Tin Can Art Supply Caddy

About: I'm a designer, writer, and artist based in upstate NY.

Being a collector of hobbies, I've bought a lot of art supplies along the years. I have so many markers and pencils and pens and paintbrushes and pairs of scissors -- I was thinking it would be nice to have them all in one place. This simple art supply caddy did the trick. I also recycled some tin cans in the process!

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Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You're going to need seven cans total: one tall can -- like the 9.90 oz wasabi peas can I used, and six normal-sized cans -- 14 oz cans of green beans, corn, soup, etc. You want to make sure your smaller cans don't have sharp lips on the inside of them. This is just because fabric is going to be glued in that spot and, especially if you're expecting children to use this art supply caddy, you don't want anyone accidentally getting their fingers sliced. Make sure your cans are washed and dried. Take the labels off and throw them away. The wasabi peas label was printed onto the can, so I didn't have to worry about that one.

Other supplies include:

  • Fabric. I used three fat quarters in various patterns and had about half of each fat quarter left over.
  • Hot glue gun + hot glue sticks.
  • Ruler/measuring tape.
  • Scissors.

Step 2: Cut and Iron Fabric

Most 14 oz tin cans are 4 inches tall and have a 9-inch circumference. So in order to completely wrap a piece of fabric around said can, the rectangle piece of fabric needs to be slightly larger. Cut six pieces of fabric (I cut three in one pattern and three in another pattern) that are 6" x 10.5".

Using your iron, fold over one of the longer edges about three-quarters of an inch and press. Do the same to one of the shorter edges. Repeat this on all six rectangles of fabric.

Step 3: Glue Fabric to Can

Place your can on top of the rectangle piece of fabric, with the open top facing the same direction as the un-ironed edge of fabric. Glue a line down the side of the can and place the can on top of the fabric, with the glue as close to the short, un-ironed edge of fabric as possible and the long, ironed edge of fabric flush with the bottom of the can.

Turn the can and fabric around so it's easier to work with from here on out. Glue another line down the can and roll the can onto the fabric so the glue sticks to the fabric. Keep going all the way around until the ironed edge is glued onto the can.

Place some glue near the top of the inside of the can and push the fabric down so it stays in place.

Repeat these steps with all six of the four-inch-tall cans.

Step 4: Cover the Tall Can

Cut a bigger piece of fabric for the tall can. For me, since my taller can was six inches tall and had a slightly bigger diameter, I cut a rectangle of fabric that was 8" x 12". I used the same folding/ironing technique as I did with the smaller cans. I also used the same exact gluing technique.

Step 5: Glue the Cans Together

Arrange the cans how you want them to look. I wanted my pattered fabric to alternate.

Glue a zig-zag lin edown one of your smaller cans on the seam and then quickly press it to the bigger can. Do this with all of the smaller cans.

Because there was a little bit of wiggle room with my cans, I decided to glue two cans together so I essentially had three groups of two cans on the outer ring, as shown in the last photo in this step.

Step 6: Fill Your Caddy With Supplies

And that's all there is to it! Now you have a place for all of your art supplies and nobody even knows you used some old tin cans to do it.

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    6 Discussions


    Tip 5 weeks ago on Step 6

    I loved this project! I thought of something you could add if you complete this project another time! Place the completed project on a Lazy Susan so the children are able to turn it around for certian items.

    1 reply

    Great idea! Or a handle could even be added somehow so it can be easily carried around if need be.


    5 weeks ago

    I love the fabrics you chose for this DIY Caddy! Using fabric makes for such an easy way to customize it for the theme of your classroom or craft space. :)

    1 reply