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How To Upcycle A Tin Can (Or Two): 9 Projects

a tin can telephone

a tin can telephone

I’m guessing even the most ardent locavore among us still creates his/her share of used tin cans: too many kind of foods come in the old-school containers, and they keep their contents ready to eat for years. So even if you try to stay away from processed soups and similar foods, you may still use canned beans, tuna, or vegetables in certain recipes. And while a clean, dry tin can works just fine in the recycle bin, these durable items are great for DIY versions of a number of useful items.

I spent some time digging around on various relevant sites – from DIY project collections to prepper finds – and dug up a number of tutorials that show you what to do with those old tin cans. In general, you don’t need a lot of them to make something useful; you may need certain sizes in some cases.

9 DIY Projects for that Tin Can in Your Recycling Bin

1-4. Rewinds: As tin can are really versatile, we’ve featured a number of projects in other collections. The preppers love them some tin cans, and use them for everything from cooking grills to flashlights.  They also make great planters for indoor or outdoor plants.

5. Solar lantern: Solar walkway lights are inexpensive, easy to find, and very useful. This project from Hometalk user (and fellow St. Louis blogger) Kristen combines these with tin cans to create solar lights that will last for hours.

6. Wi-fi Antenna: Does your home wi-fi need a boost? Sure, you can buy an antenna, but why not make one from a tin can? With about $5 worth of other materials, you can surf the net anywhere in your house, or maybe even on your property. (via SHTF Preparedness)

7. Candle Lantern: Not only is this project very simple, it’s also got a great look to it. User pwb at Bushcraft UK shows you how to make ’em.

8. Food Dehydrator: Something for those locavores! This project’s a bit more involved (it involves riveting and soldering), but all of the materials are repurposed.

9. Cold Smoke Generator: Another one for the foodies – make your own bacon! This one’s also fairly involved (though not as much as #8).

Got your own project that makes use of a tin can or two? Share them with us in the comments…

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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