Camouflaging Coffee Cans
February 12th, 2013 posted by Amanda Formaro
Pretty up a boring coffee can, make a decorative change bank, or make something fun for the kids to store small cars, toys, and tiny board books in. It’s easy! These step by step instructions will have you camouflaging those coffee cans in no time!
Decorative Kitchen Container
For the first project, a decorative kitchen container that actually holds coffee without the ugly label, you will need the following items: large coffee can
white acrylic paint
green acrylic paint
Assorted buttons in different colors and sizes
gingham twisted paper, cut into small squares
flowers and insects
cut from magazines
raffia white craft glue
large craft paint brush
small craft paint brush
If you make this project
What you do
Technique: Decoupage Wash and dry coffee can and sand off any sharp edges from the can’s opening. Begin by sponging one layer of white paint onto the entire outside of the can. Let it dry. Sponge on a second coat and allow that to dry as well. Using the small craft paint brush, paint the lines around the coffee can. These do not need to be perfect, rough edges add character to the can! Gently sponge some green lightly around the bottom section of the can over the white coat. Mix 4 tablespoons of white craft glue with enough water to bring it to painting consistency. Begin applying insect and flowers cut outs and squares of gingham twisted paper to the can. To do this, use the large crafting brush. Paint the glue mixture onto the can in the areas you wish to apply the pictures, press the picture on gently, then brush more of the mixture over the top. Repeat this step for all of the pictures you wish to decoupage on. Glue will most likely leave a white film over your pictures. Don’t panic! The glue will dry and you will not be able to see it. When finished, paint the entire can with a coat of the glue mixture. Allow it to dry completely. Apply a second coat of glue mixture, only this time, press buttons onto some of the gingham squares and around the bottom of the can to form “flowers”. Allow it to dry completely again. Using a piece of raffia and a large button, thread the raffia through the button holes so that the ends come out the front of the button. Fashion a simple bow on the front of the button, trim edges. When can is completely dry, hot glue the button to the top section of the can (see photo). Using green acrylic paint, make very simple flower stems below the buttons at the bottom of the can. To do this, simply paint short and long strokes of paint from the bottom of the can, almost up to each button. Variations: This craft is very adaptable. You can use any combination of magazine pictures, photocopies, fabric scraps, or pages from books and catalogs to decorate with. Fabric works very well and gives a marvelous primitive look when finished.
Kid’s Corner Can This extremely simple project is adorable and holds all those little board books so popular with the preschool and toddler set. Some ideas for older children are listed below, but for this project you will need the following supplies: large coffee can sandpaper white acrylic paint household sponge white craft glue water large craft paint brush old pillow case or sheet Wash and dry coffee can and sand off any sharp edges from the can’s opening. Begin by sponging one layer of white paint onto the entire outside of the can. Let it dry. Sponge on a second coat and allow that to dry as well. Cut out picture from an old sheet, crib sheet, or worn out pillow case (in our case a very old Dalmatian pillow case). Before applying any glue, position your character around the can so that you can visualize how you want it to lie on the can. Ours was quite a bit bigger than the can, so some pieces of the body were tucked inside the top of the can (tail, top of head, and an ear). Mix 4 tablespoons of white craft glue with enough water to bring it to painting consistency. Once you are ready to decoupage, begin by painting on some of the glue mixture and gently pressing the fabric onto the can. Continue around the can until finished, trim any edges at the bottom and tuck any edges at the top inside the can. Apply two coats of glue mixture over the completed fabric overlay, allow to dry between each coat. Finished! Because you are dealing with children on this project, pay special attention to the edges of the opening on the can. Always be sure to sand them down completely so there is no chance of little fingers getting cut. Using a seamless can opener can eliminate this worry all together.
This project is only limited by your imagination. There are so many things that you could recycle your coffee cans into, here are a few ideas to start with.
- Paint can white, cut out pictures and words that have to do with cars, trucks, wheels, racing, etc.
- Paint white or light color matching decor, decoupage flowers or other soothing patterns, embellish with buttons, beads, faux pearls or satin and lace.
- Paint white, decoupage Monopoly or play money onto the can, glue on pennies or faux coins.
- Paint can any color you choose, decoupage with pictures of where you want to go on your dream vacation.
Little Girl’s Jewelry
- Paint a bright color, pink or fuchsia, decorate with blue or black fun fur, faux pearls or gems.
- Paint white, decoupage pictures of cartoon or puppet characters, or cut out pictures of crayons, markers, paints, etc., and decoupage on.