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Monday, August 2, 2010

Easy Peasy Project Alert - Tin Can Seed Starters

Grab that load of tin cans you've been stock piling - I've got an easy-peasy project for you.

I've seen tin can everything around blogland lately, and there are many great projects out there to be inspired by. One day I'll make my way through them all.

For now though, I just needed to do something with the ones I've been saving that were beginning to create a moat around my kitchen counter.

I decided to plant flower seedlings in mine. I needed a place to get them started, and this was the perfect solution.

It's a quick project that uses up several cans at one time.

Here we go!
You'll need cans, spray paint, seeds, a drill bit (or hammer and nail), potting soil, and some sort of identification stick.
I used actual flower markers that you can write on.

Ok, so I painted my cans before I took a picture of the supplies.
I'm assuming you all know how to spray paint a can by now, right?

Anyhoo, first, I painted all of my cans in various colors.
Love the mix.
All the colors are Krylon.

Next, let the cans dry completely, and then punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage.
If you have a drill, just use a small bit and do your holes.
If not, punch them with a hammer and nail.
(Just an FYI here - I put way too many holes in mine. Two per can would've worked just fine. Next time I'll know.)

Then, load them up with potting soil and put your seeds in.
Be sure to keep up with which seeds are in which cans so that you can label them properly.

I planted one type of seed at a time and then made my markers so that I wouldn't lose track of what was where.

Aren't the colors fun and happy?

TIP: I always put my potting soil in a bucket and wet it down before I fill my cans. This way, the soil is already packed down and your seeds won't shift or float to the top when you water them afterwards.

I put them on an old table and then sat them on the deck.
The next morning it was raining so I checked on them to see if they were flooding, and here's what they looked like.

The water droplets are so pretty on the colored cans!

And here they are 8 days later in the morning sun - already flourishing!
I check on them every single day, especially during this heat wave!).
At this rate of growth, I'll be able to transfer them into larger containers or into the ground and start all over with a new batch really soon.

I'll definitely be doing this every year now.


  1. What a cute and green idea. :)

    Thanks for your sweet note this weekend.

  2. Such a cute idea. Love the colors you used. I save cans all the time and think I know I can find something new and unique to use them for. This is a great idea. I think I'll start some Fall crop vegetable seed in them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Fabulous idea and boy did they take off!!! Super!!

  4. Sweet Miss Polly, I have started a link over at my blog on Mondays called Green is about showing off how you recycle and upcycle things to help our environment. This post would work great! What a neat use of cans right out of the recycle pile!

  5. If you only knew how many cans I have!!! We save them for a scholarship project, but I can spare a few for this great idea. Love your color choices too!

  6. Another great can repurposing idea, Polly! I was covering mine in scrapbook paper and using them to make some containers that might be helpful in organizing my craft area.

  7. How adorable! I'd be sad to transplant them they're so perfect just like that! :)


  8. Those are so cute! I would have never thought about sprucing up cans like that! Great idea!

  9. What a great and cute idea. I will be trying that next planting season.

  10. I adore these, Polly! I am going to have to do this. This was a great project and such a pretty one! And economical to boot.

  11. Those cans ARE happy looking!!! I have just begun saving cans because I thought "there had to be something fun to do with them"!!! You did it!!

    And just so you know....Before blog world I DID NOT know how to spray paint. No lie! And those clip-on sprayer things are marvelous!!! I just walk around with the can in my hand and look for something else to paint!!!

    Your world is so colorful!!!! I love it!!!


  12. Oh...I love this idea! I can't believe the seeds grew so fast!

    The colors are wonderful...and yes...very happy;)!


  13. What a great project! I'm going to file that one away for when my kids are old enough to do most of the work. Love it!

  14. Good post!

    Yesterday I posted something similar on my blog and will now go back and insert a link to your post.

    Several years ago I saw a project that reminds me of this one in a gardening magazine. Instead of cans, they had used steel buckets (the rustable kind) and had painted them with flat (probably latex paint) then left them out to become a little rusty and shabby. I borrowed this idea using the gallon size tomato sauce cans (from Sam's) and put out groupings of pansies. This year I may try it with my own starter seeds.


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