How To Make Tin Can Pine Cone Planters

Supplies Used:

  • Tin cans in various sizes
  • 12 pine cones
  • Wire Cutter
  • Scissors
  • E6000 glue

12 pine cones were used for this project.   Depending on the size of the pine cone and tin can, you may need more or less.   I found that a wire cutter and a pair of household scissors worked best to detach and trim the ends of the pine cone.


I used the wire cutter to basically get a hold of the tip, twist and cut.  After trying several different methods, I found this was the easiest and the fastest, and what worked best for me.

I cut from the larger end of the pine cone (the bottom) and worked my way up as those tips were easier to get to.  I left the smaller end alone.  I asked Mr. Hobby to cut off the smaller ends to be used possibly for another project down the road.   You can see I stripped the cones pretty well.

After I cut off all the tips, I used the scissors to trim them so I only had the end of the tips remaining.

The process of pulling off the pine tips and trimming them took a couple of hours and was a little tedious until I got the hang of it.   I ended up with a little less than 1/3 of a bowl full of pine cone tips.  This was more than enough to cover the 3 tins I was using.

I planned on spray painting after the pine cones were attached to the cans, but if  you would rather go for a natural look, then paint your can first.   I painted one of the cans with a copper spray paint before gluing on the pine cone tips so I could show you what that would look like.

Let the glue dry 48 hours.


Mr. Hobby liked the ‘natural’ look  best.  I liked it too, but it was not my original plan.  I wanted colorful textured planters, so I spray painted each of the cans with a gloss spray paint.   It took 4 coats for good coverage.  Allow each coat to dry fully before applying the next.

After the paint dried, I filled each can with sand to about an inch from the top.   Next, I added little white rocks that I found at the dollar store.

Then I inserted a plastic succulent into each can.  I got these at the dollar store too.

I love how these turned out.  Yes, they take a little time, but I thought it was worth it.  I plan on making some natural ones as well.


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