Another recycled craft using food cans! This time I’ve been crafting with handmade Christmas gifts in mind. I love how these turned out, they brought a little touch of Spring to my kitchen!

If you are giving these as a Christmas gift you can tie some Christmas ribbon around the top of the tin and pop on a gift label. It is also a good idea to give them with a saucer (I picked up a huge mixed batch at our local auction house for a couple of pounds!). These tins will naturally rust over time, a saucer underneath will protect windowsills and tables from damage.

Flowers in food tins painted in pastel colours.

These really couldn’t be simpler to make, but I warn you – they become addictive, you may find it impossible to throw away a ring pull bean tin ever again!

You will need:

  • Ring pull food cans (I’ve used baked bean tins for the taller pots and chestnut tins for the squatter ones here)
  • Acrylic paint (I used Windsor and Newton Galeria in Pale Olive, Pale Violet, Windsor Violet, Powder Blue, Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Medium and Opera Rose)
  • Paint brushes
  • Cyclamen plants, primroses or spring bulbs
  • Compost
  • Small stones or gravel
  • A drill or nail and hammer


  • Wash and thoroughly dry your tins
  • Drill or nail punch a few drainage holes into the bottom of the tin (sand off any sharp edges if necessary but if you punch or drill inwards this shouldn’t be needed)
  • Paint a base coat of acrylic paint onto the tin, allow to dry and then apply a second coat
  • Once the second coat has dried completely you can paint on your flowers. I penciled my design on faintly first as the ridges in the tin can throw you off course so a guideline helps! Allow to dry.
  • Sprinkle a layer of gravel into the tin, then some compost.
  • Nestle your spring flowers into place
  • Water lightly

A plant growing in a painted tin, with a flower painted on the front.

Of course, if they are going outside, there is no need for a saucer at all!

Flowers growing in hand-painted tins, sat outside in a metal wall basket.

Children love making these too so share the tin love!

A plant growing in a tin with a sunflower painted on the front.

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