DIY polka dot TIN CAN PUMPKINS: easy fall craft

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.

tutorial showing you how to make tin can pumpkins. White painted tin can with black polka dots. Burlap & orange bow and dowel rod stem are on the top of the metal can pumpkin. Natural bead garland drapes around the fall pumpkin craft

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:

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distress white painted tin can with black polka dots painted on it

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.

supplies and materials to make a tin can pumpkin. Metal tin can, black and white acrylic paint, antiquing wax, paint brush, round sponge dabber brush, chip brush, twine

DIY polka dot TIN CAN PUMPKINS: easy fall craft

On a budget for your fall decorations? Save those old sauce cans and turn them into tin can pumpkins. With a little bit of paint, ribbon, and hot glue you could have a whole patch of DIY pumpkins costing you next to nothing to make.
Total Time30 mins
Keyword: diy fall decor, diy pumpkin craft, easy fall decor, fall crafts, halloween, polka dot pumpkins, recycled, upcycled
Cost: $

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

HOW TO MAKE TIN CAN PUMPKINS

tutorial showing you how to make tin can pumpkins. White painted tin can with black polka dots. Burlap & orange bow and dowel rod stem are on the top of the metal can pumpkin. Natural bead garland drapes around the fall pumpkin craft

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.

using a paintbrush to paint the outside of a metal tin can white to make a pumpkin craft

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.

using a sponge brush dabber to paint polka dots on a white painted metal can to make a pumpkin craft

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.

easy pumpkin made from a tin can, dowel rod stem with a burlap and orange glittery bow tied with twine.

OMG, I just love how this upcycled pumpkin craft turned out!

tutorial showing you how to make tin can pumpkins. White painted tin can with black polka dots. Burlap & orange bow and dowel rod stem are on the top of the metal can pumpkin. Natural bead garland drapes around the fall pumpkin craft

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.

Happy Crafting!

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