DIY Recycling Bins

Featured Article, How-To, Relish Style
on August 26, 2011
DIY Recycling Bins

if you’re like me and recycle your plastic, paper and glass, then you’re probably trying to use less plastic to begin with. So it stands to reason that “not-plastic” recycling bins make sense in more ways than one. I found some cute aluminum garbage cans at a a local home improvement store with very tight lids and handles and aren’t too big to handle. A little gussying up, and they’re as adorable as they are useful. Best part: when they get full, you can just pop them into your car and off you go to your local recycle center.


  • 3 (6-gallon at least) metal garbage pails with tight fitting lids (from most home stores such as Lowes & Ace Hardware Stores)
  • Krylon Enamel spray paint in colors of your choice (I used a couple of green colors)
  • Paiinters Tape (for masking off area to paint where lettering will go)
  • Sponge lettering stamps (from Michaels or Jo Anns) and a few random decorative stamps
  • Craft paint in black or other color you might like and a sponge brush

1.Wash and dry cans.
2. Mask off a rectangle on front of can with painters tape.
3. Spray with Krylon enamel paint of your color choice.  Let dry completely.
4. When paint is dry remove tape.
5. Lay pail on a towel to keep from rolling around while stamping on a flat surface.
6. Apply craft paint to sponge letter stamps and print “paper”, “plastic” and “glass” on each of three cans.  Randomly apply decorative stamp images the same way.Let this paint dry completely.
7. Coat entire painted and printed surface area of your metal pails with a a few coats of clear poly-urethene spray paint. Krylon makes one of these that I use. Let dry between coats.

You are now ready to use these attractive recycle bins. They are pretty enough to sit right outside your door where they are accessible and no plastic!
—By Teresa Blackburn