Friday, April 26, 2013

Recycling coffee cans into a table centerpiece

Hello friends,

This is a step by step easy project to show you how to recycle two coffee cans, in my case Maxwell House, into a beautiful centerpiece for your dining room table. For this project I used common items you may have around the house + ModPodge.

What is Modpodge?

Mod Podgeis an acid-free brand of glue produced by Maid. You can find it at crafts stores such as Michael's or AC-Moore. Mod Podge is more than a glue, it is also a sealant and varnish. You can use it to glue paper, fabric, etc., onto surfaces and seal the surface in either gloss or matte finish. It will harden as though a varnish and allows you to cover pretty much anything you want with various medium for a durable finish. I already covered an entire dresser top and lined drawers using Mod Podge amongst other projects. 

For this project you will need the following items:

Two empty coffee cans with their tops.

Two 12x12 sheets of card stock type scrapbooking paper. Here I am using two sheets from the Far East Collection (DCWV). 

Far East Stack from DCWV

Ribbons and bows (I have recycled two different styles that were previously used to wrap chocolate boxes), Mod Podge (mine is the gloss variety), tape, scissors, a sponge applicator (for the glue) and other decorative items (two plastic cup inserts - not shown - a rectangular platter and rooster).

For additional decorative items I went to Home Goods and purchased a platter and a small terracotta rooster...

$3.99 for this cute little rooster...

And only 9.99 for the large rectangular platter.

Step One - Paper application:

Measure where to cut the paper. Here, I simply rolled the sheet over my can and marked on both ends (using a pencil) where to fold and later cut.

Before applying the paper to the can, I secured it using two small pieces of tape.

Once the paper is secure, flip the can over with the length of paper underneath it.

You will need to use Mod Podge on both sides of the paper. Below, I have applied the glue on the inner side. To adhere the paper to the can, simply roll the can over the paper (slowly) and pressing gently to ensure it adheres uniformly.


Using the sponge brush and placing your hand inside the can for support, apply Mod Podge all over the paper to seal it. You can either apply brush strokes vertically or horizontally. Though Mod Podge will dry as a transparent medium, you will see the brush strokes, so either method is your personal choice. I used Horizontal strokes. 

Once the paper has been fully covered with Mod Podge, press on both edges where the 12 x 12 cardstock do not meet. Of course, if you were using wrapping paper or any paper or fabric that came in larger sizes, this would not happen and you would get a perfect seam. In my case, I did not care that the can's circumference would be over 12 in. and my intention was to add a piece of paper to cover the gap.

Below, I have covered the gap with a matching strip of paper. Using my fingers I pressed on all the edges to ensure they were fully adhered to the can.

These are my two cans, waiting to dry. If you want to, you can apply a second coat of Mod Podge afterwards, but  I was fine with just one.

Step Two - Finding inserts:

Since I had intended to use these two cans as flower vases, I needed to find the right size glasses to insert inside the cans. I found these party store licensed character plastic cups in my cupboard and they fit perfectly!

Step Three - Attaching the ribbons/bows:

I tend to keep pretty satin ribbons from gift wrapping and these two came very handy for this project since they match the overall color scheme of my green scrapbooking paper. Since Mod Podge can also be used on fabric, adhering the satin ribbons to the cans was not going to be much of a chore either. I chose to "mod podge" the flat part of the ribbons (under and over) around the top of the cans, but kept the original bows untouched.

Once the bows were applied and the glue was still drying, I refitted the original golden lids back onto the cans, only this time, I placed them at the bottom of the cans to give them a more finished look.

Step Four - Decorating: 

I used some of the remaining scrapbook paper (cut to size) as a mat for the bottom of my platter.

The mini rooster found its home right in the middle of the platter.

I then placed my two cans (still drying - I have no patience) on either side of the rooster.

Since the goal here was to make a centerpiece for my dining room table, I went to my local fancy supermarket and purchased three bouquets in assorted colors.

Once the cans were dried, I began working on my flower arrangement by evenly distributing flowers and branches amongst the two vases.

Final Project

This is what it looked like once the project was complete. Since the two plastic cup inserts are removable, they can be washed. I can also recycle the two coffee cans at a  later time into pen holders or separate them for various decorative projects around the house. In other words, this project has multiple uses.

This was a simple and very fast project to complete. Honestly, Mod Podge is one of the greatest inventions, I can think of so many uses for it that my to-do project list has multiplied overnight!

What do you think? Is this a project you would like to complete for your home?
Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. I love to hear from my readers!

Thank you for liking and sharing my blog/post with family and friends.

Sophia, NJ.

You can find me on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE.

*This site contains affiliate advertising. I am not solicited to advertise or review specific products. All opinions are my own.


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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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