This is the time of the year when my brain just wants to organize everything in sight. I feel like organizing our house early on in the year will set us up for smooth sailing throughout the rest of the year. If you’re also in full-on organization mode, I want to contribute with this pretty DIY Bamboo Pot. One can never have enough storage! I find that I have plenty of large boxes but a serious lack of small storage so I set out to create some. Since I love a good upcycling project, I turned to tin cans. They’re the perfect size to hold accessories.
The problem with crafting with tin cans is that they have no lid, so you invariably end up with a pot. I’ve made enough pencil holders and planters from tin cans. It was time to add a system that would allow the tin can to close and keep your tidbits safe. Read on to learn how to create this DIY Bamboo Pot with a tassel lid!
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For this DIY Bamboo Pot, you’ll need…
- Clean tin can
- Bamboo placemat
- Air-dry clay (I use this one, it’s non-toxic and dries fast)
- Embroidery thread
- Rolling pin
- Felt or cardboard
Step 1: Wrap the tin can with bamboo
To start off, lay your bamboo placemat flat on the table in front of you. Use the tin can to measure the height of the strip you will wrap around it, like in the picture above, and draw a straight line with a ruler. Cut into the bamboo mat along the line you traced – a pair of strong scissors should be enough to cut through the placemat.
Next, apply a line of glue on the tin can and press it onto the strip of bamboo. Roll the tin can to wrap the placemat around it, applying more glue as you go along. You can use normal glue instead of a glue gun if you’re crafting with kids.
When you’re done, you can stain and/or varnish the bamboo. This is optional! It depends on the placemat you start with and the look you want to achieve. My placemat was very light-colored and I decided to stain it to make it look more like natural bamboo or rattan.
Step 2: Prepare the DIY Bamboo Pot lid
To make the lid, roll a small ball of natural air dry clay to get a thick 1/2″ (1.3cm) disk. Use the upturned tin can to help you cut a circle that will be the right size for the box.
It’s ok if the lid doesn’t look perfect. You can sand it once it’s dry to make it smoother. The important part is to make sure the edges of the disk are straight. Sometimes when you cut clay with a knife, the cut is made at an angle and is not vertical. If that’s the case, just push the clay back with your fingers to make the edges straighter.
Next, use a skewer or a metal straw to create a small hole in the middle of the disk. This is where the tassel will go!
Leave the disk to dry for a day until it becomes hard. Once the lid is ready, smooth it down with sanding sponges. This will help to correct the curved edge of the disk. You can also sand the edges lightly to make them more rounded.
Once you’ve sanded the lid, apply a coat or two of matte white paint and let it dry.
Step 3: Glue the felt to the lid
To ensure the lid stay put when you place it on top of the box, you need to add a circle of felt or cardboard to the underside of the lid to add some depth. The felt should be the same diameter as the inside of the tin can.
To start, use the tin can to trace a circle on the felt (in blue in the picture above). Then, draw a circle 1/4″ smaller inside the first circle (in red above). Cut the red circle. If you don’t have thick felt, you can glue 2 or 3 felt disks on top of each other!
Next, glue the felt circle on the lid and press it down until the glue cools.
You can see in the picture above that the felt is a smaller diameter than the lid. The lid will rest on top of the tin can while the felt will nestle inside the can, so your lid will stay put!
Step 4: Make the tassel
For the tassel, take some embroidery floss and cut 3 lengths of about 7″ (18cm). Make sure not to unravel the whole skein as you do this! Take 2 of the lengths, loop them around the top of the embroidery floss and tie them together, like in the picture above.
Use the remaining length of thread to tie the tassel. Then, cut the tassel at 2 to 3″ (5 to 7cm). At this point, you also braid the top strands.
Step 5: Attach the tassel to the lid
To finish the lid, push a skewer through the hole in the clay disk and through the felt. You might have to wiggle your skewer to get through!
Next, cut a small piece of metal wire or unfold a paper clip and bend it in the middle. Push the wire into the hole, from the felted side toward the clay side. Once the metal loop has reached through, insert the end of the tassel into it and retract the metal wire through the hole. This will easily bring the end of the tassel through the hole.
Once the tassel has been pulled through the hole, knot the end to secure it.
And voila, your bamboo pot is done! Try making a few of them with different color tassels. They would look great on a shelf in the craft room!