On a budget for your fall decorations? Pull those old sauce cans out of the recycle bin and turn them into tin can pumpkins. With a little bit of paint, ribbon, and hot glue you could have a whole pumpkin patch of DIY pumpkins costing you next to nothing to make.
This pre-fall season I’ve really been on a pumpkin kick! Fall is my most favorite season (yes, I am one of those basic fall kind of girls 🤣) and I’ve been making anything and everything I can into pumpkins.
Check out these other DIY pumpkin crafts:
- DIY 2×4 pumpkins
- How to make a pumpkin from a book DIY craft
- Easy DIY mason jar lid pumpkin
- DIY painted wood pumpkin cutouts
- 2×4 glittery pumpkins
- Dollar Tree sign makeover into a pumpkin
- Easy scrap fabric pumkins
Affiliate Disclosure. Some of the links on this website are affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission if you click on the link or make a purchase using the link. If you make a purchase you will not be charged anything additional.
What supplies do you need to make DIY tin can pumpkins?
The supply list to make these adorable pumpkins is pretty minimal and you probably have most of it in a drawer already.
DIY polka dot TIN CAN PUMPKINS: easy fall craft
- START WITH A CLEAN TIN CAN- Clean & dry the tin can prior to crafting.
- PAINT THE OUTSIDE OF THE CAN- Using a dry paintbrush paint the entire outside of the can. I chose matte white acrylic paint. One coat should be good, then let dry completely.
- ADD POLKA DOTS- A round sponge dabber is perfect for making polka dots. I used two different sizes of round dabbers for my pumpkin's polka dots.
- DISTRESS WITH SANDPAPER & WAX- If you like the distressed look be sure not to skip this step. Using a sanding sponge LIGHTLY sand small areas of the painted tin can. Then, apply a TINY amount of antiquing wax. CLICK HERE for more tips for using and applying antiquing wax for craft projects.
- ADD A STEM & BOW- Lastly, hot glue a dowel rod and a simple bow to the top of the tin can pumpkin.
HOW TO MAKE TIN CAN PUMPKINS
1. START WITH A CLEAN EMPTY TIN CAN
Clean & dry empty tin cans are best for this project.
2. PAINT THE OUTSIDE OF THE CAN
Using a dry paintbrush paint the entire outside of the can. I chose matte white acrylic paint. One coat should be good, then let dry completely.
3. ADD POLKA DOTS
The next step is to add adorable polka dots. Round sponge brush dabbers are a great way to paint circles. I used two different sizes of round dabbers for my pumpkin’s polka dots.
When painting, place a paper towel on the inside of the tin cans to protect yourself from the rough edges of the can.
Tips for using a round sponge dabber foam brush:
- completely cover the sponge in paint
- use a slight twisting motion with pressure
- reapply to the same area if you need more coverage
TIP: adding accent markings on your polka dots will make them look more like dots and less like cow spots (full transparency….I learned this after I finished my tin can pumpkin so I added my accent lines last). Simply make little dash lines on one side of the painted circles.
4. DISTRESS WITH SANDPAPER & WAX
If you like the distressed look be sure not to skip this step. Using a sanding sponge LIGHTLY sand small areas of the painted tin can.
Then, apply a TINY amount of antiquing wax. CLICK HERE for more tips for using and applying antiquing wax for craft projects.
5. ADD A STEM & BOW
Lastly, use your hot glue gun to add the accents to the top of the tin pumpkin.
For my tin pumpkin, I used a 1/2″ dowel rod piece I had in my craft room. You could also use a wine cork, stick, or cinnamon sticks. If painting the stem you can use the antiquing wax as I did. Paint on the wax then wipe off with a paper towel.
Hot glue the stem in place on the top center of the can, then make a simple bow and hot glue that in front of the stem.
OMG, I just love how this upcycled pumpkin craft turned out!
I hope you enjoyed this simple & easy tin can pumpkin craft tutorial. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions in the comments below.