Canister Collages, Recycled Art Show


Today I am posting a random and quick walkthrough for the way I have been saving plastic containers. These are the big jar-shaped containers with threaded lids, they usually have a big branded label across the side indicating they are full of candy, or trail mix, or crackers, or whatnot. Sometimes they are full of D-rings and nails but the snack jars are more fun to empty! Either way, they don't go with my decor. But that's an easy fix :)

 the photographs on the blog are ©Amanda Christine Shelton.
you can decoupage a lot of surfaces. this is just one way to save jars
that are useful once they are clean and the labels are gone. It also took
only about a half hour not including glue drying times and the cleaning of the jars.


*Plastic Jars- the ones above came from Target and had their house-brand trail mixes in them. They are a #1 recyclable plastic but they are so nice I may as well use them to store tiny things. This would be even more ideal if the jars were #5 or some other non-recyclable plastic, to prevent it from landfills, but I will get good use out of anything that has a lid and is clean. Just wash out and use hot soapy water to soak off the label, or you can keep it on since you are recovering. *Note: when I soaked off my labels, I found I could also scrub off the glue that held them on with a rough sponge, or just leave it there to dry since I would be recovering. When it dries it gives a translucent effect but is not as sticky, and matches the finish of my adhesive. Choose to "cover" or "remove" down to the bare plastic as much as you like for your needs.

*Decoupage adhesive like Mod Podge, in the finish you like. You can also use wallpaper paste thinned with water or acrylic gel mediums if you are where you can get these things. These last jars I covered use the "lustre" finish but I think it's because that's what I had on hand. You will also need a flat brush to evenly coat your surface and the top of the papers you will be gluing.

*Images on paper and some scissors.
From magazines, newspapers, or wherever you want to get them (many of mine came from wrinkled posters or contemporary art magazine ads) Anything you want to collage on the side of your jars.

*and... [Optional!] Spray adhesive or spray stencil adhesive, if you want to make them stick but move them around to play with the design. It's sold at most major craft stores for around $5, in an aerosol can (so if you are doing a family crafting thing with these you can omit if you like!!)  You can also dress them up with other things like metallic markers/paint pens, little nail art jewels and glitter if you like the sparkly...

----then... get messy.

 Basically the only thing done with said supplies is adhering the images to the jars around the flat part where the label was. Using a large flat brush will cover bigger areas evenly and thoroughly, and the brush itself holds lots of adhesive even if you have thinned it a little.
If you hit a bump or your image is too large but you have already glued it, you have a few options- you can add more adhesive to moisten the paper until it folds in that area and sticks to the shape, or you can tear off the excess and leave a less perfect edge, which can be a fun effect too.

 the photographs on the blog are ©Amanda Christine Shelton.

Anyway, this is what I spent part of my last weekend doing, because I have been in a "green" mood as the Mabee Gerrer Museum of Art is having its Regional 2013 exhibit this month, and the theme is "Don't
Waste: Create!", sponsored by the group Sustainable Shawnee, who has been so helpful bringing bike lanes and curbside recycling to my home town.
Image courtesy of Mabee Gerrer Museum of Art

I have a piece in the show using recycled sheet music and vinyl records (about 2/3-75% recycled materials not including the frame that helps it hang on the wall)- each fall I get a shipment of records from cousins consisting of pressings that aren't really sellable anymore, made by church groups or smaller groups of seasonal or classical recordings, and I end up using them in art.

I encourage you to see the exhibit at MGMOA at St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, Oklahoma during it's time there from Nov 9-24 where you can also get free admission by bringing in an old magazine/newspaper they will recycle. The opening reception is also THIS FRIDAY NOVEMBER 8th at 7PM, free and open to the public. 
Find out more at the museum website. 

You will be amazed at what everyone has made with things they did not throw out!

For more images from Amanda Christine Art: visit the website

Want more family- and classroom-friendly art tutorials from this blog?  tea-staining paper