DIY Dorm: Upcycled Soup Cans

I’ve always been a huge fan of “upcycling” – using old objects for new and creative purposes (remember the T-shirt Pillows from a few weeks ago?). So when I came across my stash of soup waiting to be eaten, I was inspired…by the cans. Why not get even MORE bang for my buck and make use of not just the soup inside, but the container it comes in? A key factor in my dorm-life diet, soup cans were inexpensive and always on hand – just begging to be incorporated into a fun DIY project. With only a few budget-friendly items and little bit of your time, you’ll be turning your recycling into awesome dorm decor.

What You’ll Need:

– Empty soup can (I used an empty can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup)
– Tape measure or ruler
– Glue
– Wrapping paper (or any type of printed paper you’d like)
– Scissors
– Ribbon* (optional, for decorative purposes)

What You’ll Do:

1) First, make sure your can of soup is empty and rinsed clean. You don’t want any leftover soup ruining your project! Next, peel off the wrapper from the outside. It should come off fairly easily, though you may need to scrape a bit where it was glued. Don’t stress too much though, it’s going to be covered up.

Measure your can from top to bottom, as pictured here.

2) Next, using your tape measure, measure the height of your soup can (as seen in the photo) and make a mental note of this. Then, measure the distance around the outside of the can and add 1/2 an inch to this number (for gluing purposes). You may need to use a string or ribbon for this because it is not linear. These measurements will act as the height and width of the rectangular piece of wrapping paper you are going to wrap around the outside of the can.

3) Cut out your rectangular section of wrapping paper, according to the measurements you found. Place a line of glue along the shorter edge and press it flush onto the can. Wrap the paper around the cylinder, line the other end with glue, and press in place.

4) I also added a ribbon around the bottom rim, for decorative purposes following the same steps for the paper.

The final product!

I chose to use my soup can as a vase but they also make great pencil or school supply holders. You can add whatever you like to the outside as well! If you want to incorporate stickers or other appliques, get creative and really make it your own. If you decide you’d like a new pattern around the outside, just grab another can and get decorating!

Have any other ideas or suggestions for us? Don’t hesitate to post a comment below – we love hearing from you!


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