Monday, April 18, 2016

Tin can art

I started this technique about two weeks ago, then let it sit while I worked on other projects.

It took me forever to save these three cans, even though I thought about this post for several months.  I simply do not eat food out of cans if I can help it.  Luckily, I have one of those can openers that cuts the top on the outside, not the inside of the can.

Of course, a lack of cans was just the first of many problems I had with this technique, including this spray paint I got at my local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Swap and Shop. 

In case you don't know about the HHW facility, you can take your old HHW there, which includes used paint, pool supplies, automotive supplies, etc. and exchange your items for others.  You can also bring old prescription drugs, halogen, fluorescent, and the new LED bulbs we now use in our lamps to the facility, where they are disposed of properly.  Or you can just get FREE supplies if you live in the county because your taxes have paid the annual fee for "shopping" there.  Many larger cities have this type facility, so check with your city or county to see what is available in your area.

Needless to say, I needed a different plan.  All of these cans came from HHW, and from the looks of the cans, I wasn't sure what I would discover once I actually tried to spray.  Add to that, the wind was ferocious, as it had been for days.

One pass

and the wind took care of much of the paint.

After a second pass, I waited for these to dry, then promptly forgot about them.  I had planned to cover the outside with lace and bling, but never got around to it.  I realize nicely decorated tin cans and their tutorials are a dime a dozen, so it was another reason I put this project on hold.

Fast forward to yesterday, before the rains came (and they definitely came, which was a genuine blessing), I was getting ready to return my only three jars of nail polish to the basement where they belonged, and was hit by an idea of how to change these three cans into art I could use in the garden.  In fact, I've been looking for a way to class up the area around the veggie garden.

So my supplies for this technique include a bucket of water, an empty aluminum tin, three cans, three bottles of nail polish and two different sized bamboo skewers.

I began by placing some water in the bottom of the aluminum pan.  As an aside, I know you have to work quickly,

as I did when I used spray enamel one summer.  If only I had remembered to wear protective gloves as I did in the above post!

For the first can, I tried to use the skewer, but the nail polish had already set and it stuck to the skewer.  The good news was (if there actually was good news during the making of these) the wind was blowing so hard I actually didn't need a skewer to mix the colors.

This is what happens when you don't have many colors to choose from.

But I was still quite happy with the way they turned out.  They remind me a bit of either tomatoes or decorative jalapeno peppers.

The back side isn't as pretty, but once I get potting soil and plants in them, and they are nailed or wired to a wall, the back side won't be noticeable.

As an aside, that's my thumb print on the inside of the can on the right.

If you decide to recreate this mess technique, be sure to wear gloves, or have some nail polish remover handy (which I don't own).

Thanks for following me on this rather dubious journey where for Day 18 I repurposed three tin cans using spray paint from my HHW facility and old nail polish I will never use again.  And thanks for your continued support of my project this month.

T will be served at the normal time which is 4 pm CDT today.  I hope you will have time to join us there, too.

10 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Once again, you have put a lot of work into re-purposing your cans, and I am sure they will be useful for little plants, etc. Here, tins and plastic get collected separately from the 'normal' garbage and recycled, not that I ever have much for the collections. Have a lovely day, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

They look fabulous and artsy now! I am impressed with the progress - you put a lot of work in it - great!
Happy new week Elizabeth!

My name is Erika. said...

We don't have a big recycle center at our dump, but we do have a small one. Its more like old decent furniture, none of the small things like spray paint. But I have heard of those bigger kind of center and I think its such a fantastic idea. Why trash things someone else can use. I think those cans will look nice with plants in them. They've got an artsy style rather than just a plain old plastic or ceramic. Glad you got that rain- our is coming tonight, and we're pretty dry right now too. Have a great Monday. :)

Darla said...

You did a good job with this process. I'm sure I would have covered myself in paint and nail polish. Sorry I haven't been around lately, been quite busy around here and we are off early this morning and will be without internet connection. I did leave some "bread crumbs" on my blog for you to follow if you want to know what we are up to (smile).

Jeanie said...

I wish I could handle the odor of nail polish -- this is a great project! I know what you mean about tin cans, though. About the only thing I have from a can is pureed tomatoes when we do pasta sauce -- and come spring/summer, that's pretty rare!

Dianne said...

I would not have thought of putting plants in these...great idea! I continue to be amazed at your ability to re-use and upcycle materials! I look forward to seeing the 'pop' of color in your garden when these beauties are installed! ♥

Meggymay said...

Great make over for the cans, I can see them as plant holders in the garden already.
Yvonne xx

Divers and Sundry said...

We used to decorate cans to use as pencil holders, but the plant idea is priceless! I look forward to seeing them planted :)

jinxxxygirl said...

Love seeing your recycle projects Elizabeth. Curious here.. how did you dispose of the water with the spray paint and nail polish in it?? Hugs! deb

AiyanaKalyna said...

I am fighting for a decent recycling center in my city. This town is very disposable even though there are slowly small changes coming about. I love the cans. I loved the blue cans too. I was looking at some of my photo's tonight. One of the European girls I like was showing off her desk. She had a tin can holding her pens. She had decorated the cans with simple flower stickers. It looked so pretty. Between her can and your blue cans you have given me a great idea. Thank you.