DIY India Ink Inspired Antique Pewter Trash Can

Guys, pretty trash cans are stupid expensive.  I've been keeping my eyes out for a while for a small silver/pewter can for our master bedroom, and I just can't get on board with paying $100 for this one from Osso, or even $58 for this one from Rosemont, when ultimately, they're just pretty plastic.  I saw the can below, from India Ink, and, while it doesn't really work for the patterns in the room, may very well be discontinued, I thought I could probably use it as inspiration to come up with a much more cost-effective option.  So I did.


And mine even has the added benefit of a liner that also matches our bedroom color scheme.  Here's what I did.


  • One plastic planter, left over from when we last replaced our cat-eaten house plants
  • Glue gun and glue sticks (I have a mini glue gun, and used 8-10 glue sticks for this project)
  • Permanent marker
  • Silver spray paint (I got mine for $3.50 at Michael's, with a 50% off coupon)
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Scrap cloth/sponge/paper towels
  • ~3/4 yd of fabric for the liner
  • Ribbon of choice


Start by cleaning off your container/planter/whatever (the surface should be clean and dry).  Draw your pattern directly on the can, using a sharpie or other permanent marker.


In retrospect, I would have started my pattern at the top of the can and worked down, as opposed to starting at the bottom and working up (my can was narrower at the bottom than the top).  But, that probably wouldn't have been nearly as big of a deal if I had chosen a different pattern.  Oh well, I kinda adjusted as I went along - the technique is pretty versatile.

The next step is to trace the lines that you've drawn with a hot glue gun. This adds texture to the can, which is important for the antiquing step.


Once the glue has set, clean up any little bits that aren't where they should be, and spray paint the can with two coats of metallic paint (I chose silver, but any metallic should work).  I knew that I planned to put a liner in the can, so I didn't paint the inside.  If you're not thinking of doing the liner, spray the outside and the inside.


The next step is to antique the can, to give it the nice pewter look.  I know that you can totally do this with a tinted glaze, but I went to Michael's to get some, it didn't have a price, I asked one of the associates how much it cost, she told me it was $4, I brought it to the front and it rang up for $10.  I was a little annoyed at the process, so I opted to try using black acrylic paint first, knowing that Michael's is ~.1 miles from here.

My process for antiquing involved mixing one part water with one part black paint.  I then painted that directly on the raised glue, and using a cotton rag to evenly distribute the paint.  I worked in sections that were 4-6 inches wide at a time.  This gave the can plenty of variation in the antiquing, making it look more like actual pewter.


Making the liner is pretty easy.  I traced the top of the can on the fabric, and then cut one inch outside of the traced circle, to allow for the seam.  My circle had a circumference of 39".  Then, I cut the material for the sides, which was a 39" x 16" rectangle.  The can is 12" tall, so the 16" allows for a finished seam and enough to fold over the top of the can.


I started by hemming the long end of my rectangle.  I then sewed the two short ends together, with the seam and the hem facing outwards, to create a cylinder.  I pinned and sewed the circle to one of the ends of the cylinder, with all seams facing outwards (so that they'll be hidden when the liner is in place).


My last step was to put the liner in the can, and cut slits every two inches or so, all the way around, to weave a ribbon through (I like bows).


I think it's a pretty solid improvement, and I liked the glue gun technique.  This was more or less experimental, with a lot of figure-it-out-as-we-go.  I think that in the future, I'll probably actually use the correct glaze, and I may go for a more intricate pattern.

Interested in more projects like this?