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Type of can: Any canned-food can
Result: Whether you leave them with their natural metal patina or paint them bright colors, soup cans are just the right size for a bouquet or a small plant.
Tip: High-gloss acrylic paint looks the sassiest.
Type of can: Coffee tin
Use: Outdoor planter
Result: A colorful vertical garden. I love the way these containers have all faded to different degrees.
Tip: Drill holes in the bottom for good drainage.
Type of can: Paint can
Result: A good way to use those paint cans collecting in the crawl space, since you never know how to get rid of them anyway. Give them a coat of glossy bright paint and they'll grab attention in the garden.
Type of can: Spice tin
Use: Container for starting seeds
Result: You'll check the dates on those ancient spices in your pantry and won't feel guilty dumping them out, because you'll have a nice new way to use them.
By the way, if realizing that your herbs are older than your college-age child inspires you to clean out the pantry, here's some help for getting started.