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Birthday in a Can

I don’t know about you, but I love a good surprise. Repurpose a regular tin can into a mini surprise for your favorite birthday boy or girl. The best part is that you can fill them with whatever you like, ensuring the receiver gets a totally custom birthday treat.

Birthday in a Can | Oh Happy Day!Birthday in a Can | Oh Happy Day!Birthday in a Can | Oh Happy Day!

Materials: Tin can with pull tab top, clear tape, washi tape, can opener, scissors, hot glue gun, colored paper, markers, small prizes and goodies

Step 1: Pick out a tin can with a pull tab top and remove the paper label. Be sure to pick a can that doesn’t have a rounded edge on the bottom or your can opener won’t work on it.
Step 2: Use the can opener to remove the bottom of the can. Empty out the can and soak if food left an odor behind.
Step 3: Use washi tape to cover the sharp edges both on the inside of the can and on the circle you removed.
Step 4: Cut thin paper strips to make paper chain. The pieces pictured are about 1/4″ x 1 1/2″.
Step 5: Use a dab of hot glue to assemble the paper chains. Each chain is at least the height of the tin can.
Step 6: Hot glue the paper chains to the inside of the top of the can.
Step 7: Fill the can with small candies and treats.
Step 8: Once the can is filled, place the bottom back on and use clear tape to secure it in place.
Step 9: Cut a rectangle of colored paper to cover the side of the can.
Step 10: Decorate the paper with a birthday message.
Step 11: Hot glue the label onto the can.

Birthday in a Can | Oh Happy Day!Birthday in a Can | Oh Happy Day!

  1. Amicia Rai

    January 6, 2014

    Awwww that would be a wonderful surprise for the kids! ^_^

  2. Jaime

    January 6, 2014

    SO SMART! I was wondering how you resealed the can. Genius way of doing it very simply! Can’t want to do this!

  3. Michele

    January 6, 2014

    I LOVE this so much! I’m going to do this for a friend of mine. I’ll think she’ll get a kick out of it.

  4. Jesse

    January 6, 2014

    so cute! and i need ideas for my son’s bday party!! thanks:)

  5. Rebecca

    January 6, 2014

    Oh my gosh, this is such a fun idea! I am going to keep this in mind for my daughter’s 4th birthday! I can’t imagine how excited she would be to open it!

  6. Nat

    January 6, 2014

    love, love, love!

  7. Michelle

    January 6, 2014

    If you use a Pampered Chef can opener, it will make it even easier to replace the bottom on the can and you won’t have sharp edges. It doesn’t cut the can, it breaks the seal and you can just put glue around to put the bottom back on. This is a great idea.

  8. Nancy

    January 6, 2014

    Absolutely brilliant idea – can’t wait to get started on my own birthday in a can for my friends!

  9. Erin

    January 6, 2014

    I’m so making these for my nephews!! They’ve been so good this year, I’ll even add extra candy! xxErin

  10. tinajo

    January 6, 2014

    This is such a cute idea! :-)

  11. Lauren

    January 6, 2014

    Awww – such a fun DIY!

  12. eversaidnever

    January 6, 2014

    Waaooow, great idea! I love it! Can’t wait to get one ready for my kid and nephews. You got me so puzzled before reading through your tutorial. I could not figure out how you managed to keep the pull tab untouched. Congratulations!

  13. Wendy

    January 6, 2014

    Another great can opener I use for many crafts (and cooking) is the OXO Smooth Edge can opener. My guess it is similiar to the Pampered Chef one Michelle is referring to use and is probably more available to purchase. They aren’t cheap though about $22, but so worth it. I don’t worry about cutting fingers when removing can lids and feel comfortable in letting my children open cans with it.

  14. Bella Pop

    January 6, 2014

    LOVE this. I’m going to do a birthday week for my husband this month and this is a great way to announce it. Super cute!

  15. Natalia

    January 6, 2014

    What a fun DIY, I love the idea!

  16. Graham @ Glazed & Confused

    January 6, 2014

    Such a cute idea! You always deliver!

  17. Vinci

    January 6, 2014

    SO CUTE :DDDDDDD I love this idea and would be thrilled to be given such a thoughtful gift! For sure guna make this for my sis! Love this site keep up the AH MAZING work :)

  18. Christina // Franny & Franky Designs

    January 7, 2014

    Love this! Saving for our son’s later birthdays :)

  19. Anna S.

    January 8, 2014

    This is too cute! It’s really dificult to find creative, original crafts these days, I will deff be making this for someone!

  20. Julia

    January 12, 2014

    I just completed this project and I love it!

    Just be careful about which kind of can you purchase. I first purchased a Campbell’s Soup can and the bottom edges are for a lack of better word beveled or kind of 3-D around the edges. When I tried to cut into this it dented and ruined the can.

    Then I bought one of diced pineapples and that worked much better. The bottom edge around the bottom of the can is flat.

    I suggest comparing the bottom of your pulltab can to the top of the normal open can to make sure it will get ruined when you use the CanOpener on it

  21. Nadia

    January 12, 2014

    What a fun idea!

  22. Mifuku

    January 15, 2014

    Lovely idea! I love it! I will try to do it next birthday! Congratulations and thank you!

  23. Rosi

    January 15, 2014

    Great idea! We have to fill jam jars with surprise treats for school for every fair they have and the children pay 50p and choose a jar. I will definitely be glueing mini paper chains inside the lids from now on!
    Rosi (UK)

  24. MamaFromPoland

    January 17, 2014

    Great idea:) Love it!!!

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