As any gardener knows, a container garden can get expensive in a hurry. Turning old tin cans into flowerpots can help you alleviate that expense. You can use small cans to start seedlings. Large cans can be lasting planters.
There's not much work involved -- after all, a tin can is already a container. You'll need to poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Again, filling the can with water and freezing it will help you poke those holes without creating dents.
A flower pot is going to come into contact with a great deal of water, so unless you like the look of aging, rusting metal, you may want to coat your tin can flower pot with enamel. If you don't want to use a spray enamel, start with gesso or primer.
Spray the can with a clear polymer sealant if you like the look of naked metal but don't want rust. If you're feeling especially arty -- and you have some time on your hands -- you can use a power drill with sanding disks and a wire brush attachment to create a brushed metal look. You'll need to seal that surface well, though, as even light condensation can rust it. Use safety goggles; wire brushes routinely lose bristles.
Because of the stain risks of rust and water, it's a good idea to place a tin can flower pot -- even an enameled one -- on a base of some sort. Clear plastic plant bases are readily available. If you'd like to avoid buying new plastic, head to a thrift store or garage sale and buy an assortment of colorful dinner plates to use under your new planters.
You can also hang a tin can flowerpot. Punch three holes, evenly spaced, near the lip of the can. Attach a length of chain to each hole, and then join the chains over the center of the pot with a loop and an S-hook. Remember, the chains must bear the weight of soil and water, not just the can. Make sure they'll be up to the task.
Between the lanterns and the flowerpots, you may never come inside to enjoy your pen containers and candleholders.
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- Alvarado, Paula. "Designer Covers Mountain House with Recycled Tin Cans in Patagonia." Treehugger. March 17, 2009. (Accessed 4/15/09) http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/03/designer-covers-mountain-house-with-recycled-tin-cans-patagonia.php
- Apartment Therapy. "DIY: Candle Holders." August 27, 2008. (Accessed 4/16/09) http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/diy/diy-candle-holder-060844
- Barnes, Karen. "Recycled Tin Can Flower Pots." Associated Content. August 13, 2008. (Accessed 4/15/09) http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/921481/recycled_tin_can_flower_pots.html?cat=32
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- DIY Network. "Funky Tin-Can Crafts." DIY Network. (Accessed 4/16/09) http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/ls_basic_construction/article/0,,DIY_14084_2273930,00.html
- Encyclopedia Britannica. "Canning: Food Processing." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 2009. (Accessed 4/16/09) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/92715/canning#ref=ref135266
- Encyclopedia Britannica. "Environmental Works (Civil Engineering): Recycling." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 2009. (Accessed 4/16/09) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/189203/environmental-works/72394/Recycling#ref=ref593325
- Encyclopedia Britannica. "Metallurgy: Corrosion Resistance." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 2009. (Accessed 4/16/09) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/377665/metallurgy/81911/Corrosion-resistance#ref=ref622750
- Formaro, Amanda. "Tin Can Herb Pot." DIY Life. (Accessed 4/15/09) http://www.diylife.com/2008/03/18/tin-can-herb-pots/
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