Last summer whilst on holiday in France, I found a street seller in Montpellier selling 1 euro flower ashtrays. On closer inspection it was clear they were made out of tin cans and I was intrigued as to how he made them. Parting with my euro and choosing a colourful Fanta tin can flower I asked in my best limited French for a demonstration on how to make them. He showed me and made it look so easy I couldn’t wait to get back and give it a go.
I have to confess it actually took me a few goes to get the hang of it, but with an ample supply of beer cans from Farmer Nick I didn’t need to worry about using up all my resources! We have no use for ashtrays in our house, or at least not that my teens are owning up to, so decided to use them just as fun flowers for the garden or tea light holders indoors.
What you’ll need
Tin drinks can
ruler and pen
Tea light candle for a candle holder or string to hang in the garden
Measure 8 cm into your can from the base from a garden flower and from the top for a tea light holder. Mark with a line all the way round. If you have a tall beer can this will be half the can and will make both flowers using either end.
Pierce the tin can along your line with the tip of a pair of scissors for a garden flower or from the can pull end for a tea light (the base is rounded and will not hold the tea light)
Cut around the tin to separate into 2 halves
Trim any rough edges
Draw a line 1 cm from the base of you half can
Use your pen to mark 1.5 cm even spaces around the can judging by eye to end up back at the start.
Cut down from your pen marks to the line.
Bend down the cut sections to make the leaves
Now begin folding on an angle so the right hand top edge of a leaf tucks behind the bottom left corner of the leaf in front.
Keep working round till you come back to the start.
I was worried that cutting the metal cans would risk cuts to my fingers and was very reluctant to let the children try, however it is surprisingly hard to cut yourself so I would say safe for children to have a go supervised and ordinary kitchen scissors work well.
The tin is very pliable so you can refold any leaves you are not quite happy with, though too much tinkering and they will snap!
A Few Additions you could try
We nailed a few of ours to stakes and placed them in welly planters to have a little flower display before the spring daffodils came through
Why not thread small flowers like daisies through as a cute upcycled mother’s day present
Hang a few close together from a coat hanger and hang from a branch or post in the garden to make a wind chime.
A vlog tutorial on how to make tin can flowers
Joining in with Trash 2 Treasure
If you have post about something you have made with something from nature or something you would have otherwise have thrown away please come and share on Trash 2 Treasure. The linky will run on the 1st Monday of every month and stay open for the full month. Posts can take any form, all that matters is that the item made has primarily been upcycled from something of little value or found in nature. Leaves and loo rolls, sticks and staples, there are so many throw away items which, with a little imagination, can be turned into something of value. Most of my something from nothing craft tutorials will come from fun keepsakes we have made with the children in our farm activity hour but sometimes I will share bigger upcycling projects from Farmer Nick too. I hope through the linky to acquire some new ideas and I welcome all posts old and new.
A little extra from the awesome folk at Duck Tape Colours
Trash to Treasure is sponsored by Duck Tape Colours, makers of colourful tape to add pattern and sparkle to all your upcycling projects. Our favourite upcycling post each month will receive 3 colourful rolls of tape to inspire your next project. Do check out their website for plenty of creative ideas.
My February Duck Tape Colours winner is Patchwork Parent with a easy to follow tutorial on how to make an egg box bluebird in a tree; a great craft to use for Easter.
As always there were some wonderful upcycled ideas again this month, here are 3 more that really caught my eye:
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Emma and our children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.