I saw this idea in a magazine, and thought I would make my own version. They are very easy to make out of recycled cans and saved seed packets. They can be used for potted plants or herbs, candles, or used as vases for fresh flowers (insert an old jar or glass to keep from rusting), or dried bouquets. They are pretty in groups to place on outdoor tables with candles inside. Be sure to match the size of your candle to the size of your can.
If you don't have seed packets, you can order vintage French Seed Packets - 24 for $12 from www.simplyfrenchvintage.com.
Old cans (large fruit, tomato, or soup cans work best)
Old Seed Packets or Vintage Style botanical images
Matte Photo Copy paper
Spray paint in your choice of colors (I used Cream and Moss Green)
Decoupage Medium (I used 'Matte')
1" thin paint brush
Spray Paint cans in your choice of colors. I use the cardboard trays from bottles of water to place my cans on while painting. I leave the insides unpainted to use for candles or plants. The shiny surface inside reflects the light of the candles and when using as a pot for plants, there are no chemicals inside (important for herbs).
Next, you want to copy and cut out the images of your seed packets or botanical prints. I used Matte Photo Paper, as it has a heavier weight than plain copy paper to hold up to the ridges in the cans.
Once your cans are dry, you are ready to decoupage the images.
Set up your work area with a piece of plastic to set your cans on. (plastic won't stick to the decoupage medium) A kitchen trash bag works great.
Coat the area where you are to place the image on your can with the decoupage medium, thoroughly. You will be coating the entire can after placing your image, so don't be fussy about it, but do make sure you coat an area larger than the image. You want the edges to adhere right away. Use a good amount of decoupage medium. If you want to cover the seams in the cans, use an image that covers the entire can from top to bottom and place the image over the seam. (a standard size seed packet will cover a fruit or tomato can, the larger standard size covers a large soup can)
Next, coat the back of your image, paying special attention to the edges to make sure they are coated well. The image will want to curl, so I find it is easier to hold the image in my hand as I do this and then immediately place it on the can. Lay the can down with something heavy to keep it from rolling along one side, (a full can of food works great).
At this point, check to make sure the image is going the right way on the can. I have placed images upside down more than once!
Keep some paper towel sheets close by to wipe your fingers as you work. After placing the image on the can, smooth it down from the center out to prevent bubbling.
Once it is smoothly in place and you have pressed all the edges down, you are ready to coat the entire can with the decoupage medium. It is easiest to put one hand inside the can to hold it while this is done.
Voila'! Now you have a cute little recycled container that can be used for so many things and also makes a sweet little gift for someone special.