diy: hanging flower tins

coffee can flower pots

I started this project nearly a month ago back when I was working on the anthro-inspired flower pillow. I was waiting until the fear of frost was gone for Central Ohio to finally plant my herbs and was told May 15 is the magic number for frost free nights. I cheated on May 5 after looking at the 10-day weather forecast and there was no frost in sight, so I’m taking the gamble a few days early.

It’s not like the plants are in the ground anyway; should a freak frost come through I could just bring the pots inside. But they look so cute hanging on the fence who would want to take them off??

Anyway, onto the project.

Here’s what you’ll need:hanging flower pots supplies

and don’t forget:

I used actual tin coffee cans which I don’t know if you can even get anymore. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ve been cruising down the coffee row just to check out the containerย possibilities and all the big “tins” of coffee are now plastic. Fortunately, when I was telling my mom about this idea and how I needed to find some coffee tins I saw little light bulb appear above her head and she quickly scurried away only to come back 2 minutes later with FOUR PRIMED coffee tins! Craft Queen, I tell ya.

The first step is to punch holes in the bottom for drainage and drill the holes in the back for ย hanging. Use the hammer for the drain holes and a drill with a metal bit for the rope holes. Make sure you get it just big enough for the rope to go through, not too big.

Give ’em a few good coats of spray paint. However many you need until it looks good. Let them dry.

Put one of the rope through one of your rope holes and knot it. Then decide on your length and cut the other end accordingly. Knot that end through the other hole.

Voila! A hanging pot!

I put cilantro, chocolate mint, and rosemary in mine. What will you put in yours?


205 thoughts on “diy: hanging flower tins

  1. This looks so awesomely easy — but I would undoubtedly find a way to muck it up, I’m sure!


    Thanks for the inspiration, however. I’m willing to give it a go…

  2. what a cool idea. I’d give this a go but am afraid they would be blown away here in gusty Ireland! I would put in nasturtiums, golden oregano and thyme. Congrats on being freshly pressed. Lovely blog.

  3. Basil! I just bought two plants and they’re currently suffering in my kitchen. Sweet basil and cinnamon basil (the cinnamon one smells so good! I can’t wait to cook with it!)

    If I manage to pull off something like this, I will have to go get a few more plants from Sprouts – they have all their potted herbs on sale right now. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks! I’ve been wondering that, too. I have some smaller versions I made from bigger cans of tomatoes and fruit. But also I was thinking, is it possible to just buy empty paint cans? I would think a paint store or Lowe’s would have clean paint cans they use to make custom colors. I’ve definitely been noticing canned food more now! haha

      • I’m really concerned about the safety of growing food stuffs in containers with goodness knows what on the inside surfaces. Ornamentals, sure. But herbs? Makes me nervous. Has anyone got any info on this issue?

      • I agree you need to be careful what you use to grow food, but these cans had food in them to begin with. I would think reusing food tin cans would be fine to grow more food in?

      • might beable to ask a local resturant or some where that cooks on a large scale they usualy just throw out the larger cans good luck I hope this helped a little

  4. I’ve been looking for an inexpensive yet cute way to start my herb garden again. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I think this is going to be perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚

    PS– congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  5. Maybe it was more beautiful with edibles for ornament. Imagine hanged tomatoes lush with flowers and fruits. Or, fresh, red hot chili, straight from can! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I did this same craft several years in a row, and here are a few things I learned:
    *I found plenty of these tin coffee cans at our local recycling center (free!)
    *I painted each can a different color and hung on my white picket fence.
    *I lined the cans with a plastic shopping bag, to help the soil retain moisture, and added some mulch and/or stones to the top to keep the soil from being washed out during rain downpours.
    *The most successful planting was with moss roses (portulaca); they tolerate hot, full sun locations and dry soil, and so bright and tropical looking!

    It is definitely a fun project – lots of bang for your buck! – and had many compliments from neighbors and passers-by!

      • Also, another way to utilize these planters is to hang them from a shepherd’s hook, or a hook in the ceiling. All you have to do is lengthen the amount of cord you use. I have substituted other materials for the clothesline, using whatever is on hand. I have used wire, raffia, and even fish line!

    • I haven’t had an issue with it, yet. However I did have a can with parsley on the ground and that was eaten up! Not sure if it was a squirrel or maybe even my dog! Keeping them in the middle of the fence seems to be working for fending off the critters for me.

  7. Great idea. I have grown salad in tin baths and herbs in tin buckets so far this year. I will have to try this one next!

  8. I am absolutely in love with this idea! Thank you so much for sharing. I hapeen to have a few coffee tins laying around…and lots of herbs to plant! Mint…cilantro and maybe my Citronella herbs could go in there..weekend project ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. These look so incredibly cute, love your choice of colour too. I agree with one of the commenters that nasturtiums would look gorgeous hanging down from these brightly coloured cans. I don’t have the right kind of fence, but perhaps I can modify this slightly to work for me. I’m going to pin it too.

  10. Love to see crafts that come around every few years-it means that recycle, re-use is not dead. You put a fresh look on it, very cute! Just an FYI..if you first fill the cans with water and freeze them before punching the holes that will keep the cans from buckling or denting too much.

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  12. What a great idea and so cute! This idea will look wonderful in my whimsical garden that I’m working on. I’m your newest follower!

  13. Excellent idea and well done! This is a perfect fit for scrounging. Paint stores are supposed to have unused cans for sale, which should work too. Can type items from thrift stores should work too.

  14. Great idea! I spent money on something similar at Target, but they are platic and these look way cooler! If only I would have waited… I will be doing something like this for my back deck, thanks for the post!

  15. So very cool. I did that a couple of years ago but used the cloth shoe racks that you can hang on your closet door. Worked great for herbs. For my flowers I used my old croc shoes. Petunia’s did great this way ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Reblogged this on JoyReturns and commented:
    Today’s post is about an inexpensive way to decorate your fence. I will be doing this providing I can find coffee cans. I knew there was a down side to owning a Keurig ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Have a sunny Sunday and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the Mom’s of human and/or “furry” kids ๐Ÿ˜€

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  18. Great idea! Going to repost this on my site Marti Ink in the weekly “Head-turning Headlines” article (Comes out every sunday). You’ll be able to find it under the “creativity” section. Oh yeah, congrats on being freshly pressed!!!

  19. I did this with Folgers containers (which are plastic) and it’s a great idea, but we should remind people in tornado alley to take them down during storms or the storms might send them through a window, lol. I had to take mine down during IKE, but he still managed to make a mess out of them!

  20. When I pounded the nails through the bottom of the can, it went through and pierced my leg, and I had to go to the hospital and get 4 stitches and a blood transfusion and some tetanus shots. I also have permanent blue paint under my skin like a tattoo because I painted the cans while I was waiting for the ambulance. It tinted my blood blue a bit. But it’s okay, because all the blue blood and nonstop bleeding convinced a passing delegate from Lichtenstein that I was royalty, and now I have a duchy there, where they have an herb garden! So thanks for this awesome project suggestion. It really worked!

    • I suspect you are joking-no guy could be that unhandy. See my note about filling the can with water, freezing it and then nailing into it. It prevents denting the can as well. Also if you dont have a fence to hang this from you can bolt them together pyramid style and set them on a picnic table.

  21. These are beautiful! I too try to turn “ordinary” objects into objects of beauty. I once did something kind of similar for my Mom. Spray painted a large spaghetti can and writing “Mom” on it with flowers. Lovely, wonderful post and thank you for the great idea!

  22. Just wanted to let you know that there are coffee can alternatives that also look nice. We have found various sized tomato sauce cans (Don Pepino) that look nice enough that the painting step can be eliminated- no paper label. And the sauce is okay too- no added sugar.

  23. Congrats on getting freshly pressed! This is a great idea, and it’s crazy to find another person who is crafty/gardeny/from central ohio! I got out of there, but it’s nice to know that it could be made tolerable if I were to move back. Great post! (Check out my crafty blogz if you ever make it through the 200 comments left you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  25. Fantastic idea! Our household is always looking for ways to repurpose items instead of throwing away or even recycling them. My wife has been wanting to find creative spots for flowers in our back yard and I think this one is a winner.

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  27. The nice thing is that this is a great idea that could be expanded with other sizes of tin cans and all types of small plants. I see ivy and geraniums filling mine! Thanks for the brilliant idea…and my mother is going to love this idea, too.

  28. I am so doing this with herbs or strawberries next summer! We live in a converted barn on my parents wee farmlet and the boring fence outside our front door would look much more cheerful with these hung off the posts – and the best part is for the couple of weeks that the sheep are in that paddock we can move the cans out of their reach! Genius idea – thanks for posting.
    I don’t have access to coffee cans (our instant coffee does still come in tin cans in New Zealand, but I don’t drink instant), but we get loose herbal tea in a stainless steel can about that size from the Keri Keri Tea Company (called The Big Tin) which would work excellently ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. What a great idea! I have a couple of tins with plants in them, but painting & hanging them like this is a much better idea! I’ll be eating soup for the rest of the week ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Congrats on making freshly pressed!

  30. This is a very cute idea! My fence is totally obscured by enormous blooming bushes right now (which I can’t be too sad about because they smell heavenly) otherwise I would make these asap. The turquoise color is great and really comes to life with the lush green plants. Lovely idea and I’m glad your mom could help you out!

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  33. I love this idea. I am accumulating inspriation for a portable self contained house and I think a similar version of this would look and function really well.

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  38. Hi steph, congratulations for your ideas… you’ve done very cool things. I’m from Brazil, and with your permission, I would like to translate your tutorial in one of my blog posts about gardening decoration.

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