Can or Can’t?

tin can crafting

Magic With Tin Cans
Craft Course Publishers

Start saving your cans now! Look at all the magical decorations you can make with just a tin can. I really have no words for this ultimate recycle craft. From the text and pictures, it looks difficult and requires a lot of supplies–all so you can make your home into some kind of Vegas venue. I think my favorite is the chair (last picture below). Check out the use of “giftable”.  I think the word in quotes lets us know that it is best to give this to someone you don’t like. In other news, I just got a few ideas for holiday gifts.



tin can Christmas tree

can can chair


  1. This book is craptastic, although I can’t help but be intrigued. I can only imagine the cuts one would get trying to make these crafts.

  2. I remeber these they were every flea market for while in 70’s. I think my folks still have one or two.

  3. Ooh, ooh, “art foam”–do they even still make that?

    I was disappointed to find that the chair isn’t for sitting in, since the whole thing is made from a single small soup can. Drat and phooey.

    When I was growing up, crafts of this kind were associated with women whose political or religious views prevented them from working outside the home, even when the children were in school and there wasn’t enough housework to occupy all her waking hours. (And, I guess, charitable volunteer work meant regular contact with the Great Unwashed.) She had to do something to keep from going insane with boredom.

  4. These crafts look sharp as knives. I’d be so nervous about being slashed just going near them. But back then people just threw away empty cans without even thinking about recycling, so at least they’re not rusting away in a landfill.

  5. I made one or two can chairs back in the 70’s. it was kinda fun! But they definitely should stay in the 70’s.

  6. I recently dealt with a book from the same series, focused on tin can furniture for doll houses. It all looked just like that chair, very curly and incredibly hard work for something that will clearly slice your hands to ribbons. Crafting has really, REALLY improved in the last few decades…

  7. My grandma used to make tin can objects out of my grandfather’s beer cans as a hobby after she retired from working at Guardian Glass – I guess it was a small step for her to go from working with large panes of glass to handling metal shears. These had really, really sharp edges, and would probably be banned as unsafe for kids today. She also tried making stuff out of pop-tops – another sharp metal material which would also be banned as unsafe for kids.

  8. I actually have a Christmas ornament made from a can with the curly cues like in the first illustration. And yes IT IS SHARP. It was made within the last decade, too– I met the artist herself in New Mexico and she told me all about how she made it. So the art (if that is what it is) is not completely dead.

  9. I used to make these little chairs! I think I did chairs and tables. I loved miniature things, and they look like fancy little wrought-iron cafe chairs. You have to cut the can into strips (leaving them attached at one end), and curl the ends around, kind of like quilling, but with metal that can cut you. You could also pad the bottom of the chair and use it as a pincushion (I never did that, because that was going just a little too far).

    1. I inherited one of those pincushions from my mother-in-law! It was a rocking chair–so, an advanced move.

  10. As awful as it may seem for a modern craft book, my late grandfather made me a dollhouse and filled it with such tin-can furniture. I still have it and keep it as a reminder of him.

  11. My Dad loved to make this kind of stuff. I have several Christmas ornaments that started life as a can.

  12. They…they…they misspelled “Christmas” on their tree page in the headline. Left out the “i”. I have tried to pretend that that “r” is actually a fancy ‘r’ that contains the “i,” but it doesn’t. Wow. No tin can can fix that.

  13. That Christmas Tree is awesome. But I’d be afraid to have it in my house. I’d just know I’d get cut on it somehow.

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