We all use some canned foods from time to time. And we all probably use empty cans for one purpose or another. This instructable shows how to decorate cans to be used as organizers for pencils, pens, paint brushes, etc. It's a simple thing to do, and children would especially have fun making their creations.
Step 1: Collect some Cans Destined for the Recycle Bin
Size doesn't matter, regular 14oz, is a good size, but all can be used. I prime the can with a good primer as a binder for the glue to be used.
Step 2: Make Styrofoam "Tiles"
I use the hotwire machine to do this. These instruments are available on line, or see my instructable:" Making The Mighty Goliath." See pictures for procedures.
Step 3: Glue Tiles Or Pattern To The Can
We want to make this tiled can look like a ceramic work of art, so carefully place tiles, gluing them no more than 1/8th inches apart. The empty spaces will be grouted as though they were real ceramic tile.
Step 4: Grout The Can
Using regular non-sanded or sanded grout, mix up a batch for your project. Apply grout with a gloved hand, or use a spreader tool. Force the grout into the spaces between tiles so that there are no pockets of air, or missed places in the grout lines. Let dry for 20-30 minutes. Picture from another instructable, but clearly shows the grouting procedure.
Step 5: Remove Excess Grout
After this initial drying period, remove excess grout with a damp, almost dry sponge. The object is to leave a hazy layer of grout over tiles, but leaving grout lines intact and even with the surface of the tiles. When dry (overnight) the tiles can be cleaned up, again using a damp sponge. Project can be sealed with a grout sealer if wanted, but is not necessary for these projects. I have used acrylic varnish (water based) and it appears to do a good job and leave a nice shine.
Step 6: Other Possibilities
Names, words, designs, messages, images can all be cut from your foam material and applied as shown. Other possibilities would be to get some stone "gems", sea shells, metal objects, etc.