I had so much fun making these! I love being able to take something that would have been thrown into the garbage and instead make it functional and pretty. This project takes about 20 minutes to complete, is easy enough for kids to do and cost me a total of $7. Keep reading to find the story behind this project as well as a full tutorial.
Before we moved, we lived two miles from a county recycling center. We would collect our recyclables and every month or so we would drop them off on our way somewhere. There are a lot of arguments out there that recycling takes just as much from the earth as simply throwing our trash in a landfill. The basic premise is that it takes fossil fuels to break down the recyclable material (namely glass) as well as transport the material from our homes to the plant. The process releases harmful emissions into our atmosphere and does nothing for our dependence on oil. I've read some arguments that say we're better off dumping it in with our "regular" trash and calling it a day. As someone who grew up during the 90s (and was taught how to recycle during elementary school) I find this incredibly disheartening. Recycling always gave me a sense of hope and purpose. Rather than ignore the arguments against recycling, I've tried to change the way I consume.
I've found the only surefire way to decrease my use of fossil fuels and decrease the amount of waste going into the landfill, is to limit my use of "throwaway" items. An easy "throwaway" item to stop using is plastic bags, simply switch them out for a few canvas ones you can reuse. And remember to bring them to the grocery store! We rarely have plastic bottles in the house, and when we're through with them I use them to make self watering planters. I've also recently started filling the bigger ones with water and storing them. Its nice to have a stash of water that you can use to wash dishes or flush the toilet with when the power goes out.
Our biggest waste is glass. Wine, beer and Coca Cola. We probably fill two cardboard boxes a month with the stuff. Our second biggest waste is cans (not aluminum, canned food cans). Our dinky small town recycling center does not have a bin for recycling cans. I've decided to come up with creative ways to use them again, rather than tossing them in with our regular trash.
Tin Can Succulents: A Tutorial
I bought two succulents at home depot for 7 dollars total. I had a hard time choosing just two!
After you have found the succulents you want, you'll need to find a suitable can(s) for the project. Make sure you choose clean, undented cans.
First you will want to soak your cans in water for about five minutes. This makes the second step a lot easier. You want to peel off the label without ripping it
Dry off your cans and place them open end down on a hard non-slippery surface. You are going to create drainage holes in the bottom of your planter. Take your screwdriver and position it over the can. Pound the screwdriver with a hammer to create a hole in the can. Repeat this at least twice and make sure to spread the holes around the bottom of the can. This part is easier than it looks and it takes a minimal amount of force to create a hole. Next, you'll want to transplant your succulents into their new home. Make sure you transplant before you put your nice new label on.
Dry your label off and place it onto your cardstock. I chose white cardstock because it shows the details of the stamp so well. Trace your label and cut.
Cut a few white labels and play around with your stamps. It helps to place the stamp in the center of your label but play around with it and see what you like!
Once you have something you really like, affix it to your can with either glue or tape. I tend to not like glue because it ripples the paper and is messy. If you are using tape, just tape one end of the label directly to the can. Then wrap the label around your can and tape the other end down!
Now your succulents have a new home that was saved from the landfill!
What do you do with your leftover cans? Let me know in the comments!