Homemade Kitchen Canisters

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Kitchen Canisters 

Homemade Kitchen Canisters

From: Rose

The other night I was in Walmart. I was looking at the knives and they had some canister sets on the other side of the aisle. A woman told me that during the holidays she went to Home Depot and bought empty paint cans (They are clean and have never been used) for gifts.  She made canister sets. She said they come in different sizes. She painted the outside of them and then she cut out pictures from various magazines or stickers and she labeled them.

She dressed up the canisters differently for each household. She went to the dollar store and bought that items for the canisters. Example: For coffee, she had a bag of coffee, for tea she had a box of tea etc. I thought that was the cutest thing. I know this year at the Walmart near my house there were a lot of those little paint cans that were decorated. They had food mixes in them and some had little whisks or spatulas attached to the side. They were especially cute with the Christmassy design on the outside.

I think this is a GREAT idea! I may even use it in my pantry at our new house!



Polka dots are everywhere. These homemade canisters would be cute painted in a pretty color with white polka dots on them, too.

You could also spray paint them with chalkboard paint and then just write in chalk what is in the can. That way, if you use the can for something different, you could easily wipe or wash it off and rewrite on it.



Photo By: SpookyPeanut


  1. Bonnie Born says

    Some years back I went to an herb fair. They sold plants. flowers, herbs, etc. There were also craft vendors. One vendor used clean coffee cans as kitchen utensil holders. She had wrapped a bow around them, filled them with kitchen utensils. The price she was charging was a little beyond my budget. I came home and found 2 big Folgers tin coffee cans and a smaller one. Washed them out and decortated them with ribbons. They are still going strong and I have had a lot of nice comment on them. :o) Didn’t cost me a cent which was the nice part!

  2. says

    before it was considered beneath the art classes to ask for supplies from home (back when I was in grade 5)
    each year the teacher would ask the gas stations to save their empty anti freeze cans. She washed them out and brought in enough for each student to have 1. She then sent home a note asking for parents to send in old wallpaper scraps or things to decorate each can. We took them home just before mothers day and gave them to our moms as gifts. Most became small waste paper cans that could be left in plain sight because they were cute and useful. This went on for years and some moms ended up with 3 or 4 depending on how many children went to school.
    I use coffee cans with out the decorations for holding my wooden spoons and long spatulas that take up a lot of drawer space.
    I seem to have an unlimited supply of those cans and they are useful.

  3. Paula says

    When I had my own apartment and was on a very tight budget, I used different sized ‘canning jars’ as canisters…They were cheap, clear (so you could see what was in them), and the rubber ring seal kept everything fresh…..Now I like them for the ‘farmhouse look’ they give a kitchen.
    Empty tomato cans also make great catch all’s…Be sure to use those new type can openers to avoid a tetanus shot! I saw in a magazine someone had attached 6 tomato cans(3 on each side) to a furring strip (1″x2″ wood), added a handle, and made a tool/craft caddy. I think I’ll try it for my daughters hair stuff (it’s everywhere :o)

  4. rose says

    i always thought those plastic coffee containers made the best things to store leftovers in . the lids fit so well on them ..
    and grandma .. i remember when we used to do all those fun things in school too .. making things out of cans that had vegi’s (a pencil/pen holder for our parents desk or near the telephone) which was painted and/or decorated ..

  5. rose says

    i am so bad .. but i hope u can forgive me .. i just love love love xmasy snowmen and penguins .. the day after xmas the dollar store near my house had all there xmas stuff on sale (50% off) .. and well .. they had the cutest containers (the size of canisters) with the cutest snowmen on them (i actually saw them b4 xmas but i didnt want to spend the money on them and no they didnt have the penguins, they had the snowmen and the others were snowflakes) .. i grabbed 2 sets of these containers .. and for the price of one i set i got 2 sets …
    i showed my hubby and he said “rose, thats us! a husband and wife snowman!” . and yep .. they are the husband and wife snowpeople.. so cute too .. i just couldnt resist .. and i finally have cute canisters (yes its a xmas theme but well, i love them) .. and the good part? the 2 largest ones i store my pets food in (one for cat one for dog) ..
    i really wanted to dress up my own but i dont have the time, patience or energy to do so .. esp with trying to move and declutter/clean .. and everything else i have going on in my life .. and these will do for now .. hubby likes them too .. but he said if they sell the penguins at a good price get a few of those too .. we can always use containers for storage (even if we use it to store some leftovers in the fridge) ..
    just wanted to share ..

  6. Gayla T says

    I bought a nice set of canisters to match my tea rose Pfaltzgraff dishes on Ebay and when they came they didn’t have those nice rubber rings that most canisters have to make sure they seal tight and ants or some such creatures can’t just move right in. I’ve looked high and low for a set of them and can’t find them any where. If one of you know where to get them would you please post it and I’ll check the box for comments to come to me. This is a search on for over four years and still havn’t found them. I had to throw out some sugar because those tiny ants got into it so now I have it in a zip lock bag in the canister and that is kind of unhandy. If anyone will know it’s the ladies on here. Thanks so much.

    • says

      If any one has the answer to Gayla’s question I would like to know too because I have the same problem and have been looking and looking. I thought about running a bead of hot glue around it but wasn’t sure what that would do.

      • Sandra Lee says

        Suggestion Google rubber gaskets/o rings. Many companies make them for industrial use in every imaginable size. If you still cant find the right size you can buy small/thin sheets of rubber gasket material and simply cut your own with a pair of scissors.

  7. says

    Jill, you might try a tube of the sylicone for calking and stuff like that. It is more rubbery than the hot glue.
    It comes in small tubes a bit bigger than toothpaste and it is easy to use.

    • says

      I had thought of that too. I have just been chicken because they are brand new – my first new canisters in about 40 years so I was afraid to do anything to them I wasn’t real sure of but I may end up having to try that. Thanks Lynda

  8. barb~ says

    Hi Jill,
    Just a thought-I wonder if Lowes, Home Depot might carry rubber rings-the kind plumbers use for pipes, etc. to seal things. Had you thought of something like that? What do your new cannisters look like?


    • says

      I have looked some at that type of thing but probably need to check again and maybe even try Ace if Lowe’s doesn’t have it. My new canisters are those big just clear glass ones that I’m sure you have seen before. For some reason I love being able to see my flour, sugar etc. It is funny though how different people are. Tawra doesn’t like clear canisters because she hates to see the flour clinging to the sides of the canister.

      • says

        not sure but here is another idea.
        the rubber you use when replacing the screens in windows.
        this might do the trick if you don’t need really wide rubber.

        • says

          It might be too thick plus I think I need something clear because it will show through the lid but you know I just now got to thinking I wonder if I tried putting some chauking on a piece of wax paper and made like my own big washer it that would work. I’ve been afraid to put anything directly on the lid itself for fear of ruining it. But you guys have given me some ideas to think about and maybe try.

  9. Rhonda L says

    Just a thought but have you tried to make your own with the shelf liner paper. They have the kind with grippers on it. Just use your lid as pattern. I know I had leftovers after lining my cabinet and I use if for all sorts of stuff! It’s really great to put a bowl on when your mixing…keeps it from slipping…I’ve even put it under rugs to keep them from slipping…it makes a really good jar gripper too! Hope this helps!

    • says

      Good idea Rhonda. I use it for setting a bowl on and other things too so it might work. If I can fine some clear it would be even better. Great idea. Thanks. We have some super clever readers out there.

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