Getting crafty with SPAM cans

In his part memoir, part novel “SPAM Cans, Rice Balls and Pearls: Snippets of Memory from World War II” (2002), Bruce Muench admits that SPAM was a “delicacy” and that he empty SPAM cans to collect shells, turning them into tombs for sea creatures. Poetic and a little creepy.

But it made me think about all of the empty SPAM cans in our house, which I dutifully rinse and dry and keep in bag waiting to… recycle them? use them again? turn them into a SPAM tower?

In April, Honolulu celebrated its 11th Annual Waikiki Spam Jam, a street festival that celebrates all things SPAM. That’s how much we love SPAM, ever since it was introduced to Hawaii during World War II and adopted into our local culture. Hawaii buys 7 million cans of SPAM each year!

But what can we do with all the empty SPAM cans? Here are a just few ideas:

Remember that the inside of the can has a sharp edge! You can use straight-edge pliers to pinch the edges down and sand down the edges with sandpaper.

SPAM Can Crafts

* Make SPAM can planters and organizers. On the Second Chances by Susan blog, she used SPAM cans to hold everything from plants to office supplies. She spray-painted the can, covered it with decorative paper, added embellishments, glued small bookplates as labels, and added 4 20mm wood beads on the bottom.

* Make SPAM can candy gifts. Michelle on the Random Crafting blog used plain white paper to decorate a SPAM can with stamps, scrap paper, and tags. She filled it with Halloween candy, but you use it for any special occasion.

* Make SPAM can paper-and-pen sets. Joy, the host of the Joy of Crafting Show, used scrap paper to decorate a SPAM can into a cheerful paper and pen set (with coordinating pens).

* Make SPAM can notecard holders. IndyCut on the SplitcoastStampers blog used black paper, borders, and ribbon to make a notecard holder filled with custom notecards for Halloween. Jenn Muraoka of made a cute notecard holder using scrapbook paper, ribbon, and embellishments, and added matching 3”x3” cards that fit in the can.

* Make SPAM can candles. Yahoo! Contributor Emma Salkill melted wax (or crayons) in a glass cup and added a scent. She poured the melted wax into a SPAM can (with the label or covered in decorative paper), used a pencil to hold up the wick, and allowed the wax to set before removing the pencil.

What do you do with your empty SPAM cans? How can we re-use and re-purpose SPAM cans?

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