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Upcycle a Coffee Can With Duck Tape - DIY Custom Storage - Graphic Demonstration

Updated on September 10, 2014

Duct tape coffee can

Source

This is an easy crafting project resulting in useful products.

We have all heard about the need to reuse, recycle, upcycle and basically do all we can to start cleaning up the mess that has been made of our world.

I can't say a desire for that was the catalyst for this project. I started saving coffee cans to build hanging planters, but had not got around to actually crafting them.

This morning, I got a phone call. A student I graduated about eight years ago is finally getting to go back to community college, after being forced to leave due to financial concerns.

One of her summer classes is an internship at an about to open local day program for developmentally disabled adults. Her job, specifically, will be to lead crafting project mini classes. At the end of this article, find printable instructions and supply list.

Easy, breezy DIY storage for virtually free

Reused coffee can for craft supply storage
Reused coffee can for craft supply storage | Source

Kali needs crafting supply storage.

Can it please just all match?

Kali will be great at this internship!

The problem is she has a tiny room with one table, some chairs and a wall of shelves.

She was given the task of organizing the space and a mountain of plain jane mismatched shoe boxes full of supplies like markers, colored pencils, paint brushes, artificial flowers, stamps and so on.

Of course, big surprise, there's no budget.

Here's the plan. Get the storage for free, or right at it.

Upcycle a coffee can for storing or displaying greenery
Upcycle a coffee can for storing or displaying greenery | Source

Duck Tape sure has changed.

What used to be only silver and on a roll, now comes in rainbow colors and patterns. You can get Duck Tape in sheets and rolls of various sizes these days. Too cool. Back in the day, I kid you not, I have fixed cars with this stuff long enough to get me down the road. Back then, I never would have considered using it for crafting. Things change, sometimes for the better :).

Duck Brand Peace Sign Printed Duct Tape, 10 yards Length x 1-7/8" Width
Duck Brand Peace Sign Printed Duct Tape, 10 yards Length x 1-7/8" Width

Peace signs are all the rage with the younger crowd these days. Sure to please both boys and girls thanks to the colors and theme, this is a great tape to start building your crafting supply stash with.

 

Use what you have on hand when you can in craft projects, or anything else for that matter.

What you see in the photo is what I had available, plus more coffee cans.

Kali wants to do a simple theme of reach for the stars. I love it! After talking about it, she and I agree the only way to pull it off is to cover things like shoe boxes and coffee cans in a matching way.

She's going to be doing 20 boxes. I volunteered to help out and do the 10 coffee cans.

As a student, she's broke. Me being a retiring teacher and soon to be full time writer, I'm not looking to be anything less than frugal myself.

After figuring out we both had black Duck Tape and glitter foam stars already, we decided on the following design out of necessity. We are working with what we have. She bought some gold ribbon that matches what I used here and I gave her a bag of the gem studs, so our stuff will match.

Step one - Wash and dry the can.

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Be sure the inside is good and clean. Dry well to prevent rust.

Step two - Remove the label.

Step two is to remove the label from the can.
Step two is to remove the label from the can. | Source

If having small children do this project, be sure to use children's scissors. They fit small hands better and are much safer. Notice, they have rounded edges, not points.

Step three - Start covering the can. Use the Duck Tape to build upwards.

Start each new row in the same spot going upwards.
Start each new row in the same spot going upwards. | Source

Note where you start the tape line on the can.

The seam will show. Start each new successive row working upwards at the same spot to avoid ugly overlap and seam lines. Make sure to use the front side, with no ugly lines showing for the decorations. Leave the lines for the back side facing the wall.

Leave some tape overlap for the bottom.

Press down the tape all around the bottom of the can.
Press down the tape all around the bottom of the can. | Source

Do you look for ways to reuse items that normally end up trashed?

See results

When starting your first row at the bottom, leave some tape hanging over the edge. That way when you press it down, no funky part of the can will show on the outside.

Use your finger to press it down all the way around so the can will sit flat.

Be sure to get it down really good.

Press tape firmly all around the bottom ring with a blunt object.
Press tape firmly all around the bottom ring with a blunt object. | Source

Where we are, the humidity is very high. This doesn't work well over time with any kind of tape unless it's stuck down really well.Use a blunt object to press down the tape firmly all along the bottom rim of the can. I used the handles of the scissors.

Do not allow small children to do this. It sets a dangerous habit. A marker with the cap on would do the job safely for small children.

Step four - Continue tape rings.

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Keep making rings of Duck Tape, starting and ending at the seam line in the back, with each new row.Pull the tape firmly and press as you go. Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles immediately. Duck Tape is not forgiving once firmly set. I used about a half inch overlap here to ensure complete coverage and reduce the probability of future peel up.

It's amazing how many patterns and colors you can get.

This one is Hello Kitty!

Little kids and big kids alike will love the polished look they can easily achieve with this stuff.

Moms, teachers, baby sitters and grandmothers will love the affordability and durability of Duck Tape crafting, not to mention the easy clean up as compared to paints and markers.

The world's most loved kitty got her own tape!

Duck Brand 280831 Hello Kitty Printed Duct Tape, 1.88 Inches x 10 Yards, Single Roll
Duck Brand 280831 Hello Kitty Printed Duct Tape, 1.88 Inches x 10 Yards, Single Roll

Girls go nuts for Hello Kitty. I have to get this.

From notebooks to lockers, jewelry racks to bulletin boards, this will get used so fast.

 

Step five - Apply the ribbon trim.

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To me, decorating is much more fun than taping. Using a hot glue gun, attach the ribbon to the top and bottom of the can making a simple ring around each. Be sure to start the ribbon on the seam line just like you did the tape.

You don't have to measure, if you don't want to. I left the ribbon on the spool and glued as I went. When I reached the end of the ring, I cut and glued down the end. No measurement was required.

Step six - Assemble your stars.

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Press the gem studs straight into the stars using your finger. It's very easy. The prongs will stick out the back just a fraction. This is good as it allows a bit of grip, if you want to play around with where to put them before gluing onto to the can.

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Step seven - Bring on the stars.

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Apply a liberal dollop of glue to the back of the stars and press on. Hold in place for a few seconds to prevent sliding.

Step eight - Let dry, pull strings.

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Be sure to pull off all of the little glue strings.

Check it out! You're done. The product you produce can be used for a variety of storage and display functions. Storage doesn't have to be expensive, unmatched, or totally ugly. Make your own, have some fun and help the planet all at the same time.

Upcycled coffee can used as a planter

Upcycle a coffee can for a planter.
Upcycle a coffee can for a planter. | Source

Tackle your storage needs on the cheap by converting what would normally get tossed.

Coffee cans are great for storage options for a variety of reasons, if one but covers the ugly.

First, they are really sturdy and don't break even when overloaded. Second, of course, you already paid for it so the cost is minimal or free depending on how you decorate it.

Lastly, because there is no significant investment, they are great for storing things you know will mess them up over time such as paint brushes, kid's markers and children's art supplies.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 - 15 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 Coffee can
  • Part of 1 roll Duck Tape
  • Not much Ribbon
  • A handfull Foam stars
  • One for each star (optional) Gem studs

Instructions

  1. Get the basic tools needed: Glue gun, glue sticks, scissors.
  2. Wash and dry inside can.Remove label.
  3. Start bottom ring of Duck Tape.
  4. Press down overhang on bottom.
  5. Continue building up tape rings working upwards.
  6. Glue ribbon trim to can.
  7. Assemble foam stars with gem studs.
  8. Glue stars to can.
  9. Clean up stray glue strings.
Cast your vote for Upcycled Coffee Can Instructions and Supply List

Would you consider crafting your own storage?

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    • yayang0405 lm profile image

      yayang0405 lm 3 years ago

      If I can, I would. Thanks for sharing this great information.

    • Grifts profile image

      Devin Gustus 4 years ago

      I really like that you actually have "duck tape" and not "duct tape."Great lens!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Erin Mellor: Me too. There are several brands of decorative tapes coming out now. Thanks bunches for taking the time to read and comment. God bless.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      I love those fancy Duck Tapes, I didn't know they were available.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @notsuperstitious1: I knew of some because I see them in the store. But, when searching online, I found literally hundreds. There are many different brands too, Scotch, Duck, Platypus and some others. Thanks bunches for taking the time to read and comment. God bless!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @noner: Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I'm finding it a lot easier to use than some other means of covering things. And, I really like the easy clean up. God bless.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Faye Rutledge: Thank you! God bless and most happiest of squidding.

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 4 years ago from Canada

      I am now going to check out all the various colors of duck tape. Never knew there were so many different colors and designs.

    • noner profile image

      noner 4 years ago

      I upcycle quite a bit. I've not used duck tape yet though.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      I think this is a great idea! Thanks for sharing and for the easy to follow directions. :)

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      This is a lovely lens! We use big bamboo instead of coffee can :)

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @lbrummer: Thank you so much. I'm falling in love with Duck Tape and finding ways to reuse what some consider trash. My poor garage is starting to get full of cans, bottles and the like, but it's all good. The more I read around Squidoo, the more ideas I get for things to create. God bless!

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 4 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      I'm for any recycling project. Your covered cans are very attractive and useful. Nice article!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave such a kind comment. I think I'm literally starting to fall in love with Duck tape. The more I do with it, the more ideas I get. I think I'm having more fun than allowed ;).

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      We used to cover cans for storage all the time, but never with duck tape. Of course it was all gray then. This craft would be a great reason to buy and use some of the pretty tape! Great tutorial, very complete and well done!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @DANCING COWGIRL: Awe, thank you. Well, it's to give away, but I want to do another one for me. I need to get my hands on some grape stickers or foam cuts or something first. God bless and happiest of squidding. (The poor spell check filters must be having a cow over my snigglets).

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @clevergirlname: Thank you so much for your kind comment. On the glue gun, do better than I did and go cordless. That thing is forever getting in my way. God bless and happy squidding.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @lionmom100: Thank you for the like and the pin. :) It was fun. It's a really quick and easy project and it was for a good cause. God bless.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      Hey, this is a great how to on your coffee can project. Great info and pictures. The coffee can looks great matching your coffee pot now. Best Wishes!!

    • clevergirlname profile image

      clevergirlname 4 years ago

      Absolutely! I like this idea. I think I need a glue gun and to start collecting lovely crafty bits. Coffee cans I already have and reuse!

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      This looks like a fun idea. Liked and pinned.

    • profile image

      marsha32 4 years ago

      Pinning this for future use.There are so many neat things you can make.I wish it was easier to find the metal coffee cans.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Cynthia Haltom: Oh, cookies. Now, I want a chocolate chip breakfast ;). Thank you very much for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment. God bless and happiest of squidding!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Cool idea and great instructions. This would make a good cookie jar.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Lynda Makara: LOL, me too oftentimes as attested to by the boatload of mismatched storage in my garage. I'm seriously thinking of doing this again, however, for my own office. I store my crafting supplies in there in plastic stackable drawers that do match. The problem is, they are deep and too full. I have to basically empty out the drawer to find anything. I'm thinking if I do the cans mounted vertically on the wall, I keep the storage and I could see stuff! :) God bless and happy squidding.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @techsavvy123: Thank you. I wouldn't go that far, but it worked and the budget was right ;). God bless and happy squidding this fine weekend.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @the-gadgeteer: Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. God bless and happiest of squidding.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 4 years ago from California

      Very fun and creative. I use things like this for storage but don't take the time to decorate them.

    • profile image

      techsavvy123 4 years ago

      Wow! What a great idea.

    • profile image

      the-gadgeteer 4 years ago

      Good job. I'm not a crafts person myself, but love the creativity of reusing stuff. I did help my daughter do some decorative duct taping a few things, and it was tedious but fun. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @electrolion: Thank you! God bless and most happy squidding.

    • profile image

      electrolion 4 years ago

      This is very nice. It even has a pictorial step-by-step. Good work.