Saturday, 22 February 2014

Day 22 of Extremely Frugal February - Tin Can Herb Garden

Day 22 - More Fun with Tin Cans

Possibly some of you will remember my bargain buy from my last visit to the 'big' charity shop that I made en route home from my adventures with grand daughter in October but for thosw of you who don't, or who haven't read the blog about it, I bought a set of Jamie Oliver tins containing herbs - three tins costing 5p each!

The tins each contain a packet of seeds - chives, flowering oregano and purple basil but it wasn't until today, when I looked at them more closely, that I noticed they had the Jamie Oliver name embossed onto the cans - posh frugal herbs, or what? I wonder how much the pack of 3 would have cost someone originally? More importantly, many thanks to whoever saw fit to donate them to the community's charity store. (To make your own, simply wash out an empty tin can and punch a few drainage holes in the bottom of it.)

I filled mine with some compost, sowed the seeds and then made my own labels for the tins in case I somehow manage to lose the little lollipop stick signs before the seeds germinate - Scruffy cat has been known to help herself to all sorts of things!

Planting the seeds left me with 'rubbish' in the form of 3 ring-pull can lids and they reminded me of something else we used to do in the past - homemade punched metal decorations and wind chimes. Hmm... it had been a while since making anything like that. If you've been with us on the challenges for long enough, you'll know we used to save the metal tomato puree (and similar) tubes for this purpose but most have, since, been changed to plastic of some description.

Starting with a really simple pattern, like a basic horse shoe, stamp your design out using something like an awl or a pointed end screwdriver. Ideally, you should have the pattern drawn or stuck on the reverse and stamp it from there, but I'm doing a rush job freehand here, just to try it.

My patterns are being stamped out using the end of a 'star' screwdriver - tin lids are quite thin nowadays, so it doesn't take too much pressure to make the indents without the need for hammering. Next, I raked out a piece of ribbon from my crafting stash and threaded it through the ring pulls. You can easily use any other materials for this - string, cord, card or even an old belt, if it is thin enough. Have you guessed what it is yet?

I haven't attached any backing to mine yet, but they are becoming the frugal version of horse brasses and I'll probably hang them outdoors. Ring-pull tin can lids can be fashioned into all sorts of designs and used for all sorts of creative ecoarts but they need responsible adults supervising all the stamping and cutting, as the edges can be razor sharp.

Another day passes and another day of spending escapes me - nothing bought today. Meals are all from stores by way of the breakfast porridge, the last of the bread toasted with cheese, tomato and pickle for lunch and tonight's meal is bacon, cabbage and potatoes, all cooked in the three-tier steamer. For added good measure, I threw a handful of the spicy chick peas in with the cabbage and added some extra pepper. And lest you think I had forgotten, these are the potato skins I am keeping to plant - that one in the middle should be sprouting from a pot in no time!

NYK, Frugaldom


  1. What are the lids under the tins from please? I have some empty tins to use.

    1. They are tiny trays for sitting the tins on to catch drips, they came with the tins bought in charity shop. Ordinarily, I would sit a bean can ior jar nside a tuna can for this purpose. :)

  2. You do more with a tin can than I ever dreamed of. Thank you for all you share. You're a gem

  3. Start saving a few for our 'Making in March' challenge, I have loads I want to try doing with them. :)

  4. you have a never ending imagination that's for sure!

    1. LOL I never run out of ideas, there are just so many of them floating about in the ether and almost as many on the WWW. :)


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