How-To: Make a Nature Can

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CRAFT: Crafting with Nature
How-To: Make a Nature Can
By Megan Heep

Kids filling your pockets with nature’s treasures? Or maybe you can’t help but pick up rocks, shells, and pretty moss yourself. Here’s what you do: make a Nature Can, using materials you probably have at home, for your kids (or you) to stylishly and conveniently carry their own collections.


Empty cardboard oats canister with lid
Craft glue
Sewing tape measure, pencil, and scissors
X-Acto knife
Old denim jeans
Embellishments such as fabric scraps, craft foam, buttons, felt, and ribbon
Spray adhesive (optional)

Make Your Nature Can

Step 1: Upholster the canister.
Peel the label from the oats canister. Measure the height and circumference of the canister. Cut a rectangle from the jeans to match your measurements. Apply spray adhesive or craft glue to the canister, then wrap and press on the denim piece. With a pencil, make a small mark about 1" down from the top of your can, measure halfway around, and then make another mark 1" down. These are where your strap will go.
Step 2: Embellish.
Embellish your canister with fabric and craft scraps (preferably non-fraying materials), being careful not to cover your strap marks. For a clean appearance, and to inhibit fraying, be sure to cover the denim’s seam and top and bottom edges.
Step 3: Add a strap.
With your X-Acto knife, make a small cut almost 1/2" long through the canister at each of your pencil marks.
Make another cut across the first to form an X. Cut out the inseam from the jeans and trim it to the desired strap length, including extra to knot inside the canister. Optionally, cut 2 straps of equal length for wearing the Nature Can backpack-style. Push the strap ends through each hole and knot them.
Pop on the lid and start collecting!
About the Author:
Megan Heep shares more craft ideas and tutorials for parents and kids at her blog,

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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