I'm super excited about these clear plastic paint cans, because I finally figured out a way to decorate them that is fast and cheap. I'm so giddy that I just need to say that again . . . fast and cheap. It doesn't get any better than that.
I've been attracted to these paint cans (and not in a creepy way) ever since I first laid eyes on them. But when I get them home, I look at them and get Crafter's Block, and I can't decide how to decorate them. The lack of inspiration then makes me choke even more. The pressure is stifling.
Well those days are gone. Finally, I figured out how to decorate them just once using a digital format, and then I copy, copy, copy until I'm sick and tired of making them.
I happened upon the idea by accident while browsing the Sam's Club Online Photo Center and discovering the cheap, cheap price of printing an 11" x 14" print. Just $2.87 if you can believe it, and that decorates two paint cans, so it's really $1.435 per paint can! Okay, round it to $1.44 if you want to be so picky. It's just that it's really not that much because that extra cent covers two paint cans.
Remember, I'm the freak who will spend hours reconciling my checkbook to make sure I can account for that eleven cents that I'm off. And I will have fun doing it! No lie.
Blogging is my therapy couch.
Anyway, back to the cans. Here are some of the details for tricking out your own paint cans.
First of all, I made templates for two different sizes of paint cans. The first is what I call the Itty Bitty Paint Can, because it measures approximately 3-1/4" tall and 9-1/2" around. They're super cute, but you may have a hard time finding them. I got mine at Porter's months ago, and when I went back a few days ago, they didn't have any left. That's good news for you though, because that made it necessary for me to make a second template for the quart-sized can. Porter's had about a million of that size, and I know Michael's sells them too.
Yay for you!
Anyway, the first step is to save the templates to your computer, then upload them to your favorite photo center that prints 11" x 14" photos at a reasonable price. When you get them back, they'll look something like the picture above. I've tweaked them a tinsy bit because these pictures were of my prototypes. They have some flaws that I've, hopefully, ironed out.
When you get your prints, you'll first want to cut them out along the marked cutting lines.
For the itty bitty cans, I had to punch out holes for the paint can handles. It was a ginormous pain in the rear for the particular cans I bought, because the handles poked right through the plastic and interfered with the inserts when I slipped them in.
See what I mean?
That meant I had to measure the distance down from the top of the can to the handles, then the distance between the handles, then hope and pray that I did it right while punching the holes in my beautiful $1.435 templates.
And then I still ended up screwing it up in spite of all that. Jeez, what a dork. I ended up cutting some orange scraps and taping them over my boo boo holes. Or should I say BOO! holes? Ha. Ha. Ha.
See, you can't even tell, can you? Actually, don't answer that. I am one with denial.
I don't think it's that bad. I can live with it. Okay, another lie. I'm going to give them away so I don't have to live with them. And relive and regret. And obsess. It's a vicious cycle for us OCDers.
The Quart size paint cans worked out much better because I had a little experience under my belt. About 24 hours worth. There was still a little tweaking to do, but not much.
One of the bummers about the larger template is that I wasn't able to use my paper trimmer to cut the inserts out because they were too long. I had to get all old school and use actual scissors. I felt like a cave man. I mean Cave Martha.
Once I cut out the insert, the rest was easy. I rolled it up slightly, so that it was skinnier than the can, and then I slipped it inside. The hardest part was pressing the insert up under the lip of the top of the can. It was hard to get it started, and it felt creepy having to bend the insert to get it up there, but it laid perfectly flat against the inside of the can and you couldn't even tell that I had to bend it a little along the top edges to get it in there.
For the quart sized can I didn't even cut out holes for the handle rivet thingie-ma-bobbers. The insert just laid up again that part too.
Filling the cans with treats was pretty easy too. I could have made some cookies or something, but I was too tired after having to use those scissors.
For the final touches, I tied some ribbon to the handles and cut out some circles of Halloween paper to cover the paint can lids.
Lastly, I printed out some Boo! poems and saddled a few of my favorite peeps with my prototype buckets. I bet they won't even notice that they're not perfect. And you won't tell, will you?
I know you want to make some cute paint cans too, so here are the insert templates. Have fun!
This is the template for the Quart-sized can. Be sure to click on the image first, then save it to your computer. That will ensure that you get the best resolution possible.
This is the template for the itty bitty can. Be sure to click on the image first, then save it to your computer. That will ensure that you get the best resolution possible.
And finally, the Boo Poem, in case you want to spread the love.