Upcycle a Coffee Can With Duck Tape - DIY Custom Storage - Graphic Demonstration
Duct tape coffee can
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
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.
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 :).
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.
Be sure the inside is good and clean. Dry well to prevent rust.
Step two - Remove the label.
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.
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.
Do you look for ways to reuse items that normally end up trashed?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Step seven - Bring on the stars.
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.
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
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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 - 15 minutes
- 1 Coffee can
- Part of 1 roll Duck Tape
- Not much Ribbon
- A handfull Foam stars
- One for each star (optional) Gem studs
- Get the basic tools needed: Glue gun, glue sticks, scissors.
- Wash and dry inside can.Remove label.
- Start bottom ring of Duck Tape.
- Press down overhang on bottom.
- Continue building up tape rings working upwards.
- Glue ribbon trim to can.
- Assemble foam stars with gem studs.
- Glue stars to can.
- Clean up stray glue strings.