Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It's in the Can - Tin Can Handbag

Make a Tin Can Handbag

Use a large tin can (this was from a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes) for this project.

Drill holes evenly around the lip of the can. Use a Dremel or similar tool to sand off all the burrs (this is very important since you will be putting your hand into this can regularly).

Drill a hole where you want to place your shell (Make sure the hole is big enough for your needle and a double width of jute).

Spray paint the can. My can is painted Oxford Blue by Krylon I also sealed it with acrylic clear coat to make the paint more durable.
The pictures of my daughter holding the handbag are from before I started using it. I took this after the first day I used it. I can see that I've spilled tea on it already...oops!! :)

Decide how tall you want the neck of the bag to be. I liked the idea of a long neck because I actually use it as the carrying strap. Cut a piece of fabric twice as long plus half an inch. Determine the diameter of the can and cut the fabric that wide plus half an inch.

Fold the fabric in half and sew the side seam (a quarter inch seam).

Reverse the fabric leaving half the tube inside and half outside. Mark where you want the tie rope to exit and enter. Make two buttonholes at these locations.

Bring the raw edges together (so that the seam is encased and the tube is fully lined). Use a wide, tight zig zag stitch to finish the raw edges of the tube.

Use a very large needle and hemp jewelry twine to 'sew' the tube into the opening of the can using the holes that your predrilled on the can. You can use a button like I did to hold the thread inside the can for the knot (like you do when you sew fabric).

Use a button to anchor the long piece of jute that you will run through the hole where you place the shell.

Drill two holes near the top of your shell. Run a very long strand of jute through the holes.

Apply glue to the back of the shell and press firmly against the can let it dry for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer of the can. I used painting tape to hold it in place while it dried.

At the same time, squeeze a bit of glue around the inside rim of the can to reinforce the stitching. Clothespins can help hold the fabric to the can while it dries.

Remove the tape and tie a pretty bow with the jute on your shell. Cut the jute tails off.

Use a needle and a long piece of jute to thread your draw string.

Now you have a small handbag for tossing things in when you go thrifting or to the beach!!

I made this for the Iron Crafter challenge.

Check out my collection of Tin Can Crafts for inspiration!!

I am sharing this at:

Sumo's Sweet Stuff: Market Yourself Monday

Keeping it Simple: Motivate Me Monday 

House of Hepworths: Hookin' Up with HOH

Brambleberry Cottage: Time Travel Thursday


  1. How cool is that! Great idea, love it.

  2. This is AWESOME! : )

  3. If that isn't cute, I don't know what is. Another awesomely creative idea, girl!

  4. What a cute idea, I have been saving cans for another project! Thank you for sharing.I'm so happy you enjoyed my Pink Celebration Table for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday’s…Celebrating “PINK”! I had so much fun designing this table to celebrate "PINK"! I can't believe what I find thrifting, so much fun! Thank you for visiting and leaving your sweet comment!

  5. That must be the most original bag I have ever seen! How cute, great idea. I guess I'd better save the next can from the recycling bin.

  6. What a cute idea! Never would of thought of that. Love the tin can lamp too!

  7. That is adorable! So cute and original!

  8. Great job, Melissa, and super cute!

  9. Super cute idea!! Never seen anything like that and I love it!

  10. That is so creative! Good Luck with this one too. :0)

  11. Wow..this is super creative and simply fabulous. Thank you so much for following My Dream Canvas. Take care Anu!!

  12. How clever! Any little girl would love to carry that around. Toooo cute.

    Hope you will stop by and visit me sometimes over at Pittypat Paperie.

  13. You made it in the top 10 for the Iron Crafter Competiton! :)

    Check it out here: