Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Upcycled Shabby Chic Tin Cans

Vintage Book Page Pen Pots

I took a little break from sewing this week and instead indulged myself with lots of lovely cutting and sticking, making these vintage style pen pots from old tin cans.  I used the same basic technique as my decoupage book page eggs, which remains one of my most popular posts of all time.

Would you believe they started out as cheap and tacky plastic eggs?!  

As the tin cans are intended to be used as desk tidies for stationery supplies, I decided to theme them around novelists and works of literature.  Not surprisingly I was unable to source any suitable printed paper napkins, so instead I stamped plain white serviettes using the stamp sets below;

I used an old book of quotations, which had seen far better days, for the script background and then gave the cans a quick colour wash of watered down brown paint to enhance their 'foxed' antique finish. After this I carefully trimmed the stamped tissue images before sticking them to the cans with thinned white PVA glue (USA - Elmers).  This is sooo much cheaper than Modge Podge, just add water until the glue is the consistency of thin single cream.  The final step was to give each can a couple of coats of polyurethane varnish.

Unique upcycled craft storage tin cans!


  1. Dear Josie
    They look great! The stamps and backgrounds work so well.
    Best wishes

  2. These are lovely and thanks for the heads up on alternative to Modge Podge.

  3. Love, love, love those sweet cans! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  4. These are so cool, as are the eggs! You are a crafty genius! Jxo

  5. Hi Josie, these look amazing and so useful. I am very taken with your stamps (Poe!) and what a wonderful idea to upcycle tin cans. They are pretty handy. I will be saving some to make lights for the garden if it ever stops raining up here. :)