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Tin Containers

When the garden is especially exuberant, it seems you can never have enough vases. Make a matching set of vessels by painting metal cans in muted hues. We refinished soup, tomato, and coffee tins in assorted sizes, and fitted them with drinking glasses to prevent rusting.




  • Metal cans
  • Metal file
  • Nylon brush
  • Semi-gloss latex paint
  • Drinking glasses
  • Water
  • Flowers


  1. Step 1

    Smooth jagged can edges with a metal file, then use a nylon brush to apply two coats of semi-gloss latex paint; let paint dry overnight.

  2. Step 2

     Insert a glass into each container, fill it with water, and tuck a few blooms into it (we chose pink and purple hydrangeas, plus lady's mantle and stock). Place several containers together for a bountiful display.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2006



Reviews (4)

  • WoobyGirl 22 Aug, 2011

    I have done this many times - and I find that spray paint (enamel) like Krylon works well too. I spray the inside too so it won't rust. A nice can is the tall thin can that Asparagus comes in - no rings or lines on it. Makes a nice pencil or paintbrush holder too.

  • recoverydata 9 Aug, 2010

    Flowers really looking beautiful and thanks for motivating us to grow more and more trees which are very beneficial for the environment as well as the living beings.
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  • rreilly 18 Jul, 2009

    hey, where do you get the brazian coffee? thx

  • houseof8 16 Jul, 2009

    Before I got so picky about what coffee I drink, I bought coffee based on the can...."How good will this look with a plant in it?" My favorite, a Brazillian coffee can with parrots all over it, is soon to be too rusted, but for now still looks great with sedums flowing out.