Pop Tab Tin Can Treats

This is part of the relaxing home spa kit I made for my mom for Mother’s Day this year. Go check out the rest of the kit!

These tin can treats are just the cutest! When I saw them on Pinterest I knew these would be the perfect Mother’s Day craft. I found the idea at Our Best Bites and made two of my own for my mom and JM’s mom, and they turned out great!

Pop Tab Tin Can Gifts

I filled these cans with little candies that our moms will enjoy, but the best part about this craft is that you can use any size can, fill them with whatever you want, and they will make the perfect gifts for anybody on any occasion! You could put a zippo lighter inside, wrap it in black paper, and make groomsmen gifts, or use pink paper with earrings and a necklace inside for bridesmaids gifts. You could put earplugs and an eye mask inside of one for a frequent traveler, or these would be awesome presents for children’s birthday parties. You could put a few little Hot Wheels in there, or some princess jewelry…there are tons of options!

They are also really simple to make, which is great. You need:

  • Pop tab tin cans (I used canned fruit cans because I didn’t want the can to smell like chili or anything)
  • Fun paper
  • Tissue paper for lining the can
  • Candies (or whatever) to put inside the can
  • Superglue for the lids; regular craft glue for the paper/labels
  • Scissors
  • A can opener (I used a “safety” opener which doesn’t leave sharp edges and makes it super easy to reattach the bottom, but a regular opener will work too)
  • Ribbon, optional, for decorating the pop tab

I started with two smallish cans of mixed fruit, but any can will do as long as it has a pop tab lid and a lip on the bottom. Some cans have rounded edges on the bottom which a can opener can’t grip; you need to be able to remove the bottom with a can opener. Also, be warned that sometimes the cans still smell like whatever was in them, so if you’re worried about that canned fruit is a safer bet than chili or beans.

Mixed fruit pop tab cans

Step One: Remove the bottoms of the cans. Use your can opener to remove the bottom of the cans. The bottom! This is important; you want to leave the pop tab part intact. If you use a safety can opener like I did it takes the bottom off and the ring around the outside. This makes it really easy to reattach the bottom later because it fits back onto the can perfectly. If you use a regular can opener DO NOT completely remove the entire bottom. Leave about half an inch connected to the rest of the can, bend the lid up to empty the can, and then bend it back down when you reattach it later.

Opened tin cans with can opener

Step Two: Empty and wash the cans. If you time this right you can use the contents of your cans for dinner or lunch or snacks or whatever. I just poured the fruit cocktail from my cans into some popsicle molds and stuck ’em in the freezer. They were delicious the next day! Once your cans are empty, peel off the label and wash the cans and lids out really well, then set them aside to dry. You want to make sure your cans are really dry before refilling them, so give it a few hours, or use a paper towel and make sure you get all the water droplets.

Step Three: Cover the cans with fun paper. Grab your scissors and cut some fun scrapbook paper down to size. I “measured” the paper against the can making sure that the new paper label would fit in between the metal rims at the top and bottom of the can. Once it’s cut to size, glue one end of the paper to the can (craft glue will work fine here), wrap the paper around, and glue the other end. That’s it!

Tin cans with paper

Step Four: Line the can with tissue paper. I suppose this step is optional… I like the idea of the candies being “wrapped” in tissue paper inside the tin when it’s opened, but you don’t need to do this if you don’t want. I took two layers of tissue paper and rolled them into a tube. Then I folded over the tissue paper at one end and stuck that end into the can. Remember, the bottom of the can is actually going to be the top, so I wanted tissue paper covering the candies when my mom opened it up. At this point I just sort of messed with it and let the rolled up paper expand a bit until the paper was up against the edges of the can, and then I cut off the extra paper sticking out of the top. Make sure to leave a few inches of extra so that you can fold it over on the bottom; this will protect your candies (or whatever) from glue in case some drips into the can when you glue the bottom back on.

Tissue paper lining tin can

Step Five: Fill up your can with goodies! I used hot tamales in the can for my mom, and miniature tootsie rolls in the one for JM’s mom. Be slightly discerning here in what you choose to fill the can with…if you live in a hot climate and have to mail the can somewhere, it’s probably best not to fill it with M&Ms or anything that will melt. Individually wrapped candy is awesome for this reason. 🙂

Hot Tamales inside tin can

Step Six: Glue the bottom back on. Once your can is full, fold the tissue paper over the goodies. If you didn’t line your can that’s fine, but you still want to grab some tissue paper and wad it up on top of your goodies to protect the contents from any glue spills. Then just glue the lid back on! The original tutorial said to use hot glue, but I tried that with my lids and it definitely did not work. I think I didn’t work fast enough and the glue dried in big clumps before I could press it onto the can. Plus, I wanted a really tight fit and hot glue is super thick, so I decided to just use some superglue. I put tiny dabs on the inside rim of the lid in about six spots and then pressed the lid back on. It dried in about five seconds and worked great! If you used a regular can opener you probably do want to use hot glue here because it is thicker and will help close up the gap between the lid and the can.

Lid is superglued back on

Step Seven: Labels! I love labels, it’s probably the Type A organizer in me, but they make me happy. If you’re a little more forward-thinking than I was you can combine this step with Step Three and glue the label onto the paper before you glue it on the can. I was not really planning ahead though, so I added these labels last. I made these labels using the same label shape I used for the painted flower pots. You can make your own pretty easily in Word, or you can just use the ones I made if you like. Once you have your label printed out just glue it onto the can and that’s it.

Click to download the label with text

Click to download the blank label

Step Eight: Decorate! Another optional step, but I love the look of little raffia bows tied to the pop tab! You could also grab some curling ribbon and curl up the ends with scissors after tying it to the can to give you some fun ribbons on the top.

Pop tab tin cans filled with candy for Mother's Day

Long-ish tutorial, but it’s a pretty simple craft. And they’re cute!

What else would you use these for? There have to be like a bajillion possibilities that I haven’t come up with yet, especially if you use different sizes and papers!


Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Erica says

    12 years ago

    Super cute! What a great idea.

  2. Susie @Bowdabra says

    12 years ago

    Thank you so much for linking up in our Saturday Showcase this past week! We were thrilled to have you and hope that you stop back in on Saturday and link up more crafty ideas!

    Have a super weekend!
    Susie at Bowdabra

  3. Susie @Bowdabra says

    12 years ago

    Hi Jessi
    Oh my! These are fabulous! You take great pictures of your work, too! Very fun!

    We would LOVE for you to stop over and link up this awesome idea in our Crafty Saturday Showcase. The Showcase runs Saturday through Thursday. Then our Designers will pick their top linked up picks and feature them on Friday! Stop over and join in the fun! We have a linky for crafty bloggers and ETSY/Business Bloggers!

    Have a great weekend,

  4. Melissa @ mamamiss says

    12 years ago

    love it! thanks for sharing!

  5. Donna Wilkes says

    12 years ago

    My niece loves to get unusual things in the mail. I have mailed a board, a letter in paper towel tube, and a long strip of paper inside a water bottle. I am adding this to my list tonight. Thanks. Came over from Nifty Thrifty.

    Distressed Donna Down Home

  6. JoeyandChase says

    12 years ago

    Love these!

  7. Debra Kapellakis says

    12 years ago

    Those are perfect.

  8. Kendra @ A Proverbs 31 Wife says

    12 years ago

    Ahh that is way to cute! I already have a few people in mind to make these for. Pinned!!!

  9. Lauren @ The Well Crafted Home says

    12 years ago

    This is really a great idea! Thanks for linking up at Well Crafted Wednesdays!

  10. Katie says

    12 years ago

    Ok, that is just too clever. Now I just need an excuse to give someone a gift. ^_^

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