The Smart Way Plant Lovers Are Repurposing Popcorn Tins

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Popcorn tins have been cluttering seasonal storage areas for decades. Whether you came by your collection via gifts, through moments of generosity for local student clubs, or thanks to impulse cravings, those giant tins of popcorn seem to end up in the house. Once they're empty, somehow it's impossible to throw them away. Call it nostalgia or optimism, but the urge to save a nice, sturdy popcorn tin is just too strong. Thankfully, there are plenty of smart ways to repurpose popcorn tins around the house. The plant lover's favorite is to make them into beautiful custom planters!

This beginner-friendly craft generally involves covering the tin with paint or new material, filling the inside with soil, and planting your favorite indoor or outdoor plants in the tin. There are several directions you can take this project to ensure that your finished result matches your decor and lifestyle. Turning a popcorn tin into a planter works well because it makes your leftover tins useful throughout the seasons, the lid works as a moisture catcher, and finished results can outshine even the most expensive planters, saving you money.

How to make your popcorn tin planter

Because you can make your popcorn tin planter highly personalized according to your style and design preferences, it's important to establish your vision for the project before you begin purchasing materials. The key materials you'll need will be whatever you choose to cover the outside with. You might choose paint, spray paint, contact paper, or hot glue along with twine or other natural fibers to wrap around the tin. You can even mix and match materials or use painter's tape to create unique patterns. Aside from your material of choice, you'll also need a drill.

To begin, drill a few holes in the bottom of your popcorn tin so that excess moisture can exit your planter. Most popcorn tins will resist rust, but plants don't usually respond well to pooled moisture in the bottom of a planter. Next, use your materials of choice to create the look you want for your planter. You might use hot glue and natural fibers to create a wicker appearance. You can even achieve a beautiful stone look using Rust-Oleum's stone texture spray paint, which you can find in a variety of colors on Amazon for less than $13 per can. For a look you can switch up with lettering anytime you want, choose a chalkboard paint. With so many types of paint, contact paper, and other materials, the design options for your planter are endless.

Material considerations

Once you've drilled your holes and finished the outside design on your popcorn tin planter, it's time to plant! If you're using the planter indoors, repurpose the lid to act as a plant saucer, catching any excess water that drains through the holes in the bottom. Before rehoming your beautiful plants into your fun planter DIY, keep a few considerations in mind. 

First, it's important to note that not all brands of popcorn tins are exactly the same. Some may use a coating inside the tin for food safety and leak-proofing, and they may come in different weights and slightly varying materials. Especially if you're growing food in your repurposed tins, ensure that its materials don't contain BPA and that they won't rust. To be on the safe side, you could always use a liner inside your tin or place a hidden repurposed or DIY plastic planter inside.

Another important consideration when planting in repurposed popcorn tins is temperature. Placing popcorn tins in warm, full-sun spots could heat the metal to a temperature that might damage your plants. If you plan to use your planter outside, selecting a spot with at least some shade, especially if you live in a hot environment, will likely be your best bet. Indoors, you can choose a low-sun spot or plant hardy, heat-loving plants inside.