Gift Wrap Ideas: Cans, Pots, and Jars

Cans, jars, and flower pots are terrific containers to use for gifts. There are numerous ways to decorate them so you can make each special for the person who is receiving them.


Types–Recycled popcorn can, large juice can, galvanized buckets, vegetable cans, potato chip cans or new empty paint cans

  • Using paint designed for metal, paint on a base coat. When dry paint on a design or use a stencil
  • Crackle-finish a can
  • Wrap with strips of fabric or ribbon
  • Glue on wooden cutouts
  • Decoupage on a picture
  • Wrapping paper. Measure the size of can and add 1/2″ to width. Cut out wrapping paper to the measured size. Apply spray adhesive to the wrong side of paper. Apply to can.
  • Create a label using a computer or hand-drawn. Glue to can.
  • Draw a simple design on the can. Using a nail, punch the design shape.
  • Glue long cinnamon sticks or candy canes around the can. Tie with a red bow

See basket section for fill-ins for your container

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Clay pots

  • Gild. Paint on dark basecoat and let dry. Dry brush metallic gold or silver paint over.
  • Gild rim only
  • Weathered look. Basecoat in a dark color. Let dry. Paint lighter color over. Let dry. Gently scrub the pot to remove some of the light paint. Seal with spray sealer.
  • Sponge paint. Apply base coat and let dry. For the second color choose a paint that is lighter or darker. Dip a dampen sponge into the paint, remove excess paint on paper towels. Use a light stamping motion to paint with.
  • Stencil a design on the pot
  • Decoupage a picture to the pot.
  • Paint a picture on the pot.
  • Splatter paint. Apply sealer and let dry. Apply a base coat of paint. Let dry. Thin accent paint. Splatter on colors. Occasionally splattering some basecoat paint.

See basket section for fill-ins for your container

To make a lid for your pot: Glue a knob to the bottom of the pot’s saucer. Paint knob and saucer the same as the pot.


  • Fabric covered jar lids: Draw around the lid. Cut a fabric circle 1 1/2″ to 3 1/2″ from the drawn line. Center fabric over lid and secure with a rubber band.
  • Ribbon. Cut 9″ piece of wired ribbon. Notch ends. Center over a mason jar and screw-on lid.
  • Solid lid e.g. pickle jar. Draw around the lid on the wrong side of the fabric. Cut circle 1/4″ inside the drawn line. Glue to top.

Other jar toppers

  • Paper doilies
  • Lace handkerchief
  • Batten burg lace square
  • Paper from a brown sack
  • Wrapping paper
  • Tissue paper

Decorate fabric or paper toppers

  • Cross stitch
  • Applique
  • Rubber stamp

Tie around the top with

  • Twine
  • Raffia
  • Yarn
  • Lace
  • 2 or 3 colors 1/8 or 1/4″ wide ribbon
  • Wired stars
  • Cording

Decorate tie with

  • Dried apple slices
  • Fake greenery
  • Buttons
  • Silk flowers
  • Jingle bells
  • Shells
  • Ornaments
  • Wooden cut-outs

Wrap jar with paper or fabric.
Measure around the jar and cut fabric or paper 2 1/2″ x determined measurement + 1/2″. Hot-glue onto the jar.

Decorate the jar

  • Paint on a design using glass paint
  • Etch on a design
  • Stencil on a design using clear fingernail polish. Sprinkle while wet with glitter

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More information:

Gift Wrapping: Baskets
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Gift Wrap Ideas: Bags and Boxes
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