Sunday, December 19, 2010

Handcrafted Gifts ~ Pop top can treats

We have many kid friends whom we exchange birthday and Christmas gifts with, and it is always a challenge to see what everyone would like and play with, and also what is within our budget. This year I got lucky. Many of our girls are into Littlest Pet Shop, and it just so happened that Littlest pet shop was 2 for 1 and I found several that had 2 in each box. 4 gifts for the price of 1... couldn't pass it up.

For the boys, I knew that Littlest Pet Shop just wouldn't do... but die cast cars are always a hit and were also on sale, so that is what we picked up for them:

I set out to find the most interesting and personal way to package these gifts for the youngest in our group. Meet the inspiration:

I have seen these pop top can tutorials pop up all over the Internets this year. They are SO adorable and I love the idea that recycling can turn into such a fantastic gift!

What you need:
Pop top cans. The smaller ones are better. (We had to search for cans that would work. We have eaten quite a bit of fruit cocktail, pineapple, and mandarins oranges in these last few weeks. We even opened a few and put them in glass mason jars in the fridge just to get the cans. lol... We don't eat much that comes out of cans normally. Husband brought that up while I was getting the stuff for this. This 'free' craft cost us quite a bit. But if you actually use these cans often, then this craft would be even more perfect for you!)

Safety can opener

Small gifts

Decorative paper

Glue gun


Tissue paper

1: First take off the bottom off the cans with the safety can opener. This leaves a nice little 'lid' for the bottom of your can... which, even in testing, will go back on pretty easily. Eat or otherwise use the contents and clean and dry the can thoroughly.

2: Then pack the toy in the pop top can upside-down so that it will appear right side up when opened. (I put in a couple little Christmas candies along with it to fluff up the contents.)

3: Put a piece of tissue in it to fill the rest of the tin. (I have seen these with nothing but Skittles in there or M&M's but I thought that although the cans are food safe, the hot glue may not be, so just to be safe I used individually wrapped treats instead.)

4: Glue the bottom of the can back on the can with the glue gun. You only need glue in a couple of places around the bottom for it to stay put. Press down on the bottom of the can HARD to get the bottom to sit correctly on the can and stay there.

5: Flip the can over and Decorate! We used scrapbook paper that was cut to the height and width of each can. Just in case you want to use the same cans we did, the 8 oz Dole Pineapple can paper was 1 3/4 X 11 inches and the 11 oz Mandarin Orange cans were 3 X 9 1/2 inches.

The variations we found (with mostly things we had on hand) was endless and SO cute!

Tonight is our advent 'surprise' night and so we are going to look at Christmas lights, get a spiced cider from the coffee shop, and drop off little surprises to all of our friends!

Some learning curve tips:

  1. The larger cans can easily be used for larger gifts... think gloves, scarves, Lego sets, play mobile, wooden critters, etc... they all would fit beautifully and still give that same thrill that these smaller gifts make.
  2. Make sure the lid that you are working with fits on the specific can you are working with BEFORE you try to glue it down. Glue guns burn. I'm just sayin'.
  3. Place a book on the can just after gluing (use wax paper to keep the book from sticking to the hot glue) and this will help hold it down. It will also help your hand from getting a permanent impression of the bottom of a pineapple can. Again... just sayin'.

Have fun crafting!!!




Christi said...

These are awesome! Thanks for the tut with pics!

Ange Moore said...

What a great idea - might have to add that to my list of things to make for next year!

Molly said...

Very cute! Do you put the lid back on these after filling? They look like it in the photos, just wondering.

Frannie said...

thank you thank you thank you.. Next yrs. Christmas we come. What an inventive Idea!!

Ashley said...

What a fun idea for kids to be able to pop open the can! We need to try these next year, too! I envy you and your binder of ideas throughout the year...however do you do it?!

Anonymous said...

Val, those are so cute! I love it! I'm going to have to give that a try. Maybe for a birthday or something because I promised I wouldn't start anymore projects for Christmas this year! ;)

Val in the Rose Garden said...

A couple of the kids we gave them to were utterly confused when they opened them... then of course, they were thrilled and oh so excited about their treats and toys. It was awesome. I wish I had video taped their reactions. :)

@ Molly - Yes, the bottoms are glued back on after filling.

@ Ashley - I copy things I see everywhere. Take pictures with my phone, check out a magazine at the library and scan the pics I like, etc. And then put them in a pile next to my bed until I use my binder next. I have extra sheet protectors in the back of each binder so I can just slide new stuff in. The newest section I have created is Christmas Stockings. We only have 5 and will be needing 6 next year... so I am collecting ideas. :)



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