Tin Can Flower Garden | i should be mopping the floor

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tin Can Flower Garden

This post for a Tin Can Flower Garden contains affiliate links. I make a small portion when these links are used, at no additional cost to you.

Our chain link fence got a little makeover with a simple tin can flower garden. We had enough cans leftover that we used a few for a centerpiece down our patio table, too. I think any place is a good place for a sweet little tin can flower garden, actually!
Tin Can Flower Garden
Do you have a chain link fence that could use a little spruce up? We have vine growing on the majority of our fence, but it was a bit untidy where the vine tapered off. We fixed that with the sweetest little tin can flower garden that the whole family worked on together. See how simple it was to create below.



Tin Can Flower Garden

If you come around I Should Be Mopping the Floor a lot, you know I am a big fan of loads of color. Why not bring a bit of that fun into the outdoor areas, too, right? Even if you're not as into bright colors as I am, there are so many possibilities with this Tin Can Flower Garden. I think black and white polka dot cans with red geraniums would be stunning, too. Or white cans with pink polka dots and begonias? Lots of possibilities are abounding for this lil' project. These are wonderful for backyard fence decor.
Backyard Fence Decor
While I love the lush vine that has overtaken this fence, there are times of the year that it's not as lush and pretty. And there are sections of the fence where it's not consistent. And well, it's kind of fun to break up all that green with the prettiest pops of color from both flowers AND pretty painted cans. This tin can flower garden is now my favorite thing to see when I pull into the garage since this fence is right in that spot. Who wouldn't want to be greeted by a rainbow-licious row of pretty Vinca flowers, right?

Tin Can Upcycles
I had two sweet friends who saved these industrial-sized cans for me from the cafeterias at the schools they work at. I ended up with such a plethora of cans that we painted a few more to sit down the middle of the patio table, too...a tin can flower garden centerpiece!


Rainbow Centerpiece

Creating a Tin Can Flower Garden

I am loving all the color this mini flower garden brings all over the yard. With their drainage holes on the bottoms of the cans, we do move them off of the table (and into the yard) when we water these particular plants.

How to Paint Cans

Supplies for a Tin Can Flower Garden

  • empty industrial-sized food cans (cleaned out, labels removed)
  • chalk-style paint (in a variety of rainbow colors) 
    • I only recommend chalk-style paint for this. It adheres to the cans perfectly without any sanding or prep. Other paints would flake off once dry. 
    • Walmart carries the Waverly brand of chalk paint and it's budget-friendly.
    • I also like the Folk Art brand of chalk paint that you can grab here on Amazon.
  • regular foam brushes
    • I buy these in bulk here on Amazon since I don't reuse mine (they're too hard to clean and cheap enough to keep a few on hand).
  • circle-shaped foam brushes
  • matte varnish sealer
    • I use this spray-can variety from Rustoleum, available on Amazon here.

Chalk Paint on Tin Cans
My kids are always begging to help with painting projects. Honestly, I struggle because often I'm redoing antique pieces that don't exactly lend themselves to kids helping. But I feel bad turning them down. This was truly the perfect project for them to join in the painting fun. I gave them carte blanche with the paint brushes and let them have at it.

Painting Polka Dots


Painting Your Tin Cans

  • Again, since we're using chalk-style paint, you won't need any prep, other than making sure your cans have been cleaned out well and there isn't any residue from labels still on them.
  • Use your regular foam brush to apply two layers of a base coat to each can (dry thoroughly between each coat of paint...but chalk paint doesn't take too terribly long to dry).
  • Once the base coats dry, use the circle sponge brushes to dab on dots. We just did ours in a random pattern.
  • Once your dots have dried, be sure to seal your cans with your varnish. 
  • Be sure to also seal the bottom of your cans with your varnish. We skipped this step on a couple of cans. We're two years since we painted these and a couple of the bottoms of our cans are quite rusty (the ones we sealed are not!). 
Drilling Drainage Holes

Drainage and Attachment

  • We turned the cans over to drill drainage holes using a 1/8" drill bit. 
  • We drilled three holes per can.
  • If you're hanging your flower garden on a fence, also drill a small hole on the side of the can, towards the top. You'll use an "S" hook through that hole to attach it to your fence when it's all planted and ready to go (see below).

Using S Hooks


I hung an empty can on the fence to show how the S hook works in this project (pictured above).

Tin Can Planters
We did plant all of our pretty flowers before hanging the tin can flower garden up.

Hanging Garden
And of course, hanging the tin can flower garden in a rainbow-riffic pattern was the name of the game.


Chain Link Fence Ideas
A little drink and our flower garden was all set. One nice thing about our Tin Can Flower Garden is that it's not under an eave or patio. It gets all the rainwater it needs to sustain it. It's in a somewhat shaded area, too, that doesn't get a lot of heat. We rarely have to water it, so that's a win-win. It has made for some lovely backyard fence decor.

Backyard Fence Decor Ideas

Want More Tin Can Flower Garden Ideas?

Or check out my new Window Boxes for another flower garden idea in the below video:


Old Door Table Project

I'm super proud of how our old door patio table turned out, too. It looks so pretty with the flowers lined up on it. I was so honored to have this table featured in a two-page spread in Flea Market Home and Living Magazine.


How to Decorate a Chain Link Fence
What would you plant in a tin can flower garden?


Free Fence Ideas







30 comments:

  1. Oh, these are cute! This would be perfect because my dog Thor, bless him, LOVES to dig, last year he ate a few tomatoes and cucumbers LOL. He wanted to be a healthy puppy apparently. I could use ALL in my house because Thor loves to jump after playing and we can all get pretty dirty! Thanks for sharing the tin can fence garden it's adorable!

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  2. These are super cute, now to find some friends who work in the restaurant field so I can get the large cans. :P

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    1. Right? I lucked into that one for sure. Thanks so much for stopping by, Pamela! xoxo

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  3. Well, aren't those tin cans with the polka dots just the cutest! I do not have a chain link fence, but this would be perfect for my sister who does. This is such a cute and practical DIY project.

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    1. Thank you so much, Melanie! I really appreciate it. xoxo

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  4. Those are SO cute. The colors, the polka dots! This would be a fun summer project for me and my kiddos.

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    1. Thank you, Melanie! Yes, my kids enjoyed it for sure. They also love seeing it bloom throughout the summertime.

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  5. Although I am not into gardening, I can see myself using the pots for other things around the house. They are super cute and I can put them on my son's homeschool room to keep toys and school supplies organized. Now I just need to find the time to get crafty.

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    1. For sure, Monica! I wouldn't mind using a few of them in my office for markers and pens, and such. Thanks so much.

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  6. I love this idea very creative and you can recycle used cans at home. I love gardening as well I have decent size land that I used for my veggies and Tree fruits. However I do not have iron fence though but I can used this cans for my herbs and create something to hang for.

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    1. Herbs would be so lovely in these, Farrah! Thank you so much for stopping by. xoxo

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  7. I love all these colours together, and I am especially a fan of polka dots! These are adorable! I'm planting some flowers with the kids this weekend so I might try this!

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! Yes, I'm a big fan of polka dots, too! xoxo

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  8. That is such a cute and colorful idea! It really brightens up a chain link fence. We have a fence like that. I wonder if I could keep my dogs from ruining it if I tried something like that. I'll have to see!

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    1. Well, we have a Dachshund, so she can't reach these...LOL! I bet it would work out okay for you. Thank you so much for your kind words. xoxo

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  9. The minute I saw these, I knew we needed some in our back yard. They're the cutest! Also, I'd been trying to think of a solution for some containers to grow herbs in that the dogs would get into. I know what my grandson and I will be doing this weekend! x

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    1. Awww...thank you so much, Alison! That is much appreciated. I hope yours turned out great. xoxo

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  10. This is so cute. Bright colors and then the pretty plants. I have cans, s hooks and will get enough plants to fill them.The herbs are perfect Alison Rost!

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    1. Right? I'm loving that herb idea. Thank you so much for your kind words, Jordan! Much appreciated. xoxo

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  11. Love the round brush for doing the polka dots, makes it so much easier.

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    1. Yes...it makes such quick work of it. Thank you so much for stopping by, Joy! xoxo

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  12. I love these! They would brighten up my boring old fence. I need one of those polka dot tools in my life. I have kids who are great garden helpers and pretty much look like that when we're finished, too! I can totally relate! commenting from the Share it Link up ~RascalandRocco.com

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. It's not fun if it's not messy, right? xoxo

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  13. These are really really great and I love all the different colours you chose. Of course the polka dots just made them so much cuter and fun. Thanks for the idea.

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    1. Thank you so much, Leanna! I really appreciate it. xoxo

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  14. Hi Kristi, I'm Featuring your adorable tin can garden tonight at the What to do Weekends party over @ Shoestring Elegance. Thanks so much for sharing. Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you so much for that, Theresa! It is much appreciated. xoxo

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  15. Patti CunninghamMay 9, 2019 at 9:11 AM

    What a cute project! Thanks for sharing! Did you paint and varnish the entire inside of the can also?

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    1. Hi Patti! Yes! The varnish will help protect the can from rusting!

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