Monday, August 24, 2009

Put a Lid on it!

First, I have a few things to say about this new world of blogging. I have a confession:  I have blog envy. Other folks' blogs have the prettiest images and colors and fonts. I want my blog to be pretty, too! Hmph! [imagine now that I have my arms crossed and my bottom lip stuck out in childish frustration--I have to imagine it, too, because I can't type with my arms crossed]
My blog will be pretty one day--oh, yes it will. One of these days. As I slowly learn, this new home will start to look different. Ray Jay will be so glad that I can get my need for changing and rearranging things out of my system before I get off the 'puter. Less of a chance for me to rearrange furniture=happy (not so great with change) husband. Okay, I feel better now. Off to today's activity...
Note:  In true newbie fashion, I am not so great at formatting, as you will see from my sad attempts to post photos and instructions below.  The pictures aren't really where I want them to be and the bullets and numbers are not lining up. Not sure why but exactly, but they're not.  Bear with me until I figure out how the heck to format this sucker...

Cans, cans everywhere!
My family is pretty big--4 kids, me, and Ray Jay. One of those kids eats as much as 2 kids. So it's really more like 5 kids + the bill payers. We go through a great deal of canned items. Not like the kind that my industrious friend Kim goes through--that she cans herself with veggies from the garden she grows herself. What I mean is the kind you buy at Wal-Mart. Sometime last year, I realized that we probably went through about 2-3 cans a day. I thought it was time to start saving some of those cans, and their lids. I had no idea what to do with the lids, but I started washing them off and keeping them in a giant {recycled} plastic coffee container. I bought some tin snips at Lowe's to play with the lids, but I haven't stumbled across anything to do with that combination that doesn't have the potential to sever a small finger (let me know if anything comes to mind).

However, about a month ago, I did finally find something to do with the lids. My daughter Abbey's birthday was coming up and she wanted to have a party. I decided to meld two activities (picking out a card and decorating for the party) into one. So I made her a garland using the can lids.

Here's how they turned out:

Note: the one with the entire message says, "Happy Birthday Abbey." I'm taking donations for a better camera if you're feeling generous.


  • Can lids (duh--if you don't know that already, you're not paying attention). Clean ones would be optimal, espeically if they're from tuna or cat food cans. Unless you really don't like the person for whom you're you're doing it. Or if it's for your cat.

  • Scrapbook paper or any colored or decorative paper--even magazine ads would work if you want REALLY be frugal/earth friendly

  • Scissors

  • Punches--but only if you already have them. Don't go to Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby to get a punch just for this project and cuss me when you price them. I have been accumulating mine for several years and I have a special fondness for anything scalloped. If you don't have punches, stop whining and get something round that's a little smaller in diameter than your can lids, then use it for your template.

  • Crop-a-dile or Hammer/Nail/Cardboard--For those of you who read Crop-a-dile and have a WTH?! thought bubble over their heads, you can read about them here. Again, don't go out and buy one just for this. The same effect can be achieved using the old fashioned hammer & nail method.

  • Mod Podge--if you don't have this, first of all, you SHOULD, especially if you consider yourself crafty. This stuff rocks. But if you don't, you can use watered-down Elmer's.

  • Ribbon --I will expound on my love of ribbon another day.

  1. Using Word (or whatever you nerdy Mac folks call your word processing program), choose a font you like and type out your message. I think the font size I used for this project was around 100 or more to make the letter clearly visible. I also went into the font options and chose for mine to be outlined, with a hollow center (if making it hollow/outlined makes your brain cramp, skip it). You can also go really low-teach and hand draw bubble letters yourself. But only if're an awsome draftsperson, or don't really want to impress the person for whom you're making this. You could also flip through magazines and find letters in there, but who has time for that?  Speaking of wasting time, I also used a black pen and outlined my letters with a dashed line.  Just to make them stand out more.  It acutally IS worth the time spent.  In my opinion.

  2. Once you have your message typed out on Word, print it onto your scrapbook paper. I alternated between 3 different prints, so I really had to use my bean when I typed it so that every third letter would print on each page.

  3. Cut out letters.

  4. Cut out a back ground for your letters. I have 2 backgrounds: a circle and a circle scallop.

  5. Layer your letters and backgrounds onto your can lids with Mod Podge. I apply Mod Podge with an old paintbrush.

  6. After Mod Podge is dry, add holes to each side of lids. This is where you use either the Crop-a-dile or the hammer/nail/cardboard. "Why cardboard?" you ask. Because unless you really hate your work surface or you're at your mother in law's house, you need to put it under the lid to buffer the nail coming through when you hammer it.

  7. String ribbon through holes and tie into bows. If your holes are small, cut the ribbon on an angle to get it in more easily.
Have a great day! I'm going to enjoy this unusually temperate weather with my offspring.


  1. My blog and website has undergone many transformations and will probably undergo many more. Hang in there. You'll get it looking the way you want it.