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  • by Barb (Edtl) Shelton

Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1)

Receiving a gift is always fun, but even more fun when it comes in a unique container! Like, for example, a darling flip-top can!

Not only are these cute, but the recipient gets to open the can using the unopened pull-ring!

Here are six of the Gift-in-a-Cans I have made and given:

6 different gift-in-a-can themes / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /

On all six of these, the pull-ring on the top is unopened! It's hard to spot cuz it's buried under the ribbons! The cans are filled with fun gifts!

All of these cans started out in life as a regular, basic pull-ring-top can, but ended up ~ after I got done with them ~ festively dressed and ready to delight someone!

3 sizes of cans with unopened pull-tab tops and lipped bottoms / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /

(I have yet to make one out of a small 8-ounce

can, but the principles are the same!)


Here are tops of four Gift-in-a-Cans I've made. They have similarities, but the color schemes, ribbon types, and embellishments make each one unique.

4 can tops with ribbons, embellishments, and unopened pull-tab lids / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /


Here are the items I stuffed into the bottom of the Birthday Party in-a-Can before I glued the can's "bottom lid" back on. The top is not the opened end; that's where the pull-ring and the ribbon-ties are, so we load the goodies from the opened-up bottom.

Bottom of Birthday can stuffed with contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /


Wondering how in the world can I put MY stuff inside a can without opening the pull-top?!

In this blog post series, I'm going to give you all the instructions and Free Printables you need to create one of these, plus ideas for several different can themes and items to put inside them...


If an item is underlined, there's a link in it. A few of the links take you to tutorials, other blogs, or other articles here at Honeycomb Oasis. Many are links to products...

Products you can buy, most of which I have bought, used, and really like. Some are items I have not tried, but have provided for that convenience and/or to show you what the product looks like. All are products I would purchase now if I needed to buy an item again.

(If a link doesn't work or the product item is out of stock, pleeease let me know!)

(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.)


The blog post you're reading right now is:

Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) [<<YOU ARE HERE!]

In the next four blog posts I'll be showing you how to:

5 Parts of this series / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /

I guarantee that ALL of your questions will be answered in these posts! So let's start at the beginning with...



Comin' up next are a dozen Gift-in-a-Can themes! There are many others ~ listed at the end of this page ~ but this is plenty to get your creative juices flowing! Not so you'll perfectly duplicate my cans, item for item, but to give you ideas!

(If this feels overwhelming, just skim through the themes till you find ONE you'd like to make for someone.)




Birthday gift in a can contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /


  • Birthday confetti - These are foil, multi-colored, and shiny, which doesn't show up here. Here are some similar ones that are Birthday confetti.

  • Cupcake liners - There are actually a couple dozen liners in the photo above; enough for one cake mix batch. I got mine at Michael's, so the patterned cupcake liners I've linked you to are different, but cute! And with several different patterns.

  • Fridge magnet - I got several of these in a pack at Michaels.

  • Rose-shaped soap - See that pink rose laying on its side next to the packet of tissue? That's SOAP! I got this box of 18 Rose-shaped Soaps and I wrap each one individually in a 3"X5" cellophane bag ~ which is perfect for 3"X5" recipe cards, if you use those, and tie it closed.

  • Decorative (pink) flower on a mini clothespin - Purchased at Michael's in a pack of 5.

  • Gift card to a favorite coffee shop in whatever denomination you want.

  • Fizzy tablet - These are just FUN! Add to a glass of water and it fizzes and flavors it up! (Not on Amazon; I got mine at the Dollar Store.)

  • Votive candle holder with tea candle - (top center) I got mine at Michaels.

  • Decorative pencil - I got the floral one in the photo above at Michael's, but here's a fun animal print set on Amazon. Sharpen it down till it's short enough to fit in your can. (To get double the use out of one pencil, break it in half, sharpen both broken ends, and then put a pencil eraser cap on the "top" of the one end.)

  • Decorative tissues - A pack is nice if you have room, but if you have a lot of things to put in your can and need to save on space, just fold up one tissue. [Here are 16 Mini Packs of Tissue. This design is geometric, not floral like mine, which, again, I got at Michael's.]




Birthday Party in a can contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /


Similar to the Birthday Gift Can above, the focus of this one is that it's a mini party in a can rather than being the gift itself! So it contains:

  • Balloon - got from my Birthday bin

  • Rolled-up strip of "Happy Birthday" crepe paper

  • Candle and matches - to put on top of whatever treat is there

  • Candy for the mini party - espresso beans and Smarties; get whatever your recipient's favorite candy is

  • Birthday napkin (link in previous section)

  • Confetti (link in previous section)

  • Colorful ribbon curls - I cut short strips of ribbon, and curled them. I have an assortment of colorful curling ribbon on hand especially for this.




Get Well can contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /


  • A few bandaids - Even if the recipient doesn't have a cut, everyone knows band-aids contain special healing properties! :-) And I love these Flexible Fabric Band-aids!

  • Honey in tiny jars - This product has 60 tiny 1-oz. jars of honey, which you'd get only if you're going to give a lot of them, and/or if you want to split them with a friend or two.

  • Lipton Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup - Symbolic of healing, but it also really does help! I can no longer get it at any grocery store in town, so I get my Lipton Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup by the case from Amazon! And, yes, between eating and giving it, I actually use it all!

  • Mini tissues packet - The tissues I've linked you to are not floral as are the ones in the photo above, but look at the messages on two of them! One is perfect for this Get Well can, and the other one is perfect for a Can of Comfort!

  • Belly button brush - I got several of these at a bazaar and included one just for a chuckle.

  • Eye mask - (NOT PICTURED) Believe me, you want the "total blackout" kind, which this eye mask is! Plus it's SO comfy!

  • Handkerchief - (NOT PICTURED) Either a pretty floral handkerchief or a large white handkerchief for a man ~ which I actually like to use myself, especially when I have a bad cold! Fabric is much gentler on tender skin than paper tissues are.



Can of Comfort contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /


The Can of Comfort is similar to the Get-Well Gift-in-a-Can, but different enough in purpose that I share both. This one is for someone going through an emotionally difficult time. Could be the death or serious illness of a loved one, but it could also be any hard situation.

  • Trail Mix packet - I get these by the case at Costco.

  • Gift card to a favorite coffee shop - Better yet, find out what your recipient's favorite coffee shop is! Their spouse, BFF, parent or child should know their favorite candy or coffee shop!

  • Fruit-Flavored Snack packet - Cheery gummy candies to add a little color.

  • Bookmarker with "Verses of Comfort" - I have provided a Free Printable for you that you can just print out (I like to print on glossy photo paper), and finish the top! I have allowed a margin at the top, and punched with Stampin' Up's Scalloped Tag Topper punch. If you use this punch, you'll want to cut your bookmarker just shy of 2 inches wide.) If you don't have a topper punch, just cut straight lines like a gift tag. (The bookmarker in the photo is in a plastic case, which I will talk about in future blog post. For now, let's keep it simple ~ just printed on photo paper, no case.) Here are links to the Free Printable for the bookmarker on the right:

"Verses of Comfort"



(editable but unstable)

(uneditable but stable)

  • Cheery napkin - That's the hot pink and zebra square in the upper-right corner of the picture above. I folded mine into fourths and put it in a little bag. (I got mine at the Dollar Store.)

  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - This is a favorite candy of the friend I gave this can to.




Organizing Tools can contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /


  • Labels of different sizes

  • Sharpie permanent marker - This Sharpie permanent marker will only fit into a larger can, like a can of pineapple, not a regular-size can of veggies. Or get a mini Sharpie.

  • Trail Mix packet - Pictured in the Can of Comfort above, this is quick food for while you're organizing.

  • Memo pad with pen - I got mine at a Michael's Craft Store.

  • Glue stick

  • Paper clips - Include a whole box or just a few.

  • Gift card to a favorite coffee shop

  • Fridge magnet - I got mine at Michael's Craft Store.




Christmas Can contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /


  • Gift card to a favorite coffee shop

  • Cash or check, if that's part of their Christmas gift

  • Small snowflake ornament - Any type of ornament will work!

  • Poinsettia embellishment - These came in a pack of 6; I use one in a can.

  • String of miniature Christmas lights - These (non-electric) came in a string that was about 3 feet long, and I cut it into 8 short strands just as a fun addition to the cans. They're actually scrapbooking embellishments.

  • Candy cane

  • Small Christmas ornament - The red one in the upper left corner.

  • Cow seeds - Not Christmasy; just cute and funny! They are painted rocks!

  • 1 Christmasy napkin

  • 1 Christmasy votive candle - Get electric or real votives.





Christmas Sock Exchange gift in a can contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /


Similar to the Christmas Can, this was for a Christmas Sock Exchange Party. I started with the Christmas light-themed socks. I had the tiny candy cups and the mini set of lights on hand, so I added those. Went to the Dollar Store and got the ornament to match the lights (2/$1!) and added one of those!





Graduation Can contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /


  • Cash or check

  • Gift card for a restaurant or coffee

  • Bookmarker with several "Verses for Life" pictured on the left side of the photo above. Here's the Free Printable for this:

"Verses for Life"



(editable but unstable)

(not editable but stable)

  • Confetti - The confetti I'm linking you to is in graduation shapes, and is gold, silver, and black. (not the squiggles and balloons in the photo)

  • Graduation napkin - rolled up like a diploma. These graduation napkins are black and white, can be for male or female, and do not have the year on them ~ which is desirable if you want to make more of these cans in later years.

  • Graduation cap card (which I made and had on hand)

  • Name tag with: "Hello, World! Ready or not, here I COME!"

  • Roll of Smarties candies

JUST-FOR-FUN EXTRA'S - These are not necessarily "graduationesque," but you could make them in the grad's school colors.

  • Corner bookmarker - Here's a blog page with the basic idea. I decorated mine my own way. You could put a little graduation cap in place of the butterfly.

  • Fridge note holder - (black and red; lower right corner of photo) This was made from an actual mousetrap! Here's a blog page with the directions (this is the fourth photo down), and here's her video tutorial.

  • Belly button brush - I got the one in the photo above at a bazaar and included it just for a chuckle.



Baby gift in a can contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /

In both the photo above and the photo below, the main gift was the cash, so the other three items were a little larger and filled up the can.

Another Baby gift in a can contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /

CONTENTS: Here are several options, some pictured, some not:

  • Baby shoes - I would suggest you get small, flexible shoes so they will fit in the can.

  • Baby washcloth - I get these by the pack and include one or two in a can.

  • Babyish note pad - I had this on hand.

  • Small baby toy

  • Binky

  • Baby socks or booties

  • Rattle

  • Tiny jar of baby food




Teacher gift in a can contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /

This one is actually its own separate blog post called "Teacher Appreciation Gift-in-a-Can (Year-round)," so you can find all the details, product links, and a Free Printable there! For now, here's just a quick list of the contents...


  • School-themed socks

  • Teacher's key keychain

  • Earplugs

  • Breath mints

  • Coffee gift card

  • Lip balm

  • Chocolate "hug" candy

  • Fridge magnets




("Sewist" sounds better than "sewer," right?)

Gift for a Sewist contents / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /

CONTENTS: I made this can for my sister who invited me to her home ~ and her beautiful sewing studio ~ to make a quilt! She lives in Alaska and I'm in Washington state, so this was no short jaunt! She hosted me for four days, provided most of the supplies for the quilt, bought two body pillows just for me, bought the pattern for the French Rose quilt I made, and gave me ~ a slow-learner ~ much personal, patient instruction every step of the way!

So the contents of this can were just items I got at a fabric shop ~ sneakily, while she was shopping for other things! You'd get items that your recipient would enjoy. I added in a few candies and a coaster (the square with the old fashioned sewing machine) that I had bought at a quilt show. The bottom-middle item with tiny scissors is a mini pack of tissues!





In case the above ideas aren't enough for you, here are a dozen more! And, while there are no contents listed ~ cuz I haven't made any of these ~ there are tags for each of these in the Free Printable!

Valentine's Gift in-a-Can

Happy Fall Y'all! Gift-in-a-Can

New Job Kit in-a-Can

Can of Retirement Fun

Anniversary Party in-a-can

Bon Voyage in-a-Can

Bride Blessing in-a-Can

Off-to-College Kit in-a-Can

Can of Gratefulness

Can of Wedding Wonderfulness

Fitness Props in-a-Can

Happy 1st Day of School in-a-Can



5 Parts of this series / Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /

Now that you have lots of ideas for making your own Gift-in-a-Can, narrow it down to just ONE theme, and decide who you want to make it for!

And comin' right up is practical step-by-step instructions to help you create it easily and quickly!

So the very next thing you need to do now is learn how to Cover your Gift-in-a-Can (Part 2)! See you over there!

And I'm going to warn you... I'm a...


I am very specific with my directions. That's because I give as much detail as I myself need!

If you are one who can figure things out by just looking at one picture, my instructions will be waaaaay too much information for you! So...

Just for you minimalists, I'm going to give you the BASIC, NO-frills, NO-details instructions for making a Gift-in-a-Can from start to finish!

Yes, I do realize this is the "covering the can" blog post, but I didn't want to have another whole separate blog post on just the Minimalist Instructions. So I've inserted them here so that, if this is all you need, you won't have to sift through the rest of my blog posts.

These instructions that include photos and details are what I myself would have wanted/needed, had I never made one of these before. Instructions that drive ME crazy are ones (probably written by minimalists) that don't give enough detail for me to know what to do every step of the way. I need as much clear detail as I can get!


I'd love to hear

your theme ideas in a

comment below!


Hexa-pic for Gift-in-a-Can: Themes & Contents (Part 1) /

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