Empty oatmeal canisters have been made into everything from canisters to organizers for small toys. Those cylindrical cardboard boxes, with their tight-fitting lids, have many uses around the house. You can use them as-is or you can alter their appearance to create something much different. By making small or major changes to the canisters you can create planters, baskets, decor, gifts and much more.
It’s easy to decorate oatmeal canisters with things like paper or cloth. Glue the chosen material onto the canister by laying the material out flat, covering the canister with adhesive, then rolling it across the fabric. Straighten out any wrinkles as you go along. For best results cut the fabric a little longer than the canister. That way, after wrapping the container, you can trim away any excess – much better than coming up short! Make sure that you attach the fabric or paper so that it won’t interfere with the functioning of the lid. So, place the lid on each end of the canister and draw around it. Bring the fabric or paper only up to this mark. A circle of matching or coordinating fabric or paper can be cut and glued to the top of the lid. Do the same to a second lid to create an even design on both ends – but save the second canister for a future project. Glue wide ribbon around the edges of the lid to finish.
Glue the canister to a base to keep it from rolling. The base can be a painted rectangle of wood, a piece of fabric-covered cardboard or even aligned peanut butter jar lids. After deciding on the base, and gluing the canister to it, you can then cut the opening which will create a planter from the oatmeal canister. Cut an oval or a rectangle on the top of the mounted, decorated box. Cut through the paper or fabric, as well as the cardboard canister. Cut from close to one lid all the way to nearly where the other lid is. You can cut just a narrow opening on top or you can make the opening reach from one side of the container to the other. Glue roping, ribbon or other materials to the cutout opening to hide the raw edges. The finished creation makes a fabulous planter for a mantle, desk, kitchen counter or other areas of the home.
The finished canister can also be used as a centerpiece for a table. Place some Styrofoam in the bottom and you can easily change the look of the basket any time you want. Fill it with seasonal, artificial flowers, and use different colors and types to make themes for particular holidays. Any time you want, simply remove the old design, then put in items to create a whole new theme using the same planter.
Use the same technique as above to create an assortment of baskets. Use huge oatmeal canisters or much smaller ones. Cut a large opening or just a small one. Each technique you use creates a totally different basket. Use braided roping to create a handle that goes from one circular end of the canister to the other. These are great for picking flowers. A flat piece of wood on the bottom will keep the basket sitting level. You can give the basket a theme or a more elegant look by gluing on a decorative piece to the front of the canister. Choose which long side of the oatmeal planter or basket will be the front. Glue on a painted wooden shape, a wrought iron piece, a ceramic image, or even a cloth applique. Craft stores are full of things you can use to change the look of the ordinary basket or planter.
Make the baskets for the bathroom and they can hold brushes, combs, hair accessories and more. Make them for the kitchen and they can hold spatulas, ladles, tongs and other kitchen implements. Make them for children’s rooms and they can hold Beanie Babies, small toys, crayons and markers or other kids’ things. Make one for the desk and it can help you organize pens, pencils, rulers – or can just hold an artificial plant.
Other things you have around the house can be similarly used to make other decor pieces. Pringles cans, empty bathroom tissue rolls, and other cylindrically shaped objects can be used to make miniature versions of the organizers, planters or baskets. The finished items can decorate the kitchen, bathroom, kids’ rooms and more. You’ll enjoy this craft that allows you to make beautiful things from oatmeal canisters rather than throwing them away.