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How To’sDay – Altered Paint Cans by Julie Koets

How To’sDay – Altered Paint Cans by Julie Koets

I’m so excited about How To’s Day!  I love all of the creative ideas that we can share if we put our heads together collectively.  I’m sure you will love today’s How To just as much as I do!  Thank you Julie Koets for providing us with such an amazing, step by step project!

Who wants to give another gift in a boring old gift bag? One way to guarantee that an exciting (or ordinary, or even a boring) gift is well received is to wow the recipient with a super cute personalized gift can, made with scrapbooking supplies! Here’s a look at the finished product, with step by step details to follow:

Just get a clean, unused gallon paint can and some of your favorite scrapbooking papers, trims, and mod-podge! I’ve found the cans in hardware stores (at the major home improvement chains, and my local neighborhood hardware store for about half the price!) You’ll also need approximately two 12×12 pieces of scrapbook paper and a 5-6 inch circle of paper for the lid.

I measured my can and cut my paper to fit. You’ll need two strips approximately 4″ x 10.25″ to go around the bottom of the can, and two strips 3.5″ x 10.25″ for the top of the can. Working around the handle is the tricky part. After lots of trial and error, I found that it’s easiest to use a 1″ circle punch to make a cut out for the handle (approximately 1.5″ from the top of the strip. Before I had a circle punch, I actually traced my half circles using the lid of a water bottle and cut them by hand.

Next cut a circle approximately 5.25″ in diameter to fit the lid. I recommend doing all of the cutting before you start adhering pieces, and do a “dry fit” to make sure they’re right before you bust out the mod-podge. Using a foam brush, coat one section of the can with a thin layer of mod-podge (the kind with matte finish, not glossy) making sure not to goop too much on (or you’ll wind up with bubbles under your paper)

Coat the backside of your paper with a thin layer of mod-podge and stick it on the can, lining up the paper with the bottom of the can, smoothing out air bubbles as you go and using a towel to wipe off any mod-podge that oozes around the edges.

Do the same thing for the top half of the can, fitting your half circle cuts around the handle. Keep smoothing out air bubbles as the papers dry, and wipe away mod-podge that oozes at the seams. Hint: Those sneaky little air bubbles are less noticeable when you use a patterned paper and less likely if you use cardstock than with regular weight paper. (Also, don’t fret if you do have a few bubbles initially, as they tend to deflate as the ModPodge dries.)

Glue the paper to the can lid the same way, smooth away the bubbles, and embellish the lid anyway you like. This is a great place to add personalization, die cuts, etc.

Break out your favorite trims to hide the seams around the middle of the can. You can use just about anything for this step. I’ve used ric-rac, ribbon, or just another strip of patterned paper. If your trim is a heavy one (like my sequined fabric) it’s best to use a hot glue gun or super sticky adhesive.

If your trim doesn’t quite go all the way around your can, you can add another embellishment in the center to hide gaps or seams.

Start tying ribbon onto the handle, using as little or as much as you want. You can skip the ribbon all together if you’re doing a masculine can, or try wrapping the handle with rope, leather, or anything. Some cans have handles that can be removed, making it possible to slide beads on the handle instead.

Don’t forget to ask for a “paint can key” when you purchase your can. I’ve been able to get them for free most of the time. Tie some ribbon to the key and tie it to the handle of the can so it can be used to open the gift.

You can also use leftover paper to make a gift tag to tie to the other side of the can.

Now your project is complete and ready to be stuffed with just about anything and given away (or kept for yourself to organize your crafty space)! By the time the recipient gets done oohing and aaahhhing over the can, they really won’t care what’s even inside. And this is one gift bag that won’t be thrown away or “regifted”.


The possibilities are truly endless with a project like this. The cans can be themed for kids, sports, hobbies (fishing, golf, gardening), baby, teachers, etc. and used for all sorts of things. How fun to fill with homemade baked goods, teacher supplies, scrapbook goodies, kitchen gadgets or mixes! They are even good for a bachlorette party or wedding gifts and can be used later to store keepsakes and momentos from the big day.

Julie, THANK YOU for sharing your amazing paint can with us.  You definitely got my mind spinning and I thought how fun it would be to make them and fill them with Valentine sugar cookies and go doorbell ditching the neighbors and leave them not only a wonderful treat, but a fun decoration for the home!

If you’d like to check out more of Julie’s amazing creations, be sure to check out her blog, where you can find all sorts of fun and crafty projects.

Also if you have a fun ‘how to’ which can truly be anything your heart desires, don’t be shy to email it to me at kristy@stealnetwork.com.  We would truly LOVE to give you a day in the spotlight and also help share those great ideas with others.

Be sure to check in tomorrow for Mid Week Mojo!

Scrap happy!  :)

Welcome to ‘How-To’sday’

Okay, I know….kind of a silly name, and my husband thought it was flat out cheesy, but hey….we’re scrappers, right?  We like those cheesy kinds of things!  (Well, I’m going to continue to tell myself that I think it’s pretty clever.  ;) )

Last week I asked what you wanted, and I’m going to do my best to deliver.  Each Tuesday (or most of them anyway), from hereon out will be our ‘how to’ day.  Thus the ‘How-To’sday’ is born!

Now you may be asking yourself how on earth will I find time to get it all done?  Well I’m going to be honest and tell you that by myself, I don’t think I can!  However, I really want to give you all the best how-to, go-to, inspirational, motivating, creatively filled blog on the planet, and I figure that I’m one measly person and I have such limited knowledge and ideas that I may as call in the backups (YOU) and if we put our heads together, we can make How-To’s day fun and informative, fresh and unique!  What can be better than that?….a go to place with ideas and reference from some of the craftiest brains on the planet that I know!

Here’s what I think we’d all love to see:

* Tips and Tricks; ie: Misty’s amazing tip with Versamark ink in stamping on last Friday’s blog! <3

* Technique

* Design

* Video

* The most simple of basics to more challenging ideas

* (insert your great idea here!)

Sometime last October, I was browsing through our wonderful Facebook Fan Page which always absolutely amazes me and inspires me, and I came across an awesome layout by Judy Stech.

I was absolutely in love with her layout and the flower embellishments and asked her if she would send directions that I could one day feature on the blog.  I’m so happy to have her ‘how to’ as our introductory ‘How To’sday blog post!!

I love adding flowers to layouts, but sometimes flowers from my flower stash don’t quite match the papers I am using in a layout.  Luckily, I always have plenty of scraps and can make paper flowers for my layouts.

You need:

  • 3 paper circles – varying in size (2 inch, 1.5 inch, 1 inch)  I usually hand cut with no guide.
  • A brad
  • A wet paper towel or a spray bottle with water

1.        Gently wet one of the paper circles using the paper towel or a quick spritz from the bottler.  The paper should not be soaking wet; otherwise, the paper will tear.  (Trust me; I’ve torn quite a few).

2.       Crumple the wet paper circle into a small ball.

3.       Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the other two circles.

4.       Carefully, un-crumple each circle.

5.       Layer circles smallest to largest, top to bottom.

6.       Poke the brad through the three layered circles.

7.       Now you can add more texture by tucking the edges under or crumpling the layers more.  Give it some character!

8.       Let the flower dry.  I usually let them dry overnight.  These flowers are really stiff once they dry.  Perfect for adding chalk or ink to the crevasses or edges.

9.       Add to page.

I also like using these flower techniques found in this blog post on Miss Fancy Pants’ blog.

Thank you Judy for sharing your amazing ‘How To’ with us.



If you would like to see your idea featured on our ‘How To’sday’ post, don’t be shy to send in your ideas!  You can submit your step by step with photos if possible to kristy@stealnetwork.com.  Please include “How To’sday” in the subject line.  We’d love to feature you and your amazing ideas!

Let’s put our heads together and share our ideas!  I can’t wait to learn from you and I hope that I will also be able to help inspire you!

If you have a chance to use Judy’s technique, be sure to share with us!  We’d love a comment or a link here on the blog letting us know how it turned out.

Hope you have a very happy To’sday!