Gift Ideas

DIY: Paint Can Planters

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I came up with a great idea for a garden planter the other day as I was browsing the paint aisle of all places.  I spied a stack of plain paint cans and thought, those would make amazing planters so I brought a few home and with a little painter’s tape and spray paint created these:

I had a bare patch of fence in my rear yard that was in need of attention.  I really didn’t feel like painting it again, which is what it needed (ha!), so I thought I’d distract everyone with some whimsical decor.  And this was such an easy and inexpensive way to do it.

How To Make a Paint Can Planter:


  1. Paint cans, recycled or new.  Plain metal paint cans are available at most home improvement stores.
  2. Outdoor spray paint
  3. Painter’s tape and/or stickers for lettering
  4. Hammer and nail
  5. Hooks for fence (if you will be hanging your planters)

Step One:  If your cans are recycled, clean off the labels and scrape off any drips from the sides.  Spray paint your cans with your first color of spray paint.  Allow to dry thoroughly, usually at least 5 to 6 hours.

Spray paint your hooks and screws to complement.

Step Two:  Apply painter’s tape in your design of choice.  In my case, I wanted striped cans so I used the painter’s tape to allow for green stripes underneath.  Apply your second color of spray paint and allow to dry thoroughly.  When dry, gently remove your painter’s tape.

Step Three (optional):  Add your word of choice with simple stickers.  In my case, I spelled out the word “BLOOM” for my third paint can.   I also applied more painter’s tape to my striped cans so I would end up with a third white stripe, and then spray painted them with a third shade of white.  When dry, gently remove your painter’s tape and/or stickers.


Step Four:  Use your hammer and a nail to puncture drainage holes in the bottom of your paint can.  Use a soft cloth or towel underneath your can so you don’t cause any damage to your paint.

Step Five:  Add gravel to the bottom of your planter, then some potting soil and your favorite blooms. In my case, I chose Iceland poppies for their color, and I know they will tolerate heat and full sun.  Using outdoor spray paint will allow your cans to withstand the seasons, and the sun’s rays.

These painted cans will brighten any fence, deck or balcony.  They would also make an extra special housewarming gift – imagine them with a monogram, or the homeowner’s new street address !






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DIY: Hand Painted Candles

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Every once in awhile I get a wild hair.  I was daydreaming about milk glass and how much I really like the effect of chalky painted color inside of a glass vase. 

Then it hit me:  why not painted candles?  I remembered I had some leftover paint specially designed for glass from this project, and some extra glass jars just collecting dust, and I saw some microwaveable candle wax at the craft store, so then my brain started spinning totally out of control. 

Here’s what I came up with:  custom painted glass candles personalized with my own design.  A great gift for Mother’s Day ! 

Candle collage

Read the rest of this entry »

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DIY: Chic Fabric Covered Magnetic Board

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Sneak Peek of Final Product:

magnetic board corner final

There are many ways to cover a corkboard with fabric – this I have done, but I was curious about making a fabric covered magnetic board, so I started poking around online.  In doing my research, I saw that there were not a lot of fabric covered magnetic boards out there, but I did find some where the crafty creator is actually cutting steel for inside of a frame. Perhaps I am lazy, or just a bit chicken when it comes to cutting metal, but I just wanted to cover a magnetic board that I found at the local office supply store. 


  1. 18” x 24” magnetic dry erase board from office supply store
  2. Heavy duty nickel sized magnets from hardware store (not from office supply, those are too weak)
  3. 5/8 yard of cotton fabric of choice (the thinner the better, but not transparent)
  4. Decorative brads (or shells, or glass rocks, or whatever you choose to glue to your magnets.)
  5. Decorative ribbon for “frame” and for optional hanging. 
  6. Hot glue gun


Start by ironing your cotton fabric to remove any creases.  Then lay your magnetic board on top of the fabric.

lay flat

Begin gluing the fabric to the top of the magnetic board.  (Note: This is easier to do if your fabric has some sort of pattern or stripe that you can follow to align the fabric as you glue.)  Then glue the bottom, and then glue the sides.  Go slowly, because you don’t want any puckering and you want your fabric pattern to be straight. 

glue fabric

My magnetic board came with tiny brackets for hanging on the wall, so I cut into the fabric where I wanted the bracket (16” apart is the width of most wall studs).  Then I glued around the bracket to solidify the fabric edging, and to secure the bracket in place. 

cut into fabric glue bracket

While your glue on the board dries, take your magnets and hot glue the brads on top of the magnets.  [Note: these magnets are powerful, and dangerous around small children, so I would not do this project around, or for, anyone under the age of 5]. 


glue brad

Allow your new magnets to dry, and turn back to the ribbon “frame” on your magnetic board.  Lay out your ribbon, and glue it slowly, while you trim up the corners.  Apply glue underneath all of the ribbon and let dry. 

ribbon glue

ribbon corner

Optional:  If you do not want to use the brackets to hang your board, you can add a ribbon trim, like pictured below.   Make sure you use a lot of glue to secure the bow in place.  [Pretend the glue is collagen, and the bow is Meg Ryan’s lips and pump away !  Sorry Meg, I still love ya.]    

bow glued 

So here’s how it looks when it’s complete.  Total time is about 90 minutes. 

final magnet board

Idea Gallery:

Gal’s Office: Do a larger version of this with a dramatic patterned fabric and elegant ribbon, and use antique buttons or scrapbook “jewels” for the magnets. 

Guy’s Office:  Cover the board in slate gray, and make magnets out of polished rocks.  Or would he prefer beer bottle caps?  :-)

Boy’s Room:  For a pirate theme, find a fabric with a map pattern, and make magnets with gold coins.  If your boy loves cars, make a “racetrack” on the board  with gray or black ribbon, and find miniature cars for his magnets.  Zoom zoom.

Beach Style:  Find a cotton linen fabric, then make magnets with shells or sea glass. 

Kitchen:  Find a fabric that compliments your kitchen, then make magnets out of miniature food items found at your local craft store,  or from anything metallic that matches your hardware.

Mudroom/Home Organization Center:  Anything goes.

If you do this project, send me your photos and I will post them !

Oh, and check out these different style handmade magnetic boards on Etsy. These are very chic.  Also, look at Little Birdie Secrets version of a magnetic board.  And also her separate post on fabric covered button magnets.  Love them!

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