Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lil' Crunchies cans into storage containers

If you are the parent of a toddler, it's likely that you've bought plenty of these.

My daughter LOVES these things, they're like healthy baby Cheetos. (I won't lie, I've eaten a few myself and they are pretty tasty.) We go through a can or two each week, depending on growth spurts/pickiness. With all those Lil' Crunchies she's downing, you can imagine how many cans we throw away. I'm always misplacing my daughter's hair clips and pacifiers, and a thought came to me: rather than tossing them, why not use the cans to make something useful?

In the tutorial below, I'll show you how to turn something destined for the trash into a storage container for all of your toddler's (or your own) little knick knacks using only a few simple supplies.

You will need:
  • Lil' Crunchies cans (or any other container you have laying around like a coffee can, peanut can, etc.) cleaned out and dried
  • Assorted scrapbook paper for covering and decorating your containers
  • Mod Podge craft glue found at your local craft store
  • Scissors
  • Sharpies
  • Acrylic paint, gems, or other items to decorate your containers (optional)

First, you want to measure the width and height of your container. When measuring height, make sure you measure the approximate height of your container's label and not the whole container itself. You'll notice in the pictures that the cans have metal bands around the tops and bottom, you want to make sure you don't add these area's into your calculations or you'll end up overlapping the bands with scrapbook paper. The Lil' Crunchies container I used was about 12 3/4 inches wide and 4 inches tall.

Second, cut out your scrapbook paper and attach around the perimeter of your container by gradually coating the can in a thin coat of Mod Podge one section at a time. Make sure you take your time with this, you don't want to smear extra glue on the outside of your scrapbook paper (speaking from experience here :) If your scrapbook paper wrinkles as you're attaching it, carefully peel back that section and smooth it down again with your fingers. Don't use too much Mod Podge. This will lead to more wrinkles and soggy paper. Some wrinkles will happen, you just want to avoid as many as you can :)

Third, use extra scraps to decorate your containers wherever you want and attach with Mod Podge. I put a border at the top of one of my containers. You could also cut out some flowers or use stickers or other scrapbook decorations to jazz up the containers. The sky's the limit! You could get really creative with these depending on your interpretation. I didn't have the patience need to do too much with these, so I kept it simple.

Fourth, cut out some circles (or whatever shape you prefer) out of scrap paper to use as labels for your containers. I used a coffee cup to trace a circle, but you could use whatever happens to be laying around. You could also make your own label by using Photoshop or Word and pasting it on. Next, take a Sharpie marker to write the contents on your labels. I have boy handwriting so if you're like me, you can find a fun font on Word to use as guidance. Mine still came out a little funky, but hey, that's the charm of handmade stuff right? Attach your labels to the cans using more Mod Podge.

Last, use more scrapbook paper, acrylic paint, and any other decorations you may have to spice up your containers! I cut out some flowers from scrapbook paper to add to my "Pacifiers" container and used white acrylic paint to paint some dots on the label for my "Hair Clips" container. I also made a "Tooth Brush" container and cut notches in the lid with an X-Acto knife to hold my daughter's toothbrush so it doesn't have to lay on the dirty counter.

Voila, new storage containers for your loose knick knacks and less garbage in your trash can! Easy right?

These would make really cute storage containers for an office as a candy jar, container for paper clips, rubber bands or pens, at home for loose change, spare keys, or beads and other craft supplies.

Let me know if you have any questions!


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