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Hey it’s Vanessa here, I’ve decided to jump on the recycling band wagon and upcycled some used milk formula tins simply by painting them. I had started keeping all my sons milk formula tins, unsure of what to do with them at the time but I was convinced they would have a use at some stage. I finally decided before Christmas they would look great as herb planters and I could gift them to my ‘secret santa’ present recipient. Super super easy folks, and they were light on the wallet, maternity leave cash crisis! so it was much appreciated. But the best thing about them, was, they were made by me, myself and I with a little help from my oldest boy Jake. I had thought about the herbs the person receiving the planters would use and I thought about the sort of food they would use them on, it was a real buzz creating them. (openly gutted, I wasn’t Vanessa’s secret santa recipient – Ingrid)

Herb pots steps

All you need is some paint – I used water based acrylic, a decent brush, about 5cm wide and some clear enamel spray paint. Before you start painting you need to put a few holes in the bottom of the tin if you are using them for herbs. I did this with a hammer and nail and 3 holes were sufficient. I gave my pots 2-3 coats of paint and finished them off with a spray of clear enamel – it was as easy as that. I even painted baked beans tins and used them for pens and pencils. When they were dry I added potting mix and a selection of herbs and decorated them with ribbons and cute labels. Then I bought cheap saucers from a local plant shop.

Herb planters

I kept mine simple, but you could go crazy with this idea – some of my ideas I want to try soon are

  • growing cherry tomatoes or chilli’s
  • use a stencil to create a pattern on the tin
  • write a recipe in black marker pen on the tin in scripty handwriting
  • paint the saucers in neon colours

Would love to hear any ideas you may have, or have done – leave your link in the comments below.

Comments (8)


8 Responses

  1. daniela says:

    Wonderful! May I post your project in my blog, translated in Italian, provided that your blog is indicated as the original source?


  2. daniela says:

    GREAT! I’ll do it in a few days. Tanti cari saluti al papà! Bye, Daniela

    • Ingrid Opera says:

      Hi Jane, Thanks! They were a pretty neat idea for Christmas gifts – gosh you can make anything look amazing these days with a bit of paint and a few creative ideas – as you well know from the amazing projects on Sweet Living

  3. Hazel says:

    I’ve made something similar but also punched a small hole near the top of the tin so that I could get an “S” shaped metal hook (like the ones you hang utensils from in a kitchen) – perfect for hanging over the top of a garden fence, looks so pretty!

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