Tin Can Christmas Tree Activity

by on December 4, 2013

Recycled crafts are always a winner around my house and this easy Tin Can Christmas Tree Activity for kids was the perfect way to upcycle some cans and provide the kiddos with a design challenge!

I have to admit this is my favorite Christmas DIY post yet. Not only did I have fun creating it but my daughter actually loved doing the activity!

Christmas Tree Activity

This idea was inspired by the tin can robot idea that floated around the craft circuit a few years ago, originally published in Parents Magazine I believe….only this involves a Christmas twist!  The fun part about this is that tree decorations are removable/repositionable. Have the kids decorate them, take the decorations down and start all over again.

Note: This post was originally published in December of 2012. This post contains affiliate links to products I love and recommend to my readers, plus it keeps this little blog o’mine afloat! Thank you!

Tin Can Christmas Tree Activity


Christmas Tree Activity

  • 3 empty, clean tin cans, small, medium, and large. Think tomato paste, tomato sauce, and 20 oz diced tomatoes
  • Primer Spray Paint
  • Green Spray Paint 
  • Adhesive backed Magnet Sheets
  • Scissors
  • Pom poms
  • Yarn cut into 18” pieces
  • Glittery Pipe Cleaners
  • Hot Glue
  • Toothpicks
  • Hammer and small nail


  • Step One Spray paint your cans. Start with one coat of primer and then paint with one to two coats of green paint. I used Rust-Oleum Satin Leafy Green for a softer green touch.
  • Step Two Make a small hole in the top of the smallest can for you to insert the star. I did this last, but better to do it before gluing the cans together.
  • Step Three Hot glue your cans together into a tree shape

Christmas Tree Activity

  • Step Four Cut your magnetic sheets into pieces. Small roughly ¼” square pieces will work best for the mini decorations.
  • Step Five Remove the paper backing from the small magnetic pieces and stick them to pom poms and yarn. For the yarn I suggest sticking a magnet every few inches so you can wrap the trees.

Christmas Tree Activity

  • Step Six Make a star for the top. A couple options depending on what you have on hand: bend a glittery pipe cleaner into a star shape, coat a wood star/snowflake shape with glitter and let dry. When finished glue the star onto a toothpick.
  • Step Seven Put all the decorations and the empty “trees” on a table and let your kids have a ball decorating them!

You’re done! You can display these around the house or remove all the decorations and let your kids decorate them as many times as they want. Make sure to save the activity for next year!


Christmas Tree Activity Christmas Tree Activity

Christmas Tree Activity

If you enjoyed this activity be sure to check out a few more fun wintery things to do with kids: build an insect hotel, make a seed bead necklace and watch it sprout, or make some mini winter terrariums!

Looking for cool art and design toy ideas for your kids this year? Check out our gift guide: 12 Days of Art & Design Toys for Kids!

And don’t miss out on any of our projects here on Babble Dabble Do! Subscribe below or like us on FB!

Shared on Made By You Mondays!




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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina at willowday December 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I love this! It’s definitely something we would do, too! I was so happy to have your very thoughtful comment and visit today. It’s such a treat to find this great blog behind it! Happy Holidays!! I can’t wait to return after the holidays!


Ana Dziengel December 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks Willow! I’m thrilled you liked it. Your blog is fabulous, I’m a new subscriber! Keep up the simple and gorgeous work.


lisa December 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Adorable idea for kids! I definitely want to try this next year when my son is a little older!


Ana Dziengel December 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Thanks Lisa! It’s definitely fun!


Aimee - It's Overflowing December 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I totally love this tree! Your blog is so fun! XO, Aimee


Ana Dziengel December 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Thanks Aimee, that means a lot coming from you! I’m a long time fan of It’s Overflowing!


Erin December 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm

How fun! Definitely pinning this one for next year. :-)


Ana Dziengel December 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Thanks Erin! Love your blog,too, you have some wonderful ideas!


Carla December 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm

This is wonderful!! I’m so glad you shared it at the Preschool Christmas Party linky on Preschool Powol Packets–I’m going to feature it today on my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page!! I hope you and your daughter have a wonderful Christmas!!


Ana Dziengel December 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Thanks Carla!!! I’m so excited to hear you like the activity! I love your website!


Diana Rambles December 21, 2012 at 4:32 am

This is great! Super creative! I would love you to come join my Pin Me Linky Party that starts Friday morning at 8am CST.


Diana Rambles December 21, 2012 at 4:38 am

Yes…I posted this too fast…so I do realize you already know about my party. In fact, you are being featured tomorrow!!


Ana Dziengel December 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

So happy to hear it Diana. Thank you!!!


onel December 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I loveeeee recycling projects and this looks so fun to do!!! Such a smart idea!
onel recently posted…Elastic Napkin RingMy Profile


Ana Dziengel December 7, 2013 at 5:43 am

Thanks Onel!!!


Cassi December 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm

This is such a great recycling project for the holidays and lots of fun too! I’ll be sharing on The Crafty Crow soon!
Cassi recently posted…Cardboard and Chenille Stem Christmas Trees DIYMy Profile


Ana Dziengel December 12, 2013 at 4:55 am

Hi Cassi,
THANK YOU! This is a favorite post of ours so I’m thrilled you enjoyed it. Thanks as always for featuring us! Happy Holidays!


Ana Dziengel December 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Jaime, thanks for including us on this awesome list!!!!


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