Dress Up A Fence With DIY Tin Can Planters

I have this chain link fence...need I say more? Most of us know that chain link fences are not usually very attractive. Anyway, there is a short run of chain link fence that runs across part of our back yard. We have thought about replacing it but so far that hasn't happened. So I was looking for some way to sort of dress it up. Just make it look a bit better. I think this would be a great idea for other fence types too, just attach by screwing directly into a wood fence.

These should look really nice once the plants start growing.
I came across this idea of planters made from tin cans and thought that if I could paint them in some cheery colors, and fill them with flowers and herbs, I could somehow hang them from the fence. Tada! Yes, I picked out a primer made for bare metal and four colors of spay paint and began my project.

BTW. I made the mistake of painting the cans before drilling the holes. I then had to go back and repaint around the holes to help prevent rust. Better to drill holes before applying primer and paint.

Want to make your own? Here's what you need:
  • Empty clean tin cans
  • Fine grit sand paper
  • Clean metal primer (I used spray)
  • Paints in whatever color(s) you choose. (I used spray)
  • S-hooks
  • Electric Drill (or hammer and nail)

Here's how to do it.

Begin collecting your cans. I ended up with a lot more than I would need but I did manage to collect several different sizes. I think I'll use some of them to make a craft tool organizer for my work table. After you remove labels, wash cans well.

Next, use a circular motion to sand the clean cans with a fine grit sandpaper. The cans should be sanded to give them some "tooth" or grip so the paint will stick better.

This is where I applied two coats of primer, but I should have drilled all the holes first and then painted. Just be sure to let each coat dry completely and remember to get the inside!

First coat of primer

Now begin painting the outside with whatever colors you like. I used two coats and painted the first inch or so of the inside. If you want to be more artistic you can use craft paint to decorate the pots.

Drill drain holes in the bottom of each can. If you don't have an electric drill you can use a hammer and nail.

Using a drill bit that will make a hole big enough for the S hook to pass through, drill a hole near the top of each can. Again, you can hammer a nail into the side (from the inside) to make the hole but a drill makes it much easier.

My sweet husband was afraid I might cut myself on the ragged tin on the inside of the hole so he used a small hammer to bend down the sharp edges.

Fill your new pots with soil and plant your plants. Now just insert the S-hook and hang on the fence!

Can you see the S-hook on the back of this one?
Beautiful, as you can see I planted flowers in the larger pots and herbs in the smaller ones. I might add even more!


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