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  • by Barb (Edtl) Shelton

Gift-in-a-Can: Minimalist Instructions

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

If you know what this Gift-in-a-Can thing is, which one you're making, and what you want to put in it, you're ready for the Minimalist Instructions! So hop on down to "MINIMALIST INSTRUCTIONS for making a GIFT-IN-A-CAN."

But if you are wondering what a Gift-in-a-Can is, let's start with a picture, which is worth a thousand words, so here are 6,000 words you didn't have to read...

6 different Gift-in-a-Cans / Gift-in-a-Can: Minimalist Instructions /

I have written a series of five posts that give you 24 Gift-in-a-Can themes, many ideas for what to put in them, instructions for making them, and even a post on how to organize your supplies. Here are mini-collages of the five sections:

Parts 1-5 of making Gift-in-a-Cans / Gift-in-a-Can: Minimalist Instructions /

Everyone ~ even you as a minimalist ~ needs to read Part 1 on Themes & Contents to see your options and decide which Gift-in-a-Can you want to make.

As a minimalist, you will probably not be interested in Part 5 as it shows how to organize your supplies which, as a minimalist, you will probably not want to store. So you will have nothing to organize. ;-)

So what I will cover herein are actually just parts 2, 3, and 4.

In Parts 2, 3, and 4, I give all the step-by-step instructions you need to create your own gift-in-a-can, including covering it, decorating it, and then how to fill and seal it, and create a tag for it!

I greatly abbreviate "all the above" instructions here in this post for those who want just the basics.

However, less is not always better, even for minimalists. If you find the process frustrating, you'll figure out the reason why in one of those three posts (part 2, 3, or 4) and can refer to it at that point. So don't ask me why I didn't explain it better, because I actually did. :-)



Here in this post I'll include links to items that will help you with creating a Gift-in-a-Can.

Amazon Affiliate links coming up. The Honeycomb Oasis Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to at no additional cost to you.

And if any link doesn't work or the product is out of stock, pleeease email me and let me know!




for making a


Photo collage of steps 1-7 / Gift-in-a-Can Minimalist Instructions /

Photo collage of Steps 1-7

1) Get a can that has a pull-ring type lid and a bottom that has a lip on it that can be removed with a smooth-edge can opener*. You do not want the rounded-edge type of can bottom. (Full discussion of can type and size is in this post, numbers 1 and 2.)

* If you do not have one of these can openers, then you need to borrow or buy one. I have and love Pampered Chef's Smooth-edge Can Opener, or you can also get a similar-type one on Amazon.

2) Open the can at the bottom using the smooth-edge can opener, which breaks the seal. (Do not use a regular can opener that cuts the metal lip around the bottom, leaving a sharp-edged disc!) Do NOT discard this "bottom lid"! SAVE it as it will be glued back on to the bottom.

3) Remove the contents of the can, then wash (or even just rinse) and dry the can.

4) Carefully remove the label from the can, in one piece, if possible, so you can use it in the next step. If it comes off in pieces, either tape them together, or measure the height of the can inside the can lip-edges and the circumference of the can to get your measurements. The piece needs to be 1/4 inch longer than circumference of the can so there'll be that little overlap in the back.

5) Lay the just-removed (or now-taped) label onto a piece of designer (aka scrapbook) paper along the edge, (edge to edge), and trace around the two inside edges with a pencil. The main thing to keep in mind is that you don't want to see these tracing marks, so either make these lines on the back of your piece, or, in the next step, cut inside the lines so that they aren't visible. I'm saying it now because you have to plan it in this step. You want it to overlap 1/4 inch.

6) Cut out your designer (or scrapbook) paper. The pretty stuff.

7) Adhere this piece to your can with a strong adhesive on the two edges that overlap each other. Put the adhesive on the back side of both edges. One edge adheres to the back of the can (wherever you put this edge becomes the back; the can has no actual "back,") and the other end overlaps that now-adhered edge (1/4 inch) and sticks right to the paper.

Steps 8 and 9 photo collage:

Steps 8 & 9: Different tops & sides of Gift-in-a-Cans / Gift-in-a-Can: Minimalist Instructions /

8) Decorate the top of the can how ever you want. (See the photos above. There are more in this post under "CAN TOPS," close to the top of the page.)

9) Put a decorative band around the middle, if desired. (See options in the first photo of this post.)

Steps 10~12 photo collage:

Steps 10-12: Collage of filling, sealing, and tagging different Gift-in-a-Cans / Gift-in-a-Can: Minimalist Instructions /

10) Fill the can with the gift contents of your choice. Don't overstuff or you will warp the can and make it difficult for the bottom lid to stay on. (For more details, see this post. under "FILLING THE CAN.")

11) Glue the saved can-bottom back onto the can using strong glue; not just glue stick. (For more details, see this post. under "SEALING THE CAN.")

12) Make and attach a tag. Links to the tags are in this post ~ almost half-way down that page.

All done!!!

We've come full-circle

to a finished can!

6 different Gift-in-a-Cans / Gift-in-a-Can: Minimalist Instructions /


Hexa-pic for Gift-in-a-Can: Minimalist Instructions /

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