Turning Soup Cans Into Sweet Pop Art Pencil Caddies

Soup, there it is! Come on, could I pass up a chance to include this SNL clip?

The answer is no. No, I couldn’t.

Anyway, I’m beginning to think that Friday posts should be called Fast & *Almost* Free Projects since we had Sir Butterfly last week and now we have a little soup can craft that I did in honor of my good friend Andy Warhol (ok, so we’re only besties in my mind…). How cute are these guys holding some of Clara’s drawing supplies on her desk? The colors make me permasmile.

The first step was grabbing four of the limited edition tomato soup cans that Target is currently selling in honor of my buddy Andy. At 70 cents a pop, this entire project cost me $2.80 (since I already had the only other material I used on hand, but we’ll get there in a minute). First I emptied my cans of tomato soup into glass tupperware so as not to waste it (it’ll be lunch for the next few days, haha):

Then I carefully rinsed them out, doing my best not to soak the labels with water (slow and steady, baby). I let them dry out a bit upside down on a towel and even dragged a paper towel around the inside of each one to make sure no water was hiding in there.

Then it was cork templating time. Wait, maybe I should explain that a bit more. The reason for the cork was because each of the cans has an odd little edge about a quarter of an inch down from the top of the can. So while the top lip of the can isn’t sharp at all, there’s that little metal lip about a centimeter beneath it that I worried could result in Clara cutting her hand if she put it into the can and yanked it out quickly. So I did the safety-first mom thing and decided that by making a little cork liner for each can, it would completely cover that little edge that’s a smidge lower than the smooth top lip. The key was making sure the cork was tall enough to go over that lip, so there’s no way a little hand (or tongue, or toe) could rub against that part anymore, because the little cork “sleeve” would extend above it. I actually used a paper towel to make a template, like this:

Then I used my paper towel template to cut some cork rectangles of the same size:

I used old cork squares that I had (leftover from this project) to create the long rectangles that could be gently curled (don’t be too rough with them or they can crack) and slipped right into each can.

Voila. A little cork liner to keep anything from being sharp (they also look pretty charming, like those old cork-lined pen holders of yore). And the cork is super stuck in there once you get it in, so it’s above Clara’s skill level to somehow wedge it back out, which is nice peace of mind for a paranoid momma like myself.

So that’s my little $2.80 Friday project. Don’t they look cute next to Clara’s little crayon-truck masterpiece?

Here’s hoping Clara grows just as fond of my BFF Andy as I have after years of studying him along with my other artsy friends like Klimt, Vermeer, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec (FIT, represent – we were required to take a million years of art history, and only now do I appreciate that).

Any other fast and almost free projects going on this Friday? Any fun weekend plans? Any favorite artists? Oh and since I’m sure folks will ask, those awesome stick-like colored pencils are from a local shop here in Richmond called Mongrel. Since Clara’s three favorite “toys” are rocks, sticks, and sand, I couldn’t resist…


  1. says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! So funny, I have these cans at home and was trying to think of something to do with them because they are just so dang cute.. and well now I know!!! Guess who’s going to buy cork on her lunch!…this girl. Thanks!

  2. Anna-Lisa says

    I looked for these at my Target yesterday and they weren’t carrying them! I’m so sad. I should never have moved to a small town, haha.

  3. says

    Great use of these adorable cans! I’m sure Clara will love them and they bring a pop of sophistication to the Clara corner! How awesome. I love the idea of modpodge over the labels to help preserve them!

    My most recent project wasn’t exactly free (it came in at $31) but it filled BIG blank spot on our wall, so I think it’s a pretty good price tag. You can check it out here: http://ournextgreatadventure.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/canvas-art-done/


  4. Stacey says

    I, too, adore Andy Warhol! He’s my all-time favorite artist. One of my prized possessions is a copy of Interview magazine that he autographed. I’m also lucky to have ‘met’ him…TWICE. The first time was at — of all places — the Duran Duran concert at Madison Square Garden in March of ’84! He was walking past me and I thrust out my hand and said, “it’s an honor to meet you, Mr. Warhol”. He gave a light touch to my hand and said, “thanks”. I about died!!! A few years later, I saw him on a street corner in SoHo and did the same thing w/ the same result. I consider myself VERY fortunate to have met one of my idols. Most people don’t get that opportunity.

    Love the pen holder idea! I’m definitely going to pick up some of those cans so I can do something fun with them in my home!

  5. says

    Marshall’s, TJMaxx and HomeGoods all have those colored pencils that look like pieces of wood. I think about buying them every time I’m in one of those stores but have yet to do so. ;) I’m in love with the cans – I’ve been wondering what else can be done with them since the labels are awesome.

  6. Reenie says

    Love those can colors…. I must go get some. And I’m in need of tomato soup since I just cleaned out my out-dated things in my pantry. So cute!

  7. Lisa says

    Love it!

    Today is my due date, so my project this weekend would be to hopefully have my baby and not be too far past my due date :)

  8. Lesley says

    Being one of Andy Warhol’s BFFs, you know that he was an agent for MIB when he designed the soup can, right? If you are unfamiliar with this plot point in the vast history you studied.

    Watch Men in Black 3 – I will never look at his designs again without wondering… The idea of that and all models actually being aliens makes me howl, an nod my head like it all now makes sense.

  9. says

    I just did the same thing with those sweet cans (sans cork)! Those cans are too dang awesome not to be showcased as something functional and decorative.

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