{Upcycled} Tin Can Caddy

Do you ever see something in a magazine, or on the internet, and instantly know that you will be recreating it? 

Something about it just speaks to you, even calling your name?   You know exactly where it will go in your home!   Or, better yet……..you have no idea where it is going to land, you just know you have to make it!   LOL!  I had one of those moments this past Spring when I was waiting in my Doctor’s office, and I saw the cutest Tin Can Caddy holding utensils for an outdoor gathering….. 

Isn't this the cutest tin can caddy from Sow and Dipity?

Isn’t this the cutest tin can caddy from Sow and Dipity?

Problem is, I never wrote down the site given in the magazine!  Months went by, and I decided that I wanted to create it!  Saved my vegetable cans, got them ready to go by washing them out, taking the paper label off and giving them all a good sanding to roughen up the exterior so that the primer and paint had something to ‘hold’ onto.   One problem……I couldn’t remember the magazine that I saw it in.  I knew it was going to be easy peasy to make, I just wanted to see the picture one more time so that I could visualize how I was going to screw the cans into the dowel.  I am a visual person!  I learn from looking at an item, NOT from reading instructions.  Yes, I know that is a problem, and that I need help!!! =)  I already knew this tid-bit, as do allll my family and friends! 

Googled different search terms and nothing was popping up.  This is the first time that Google failed me!  My only saving grace was remembering that the article/photo in the magazine said something about sewing, so I added that to the search term and presto………the right website appeared!  Yeah for me……….  Thanks so much to Shelley over at Sow and Dipity for being the inspiration for me making my own Tin Can Caddy.  I thought it would be perfect in my craft room to hold the way too many markers that I have for scrapbooking and card making.  Don’t you agree that I just had to make it?  It is adorable, and uses items that you probably already have in your home….meaning the cost is minimal to NOTHING!  Love it!

Tin Can CaddyHere is a look at my version.  I knew I wanted to use red and turquoise. 


Because I have this cool bench that B and I saved from the garbage man and I wanted to test out the color combination before I used it on this bench.  I am currently working on it….taking me way longer than planned, as I am having to rebuild the top {long story that I will share soon}……but I was able to go ahead with the project after making this tin can caddy, after seeing that the colors worked perfectly together.  I hope you agree??

Anyway, in a few simple, quick steps we will see this caddy literally come to life.  Wouldn’t it be the perfect homemade gift to give to family and friends?  I am using it as a pencil/marker caddy, but you can store anything in these cans….in fact I think I might make another one to store all my paintbrushes, and I can easily see this being used as a condiment caddy like Shelley made.  I also need a bigger kitchen utensil holder and a coffee can would be the perfect size!  You get my drift! 

First and foremost, let’s grab a few supplies. Three empty soup cans, white and cream acrylic paint, brushes, and large dowel for handle. Not pictured: twine, high temp glue gun and sand paper.DIY Conidment Caddy Supplies

In just a few easy steps, we’ll see this caddy come to life. Are you ready? Let’s do it! 1. Paint the soup cans in two coats of the cream colored acrylic paint. 2. Paint the soup can in one coat of the white acrylic paint.

DIY Condiment Caddy painting cans

3. Lightly sand for a worn, rustic feel. 4. Glue twine around each of the soup cans. Set aside. 5. Drill hole the dowel on one side to string twine through for carrying (optional). 6. Glue each can to the dowel. Be sure to use a hot temp glue gun. Side Notes: The hot temp glue holds the cans to the dowel just fine; however, if you’re looking for something much more durable, consider using this tutorial using screws. Also, if you don’t want to purchase a dowel, I purchased a plunger at the dollar store and cut the handle from that. It worked perfectly!

DIY Rustic Condiment Caddy

There you have a perfectly functional and rustic condiment caddy! I adore it and think it will add a sweet touch to our indoor and outdoor barbecue needs. – See more at: http://www.alittletipsy.com/2013/05/diy-rustic-silverware-caddy.html#sthash.p3PKcLxK.dpuf

Tin can Caddy   Supplies: 

** 3 Tin Cans (Vegetable, Soup, etc) thoroughly washed and cleaned.
** Tomato Red Acrylic Paint- I used Americana Acrylic Paint.
** Desert Turquoise Paint- I used Americana Acrylic Paint.
** Large Dowel- cut to about 12-14″ in length.
** Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Satin Protective Finish** Paint Brush, Twine, Beads, 3 small screws, sandpaper, drill


1.  Sand the cans lightly and wipe dust clean.  Paint 2 coats over the cans and dowel, using the Tomato Red Acrylic Paint.  Let dry between each coat.

2.  Dry Brush the Desert Turquoise Paint over the red finish, hitting the areas where you want the most focus on.  Once dry, gently sand the cans and dowel.

3.  Spray all pieces with the protective finish.  I used Krylon, BUT only because that is what I had on hand.

4.  If you are wanting to add some decorative beads to the top, you will need to drill a hole large enough to fit the twine through it.

5.  Arrange the cans around the dowel, marking where you will be drilling a hole in each of the cans and dowel.  Drill a hole through each can and then using a small screw, screw the can into the dowel.  I found this to be the hardest part, lining everything up and actually getting the screw into both pieces.  If you don’t have the patience, I am sure you could use a hot glue gun to secure the cans to the dowel, but if you wanted to use this for a condiment caddy, I can’t guarantee how stable it would be.

6.  Wrap twine around the cans, tying it off to finish it.  Cut a small piece and thread it thru the top of the dowel and add in some pretty beads.  I had these leftover from a jewelry project.

Tin Can Caddy

I love it, and think it is the perfect addition to my craft room.  What was even better, I didn’t spend a dime…….as I had everything on hand leftover from other projects.  Even if you had to buy some of these supplies, it won’t break the bank, and I am positive you could do it for under $10, plus you could get a lot of cans done for that price!  Win Win!!!

How to make a tin can caddy

Isn’t it amazing what a little paint and twine can achieve?  I could easily see these lined up along a bedside or table with some flowers in it……..the perfect centerpiece, right??  I was serious about the kitchen utensil holder…..I will share it once I get it done!  Have a little more coffee to drink first!  LOL!

What do you think?  Can you picture this in your craft room, or house?


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2 thoughts on “{Upcycled} Tin Can Caddy

  1. I’ve tried this and could not get the screws in. Even bought a little right-angle ratchet driver, to no avail. Any tips on how to do that?


    • Hi Rikki,

      This was the hardest part for me, and I lost my temper/patience a few times before finally using a nail and hammer to make a starter hole in the tin can first, lining it up with the dowel rod, marking the spot with a pencil and tapping it with the nail and hammer again. After I did this for both the cans and dowels (3 total) it was easier to work in the small screw.


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