Be sure to supervise.
Glue sticks can be substituted for the glue gun on everything but the hanger. Children can use peel and stick Velcro for that step if needed. Lastly, be sure the inside edges of the can are smooth. If not, use a can opener to fix it or run a bead of glue around the inside edge of the can to cover any sharp edges for the little ones.
Be it on the refrigerator or on the fireplace, let them show their creations.
This is a project I have done many, many times,
on a much smaller scale.
In classes, I often had students use a can assembled just as you see here. Using stickers to decorate, makes it much easier for some special needs students to get a great result. I have never done a project with multiple cans being permanently mounted, nor have I previously used duct tape for this project. We used ribbon, lace or construction paper.
This was a ton of fun to make. I had a blast! Just as good, maybe even better, I was chilling in a pair of shorts, jamming while I did it with no interruptions.
Check out the photo gallery for a graphic tutorial. At the end, you will find printable instructions and a supply list. The big three ingredients, other than Duck Tape and stickers, are all things that would normally wind up in a landfill.
Let's help the planet, have some fun, and make something cute.
It's really easy. Check it out.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Materials for the Panda Play Display
The panda stickers are the exact same ones I used.
Crafting Tip - Do you have dexterity issues, perhaps find it hard to manipulate the tiniest of the rhinestones? Me too! Tweezers can work well, unless the pinching them together gives you cramps.
Try peeling it up with the point of a very sharp pencil. The stone will stick to it easily. Then, just put the pencil tip exactly where you want the stone and give it a tiny push with your finger. Flip the pencil and use the eraser to tap it down good.
There's just something about the pudgy, the round tummies, the smiles, I don't know but these little guys are just so adorable.
Just two or three sheets of these could easily work for many a project be it this one or others.
Further, I like how the colors are simple allowing for easy mixing with other plain black, white or purple stickers such as butterflies, flowers and such to create whole landscapes.
This is a pretty forgiving project. Boo-boos are easy to fix.
Do you think this would be fun for kids?
If you make a mistake, just cover it with another sticker. Taking the stickers onto the covered cardboard helps tie everything together and adds to the three dimensional affect.
The possibilities really are endless. Top five theme ideas:
1.) Avengers. Use one can per hero.
2.) Fairies in flowers
4.) Top five Presidents with a quote from each for the Fourth of July
5.) Dragon orbs
Panda can with purple flowers
Another super easy way to do this project is with printed images.
You can go on line and print images to use. Cut out the images and laminate them. If you cut them in the same circle size as the paper, you can substitute the laminated image for that step.
Because you decide the height of the Styrofoam insert, you can use all manner of things other than stickers.
Artificial flowers work well. Other things that work well include foam cuts, photographs, pictures cut from magazines and greeting cards, buttons, pins, pebbles, you get the idea.
Have some fun for dirt cheap, or free if you're really creative, and help the only earth we have at the same time.
Everyone can succeed.
Let your inner artist shine even if he or she never grew past stick figures and finger paints with this fun and easy project guaranteed to produce a good looking result.
You don't need much at all... mostly your imagination.
With nothing to be lost and sure fire fun to be had, give it a go and see what masterpiece you or your little ones create. Better still, do some together for wholesome family fun time.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 - 45 minutes
- Card board
- Tuna Fish cans
- Duck Tape - big and small
- Stickers - both flat and puffy
- Peel and stick rhinestones
- Get together the basic tools needed which are scissors and a glue gun. Remember that small children should be supervised.
- Get out all of the materials.
- Cut the cardboard.
- Cover cardboard with wide roll or sheet Duck Tape.
- Run border strip of small roll Duck Tape.
- Cover clean, dry cans in Duck Tape sticking down inside and on the bottom.
- Cut and insert Styrofoam circles into cans.
- Cut and insert paper background into cans.
- Decorate each can with stickers, rhinestones and the like.
- Hot glue the cans to the covered cardboard.
- Affix the dowel rod to the back with a goodly amount of hot glue.
- Attach the ribbon to hang your display from. Enjoy!