If you drink condensed milk like me every day, then you will have a never-ending supply of empty cans, which you can upcycle, then display them on your Etsy shop, and finally start making some extra money by selling them to buyers who are interested in this type of thing.
This is my idea then, which I would like to apply it in practice myself.
When your can is empty, just remove the two tops with a can opener. Then wash the can thoroughly by using your regular washing-up liquid, remove the label, and let the can dry, or use a towel to dry it off.
Then, what you need is an anti-rust primer spray to apply to the inside and outside surface of the can, so that you can prevent oxidation of the metal. Use the instructions and apply as many layers as needed (probably one to two will be enough).
Now, this is the trickiest bit. You should visit YouTube and search for “geometric drawing tutorial”. There are plenty of videos to choose from, and I would personally select the following video tutorial:
Cut a piece of white paper that has the same dimensions with the cylindrical outer surface of the can (it will have a rectangle shape), so you can wrap it perfectly around it.
Although you may find the whole thing of drawing a geometric diamond by hand a bitdifficult for you, especially if you are not good at drawing, it is actually not that difficult once you have watched this excellent video tutorial. It is like going back to school again! You’ll need the piece of white paper you have cut, a pair of compasses, a ruler, a pencil, an eraser, and of course, some patience. Take your time and try to make the drawing as nice as you can. The better the result of your drawing, the higher the chances of selling your upcycled can be fast and at a good price on Etsy.
Once you have finished your masterpiece drawing (Don’t worry if you make anymistakes, since you can always start the whole thing again. Just have fun!) it is time to cut along the perimeter and discard any unwanted paper.
After that, cut through the whole drawing by using a precision knife (you can get one them on Amazon.com for under 10 dollars). Remove the black segments and leave the white ones.
What you need next is a set of acrylic paints and brushes (you can get them cheap online from retailers like Amazon.com). After you have wrapped and fixed the diamond drawing around your can, you can start filling the gaps that you have made with the precision knife, with any color you like. The result will be a unique upcycled tin can decorated with marvelous colors!
The next step is to use a pair of metal cutting scissors to cut the tin surface from top to bottom, so that you don’t have an empty cylinder anymore, but a curvy rectangle surface. Bend the sharp edges inwards after you have cut the tin, in order to make the tin safer, and give it some “volume” as well. Another reason why you should do this is in order to make as much surface of the can as flat as possible, so that you can send it to a potential buyer by using a plain envelope for sending a letter (and thus pay the cost of a letter) rather than sending it in a box as a cylinder (as it was initially), which would increase mailing costs dramatically. Of course, you shouldn’t make the tin completely flat because you want it to keep some of its curvy volume, so it can stand upright on its own without needing any support.
That’s it then!
Now you need to take a photo of your upcycled can, upload it to your Etsy store, and send it to your social media friends.
This will be a great decorative item that can be used to add color on any desk, and serve the purpose of saving the environment from more metal waste thrown away, and of course give you some extra money to sweeten your creative experience even more. I bet you can hardly wait for your next condensed milk can to empty, so you can use it for your next can upcycling project!
I would also like to thank Sarah Moore, a UK-based expert in upcycling anything you can imagine, for introducing me to upcycling and being a great inspiration by watching her videos on YouTube. It’s definitely worth watching these videos, if you want to get ideas on how to make money upcycling various things.