Picture of Can Art:Pebble Cans And Other Delights
Due to interest in my instructable:; I was prompted to find another use for tin cans.  This instructable shows the end results of the creative process...from empty tin cans and plastic jars to complete, usable art/garden objects.
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Step 1: Collect Cans and Plastic Jars

Picture of Collect Cans and Plastic Jars
Plastic jars? Yep, I found that they work fine and fill the need very well!  Who'd have thought that you can utilize plastic containers in this manner?  I wasn't so sure at first, but so far, it seems to be very doable.

Step 2: Other Materials and Tools

Picture of Other Materials and Tools
To complete these projects, I used three different adhesives to attach pebbles, glass baubles, broken tiles, etc. First was regular thin set, a mortar like material for setting tiles; 2: Tile adhesive, which accomplishes the same thing, but is a latex product, ready to use, and 3: A product called Flexall. This is a filler type agent to use for filling gaps, holes, etc in various materials.  It seems very similar to the tile adhesive, and it worked exceptionally well.  the usual trowls, sponge, mixing containers, a paint brush, hammer, etc.

Step 3: First Pebble Can

Picture of First Pebble Can
Here I've shown the first can I did.  On this can I used tile adhesive and applied the stones directly onto the adhesive.  I cover all steps later on.

Step 4: Second Pebble Can

Picture of Second Pebble Can
On this can, I wanted a larger circumference than the can itself, so came up with a method to apply a thicker coating of material.  Basically, I first  glued some broken pieces of tile onto the can.  Around these pieces, I applied chicken wire, much as you would in lath and plaster work.  Then, the tile set mortar was applied to this supporting grid of wire, and allowed to dry.  A second coat of black sanded grout was then spread over all the surface and smoothed out with a damp sponge.  This gave a very smooth, uniform exterior coating to which I would then attach the tile pieces.  To do this, I used regular tile adhesive.  Then, the tiles are applied, the piece is allowed to cure at least over night, then the tiles can be grouted.
Pumpkin222 months ago
Hi I love this idea !!! It looks lovely , iv got bags if stones I don't know what to do with , and some horrible big plastic planters , so I would love to try this , just wanted to check I understand you correctly ,

In regards to putting tile adhesive or filler on to the plastic tub , should I paint a primer on it first ? Then the adhesive then do I just stick the stones to the adhesive , then leave them to set over night and that's it?

I might sound stupid but just wanted to be clear on the instructions .

Great idea they look expensive !!

Love Sarah x
Creativeman (author)  Pumpkin222 months ago

I don't believe a primer is necessary...just apply your adhesive/tile set, etc. then embed stones. Don't do too large an area to begin with you can always add more adhesive later. Good luck.

This is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing.
Creativeman (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya2 years ago
You are welcome and thanks for your comment!
debdegraeve3 years ago
This is really beautiful. About this flexall stuff. I have a persistent crack in a plaster wall. Will this fill it and not crack out in the future? I have tried many products and nothing has worked. Deb
Hi deb, Used an outdoor polyfilla ---it's in powder form. (a South African product,--- there must be a similar type product available everywhere.) Then added lightly beaten egg white with some of the required water and used it in the plaster cracks in my walls. It worked like a charm and was super strong and never cracked. Found this hint in a magazine somewhere, long time ago. Sure it will work for you. Try it anyway and see what happens.Good luck
Creativeman (author)  debdegraeve3 years ago
Thanks the flexall. they claim it will, you can google it and see all of it's uses. sounds like you might have a foundation problem. here in calif., I have been patching the same cracks for 35 years! they seem to always come back, and I heard it was due to "expansive soil"...I dunno...if the house settles a hair, then cracks might ask an expert, good luck.
jennybotha2 years ago
OOOOOOOOHHH !!!! just LOVE this idea. Will look around for things to use to "stick " onto cans etc.,-- Thanks for sharing, sweetie.
breumer3 years ago
beautiful vases! but I have a question. On the cans you have used wire, why not on the plastic jar ?
Creativeman (author)  breumer3 years ago
Thanks breumer. I wanted to make a thicker walled vase and thought the best way to do that is with the wire as shown. It worked, but took a couple of days to dry, and may not be the best way, if simplicity is necessary, to do this. the other methods work as well, just don't have the thickness.
Rajabbek3 years ago
I really liked it. This is a very nice and simple
Creativeman (author)  Rajabbek3 years ago
Thank you!
shazni3 years ago
do you prime the it can be pasted on?
i generally use wall filler.
What did adhesive did you use for the pebbles? I like the look of it.
I've done the rest...after i saw the same article you did... :-)
Creativeman (author)  shazni3 years ago
shazni, thanks...I have primed some cans but think it doesn't matter; the tile adhesive was used, see step 4.
ChrysN3 years ago
Nicely done, I'm impressed that you can make this from plastic containers.
Creativeman (author)  ChrysN3 years ago
Thanks Chrys, it was a fun project.
Ninzerbean3 years ago
Amazing, so simple and the effects are so professional looking, when I get a second or too I am going to do this. Thanks for sharing!
Creativeman (author)  Ninzerbean3 years ago
Thanks Ninzerbean! They are a simple and effective project for sure.