How to make money recycling (upcycling) tin cans

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 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 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.


What skills and qualities do you need to write for TopTenz?

TopTenz is a website that pays writers a specific amount of money for their top-10-list articles, rather than offering them the opportunity to earn through a revenue-sharing scheme, for example, based on ad views (CPM), etc. Of course, this could change in the future.

TopTenz is a website that pays writers a specific amount of money for their top-10-list articles, rather than offering them the opportunity to earn through a revenue-sharing scheme, for example, based on ad views (CPM), etc. Of course, this could change in the future.

I had a look at the webpage where there is a brief description of the TopTenz’s best writers, and I realized that they were university-educated, and/or had a genuine and passionate interest in a specific activity, hobby, knowledge field, and many more. Most people may think that TopTenz is a site where you can only send one top-ten article, and wait for it to be approved by the TopTenz’s administrators, but the truth is that there are a handful or more authors who earn a decent income by sending quality articles, and having them approved, on a regular basis.

As I already have stressed, you need to be well versed with the particular field of interest that you are going to write about; otherwise, I believe that you shouldn’t even try to get your article approved. On top of that, you need be charismatic in sparkling the readers’ interest and turning them into regular visitors and fanatic readers of the site. This is the old saying: “It is not only what you say, but how you say it”.

Actually, there are many other specialist websites, such as,,,,,,,, and, where you can send your top-10-list article, and get paid for it, once it is approved. So, it could be a good idea to try your luck with every single one of them. For example, you could start with Wonderslist, and if your article is rejected, you can try Listverse. If they reject it, too, you can attempt to have it approved by the next one, for example, Listverse, and so on. In the end of the day, you can try to publish it on one of many revenue-sharing websites, such as Hubpages, or even on your blog.

In this way, if you are a talented writer, and knowledgeable of the subject, about which you are going to write, you will finally receive some bigger or smaller financial compensation for your effort. Good content can always find its way to publication.