tin can cover

May 12th, 2008

This project is from an old issue of Cotton Friend, a japanese magazine that my husband brought back for me from Singapore.  These are incredibly handy and I have many more in the works: for all the crap little things in my studio and all the markers, crayons and glue sticks that are under the couch.  I thought you would like to make some too, so I whipped up a tutorial. Here you go:

28 oz. tin can (if you have a different size can, just measure the height and circumference, add seam allowances, and the rest is the same)
linen, or other fabric
lining fabric
embroidery floss
glue (I used rubber cement, but plain white glue should do just fine)


Wash your tin can and take off the paper.  Cut two 13″ X 4.75″ rectangles–one from linen and one from the lining fabric–and one 13″ X 1.5″ strip of linen.  Embroider the design of your choice on the fabric or leave it plain if you like. Place the two large rectangles together right sides facing, and sew around using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Leave a 2 inch opening in the middle of one of the short sides for turning out.  Clip the corners, turn and press (I like to press it so a little of the lining shows).  Sew the opening closed.  Fold the strip of fabric in half the long way and press.  All the way along one side clip almost up to the fold.  Glue the unclipped side to the inside of the tin can, then glue the outside.  Wrap the finished piece around the can and sew shut (I like my stitches to show, but you could of course use an invisible stitch).

I was planning on having a pdf file with embroidery designs you could download, but I’m not having much luck with that at the moment.  Until I figure it out here are pictures of the designs you can print out and use (you will probably have to resize them a bit). If you want to see these or any of the instructional photos more clearly, click over to my flickr site.

Edited to add: please click here and you can download both sets of designs for your own stylish, embroidered tin can cover.

drop me a line if you make one!

Posted in tutorials.

63 Responses to tin can cover

  1. I love those! Wonderful

  2. kirsten says:

    wow, meg! very cute, thanks for sharing!

  3. Ali says:

    Cool! I love the embroidery designs so much. I’m sure they’ll be making an appearance on a piece of linen near me somethime soon!

  4. Amy says:

    That. Is. So. Cool.

    Seriously, Meg, I absolutely love this.

  5. Kelly says:

    Hello there,
    I’ve been lurking here for s bit and have to say how much I love you little embroidery designs. I’m so inspired!

  6. zannestar says:

    OOOh, absolutely love these! I am completely smitten with those adorable drawings! very cool – thanks!

  7. Awe.Some.

    Very nice idea and a great tutorial and GREAT little drawings. This post is making me very, very happy.

    And helping me procrastinate, too. So thanks. : )

  8. stephanie says:

    Thanks for the idea & tutorial…I love it!

    I only have one whisk.

    I know, it’s sad. :)

  9. leslie says:

    oh. i love it. so perfect. for covering so many things. which cotton friend issue is it in?

  10. fiona says:

    Meg – you are so clever! I love that everytime I pop by I leave feeling so inspired. Thanks :)

  11. Jackie says:

    Great, great, great! So simple, so delightful, so functional. I assume they are washable also. I have got to get some of those Japanese craft books.

  12. Sarah says:

    I don’t have much extra room in the kitchen, but I want to make some the pencil and the scissor ones for my sewing room! Those are lovely!

  13. Jill says:

    I have been wanting to do this for two months now. The cans are on my kitchen counter full of pencils but I haven’t had time to sew the coverings for them yet. Your can turned out great!

  14. Blue Castle says:

    Oh wow. That is way cool! And here I’ve been recycling my cans….. not anymore. Thanks!

  15. mrs. french says:

    this is wonderful! I wish I had all the whisks to go with it.

  16. monica says:

    so beautiful. and simple. and useful. and gorgeous. and lovely.


  17. Dacia says:

    Oh I just love these! so cute!

  18. Cristina says:

    Fantastic! I love your illustrations. Those whisks would be great embroidered or printed onto fabric for aprons.

  19. Diane says:

    I love LOVE your whisk drawings! Darn cute.

  20. amy says:

    thanks for the tutorial. what a great idea!

  21. kelly says:

    Wow, what a great idea. I’ve got a few tin cans that could use lovely covers like this! Thank you so much for sharing. -kb

  22. jodie says:

    Love it – and I adore your little whisk embroidery.

  23. Rashida says:

    How darling is this project? I love it! ^_^

  24. Michele says:

    I love that!

  25. tiel says:

    these are great and look so good when applied to fabric. good luck with the file attachment thingy!