D-I-Y: Recycling Your “Kpan-go-lo” (Empty Tins) as Towel Holder

Just in case you were wondering what “kpangolo” is, Kpangolo is the Nigerian slang for an empty tin. When I was younger myself and my friends used to play alot with kpangolos, so today’s project is pretty nostalgic.

It involves recycling kpangolos to help with organising and storage. Rather than trashing my empty milk and beverage tins, I can now renew my fondness for those shiny things and this tutoral shows how.

Here’s is a step by step process on how to turn them into bathroom towel holders, as well as toilet paper roll holders.

Materials you will need;
1. Tin cans
2. Fabric that you love (depends on your taste and style)
3. White primer
4. Paint brushes
5. Three colours of paint (white, green and any other colour from your chosen floral fabric); that’s assuming you get a fabric similar to this one.
6. 20 meters of 13 mm bias tape in red checkered pattern
7. Flower stencil, scissors, paint roller,
8. MDF Board 43 x 58 cm with 1 cm thick,
9. Joining tools- Drill or hammer and nails, bolts and nuts, a hot glue gun.
Step 1
Wash the tins and leave to dry. Use the hammer to fix any dent on the tin from the inside surface. Apply two primer coats and leave to dry. Use thesame brush to apply the paint of your choice. In this case its a white paint.
Step 2
Cut out the flowers from the fabric. Apply your glue to the back side of the fabric and stick it on the tin. Use the paint brush to apply the other paint (light brown) along the edge of the cut-out fabric you attached to the tin.
 Step 3 
Place the flower stencil on the white part of the tin and gently apply the same paint you used for the edges of the cut-out. Use the same process to paint small green leaves along the side of the cut-out.
Step 4
Water proof your creation by applying hyromatte lacquer over the entire tin and leave to dry for at least 45 mins. Apply glue to the back side of the bias and attach it to the top edge of your tin to form a cute trimming on the tin. Now you have your finished tin. Repeat this same process for the other tins remaining; In this tutorial, six tins were used.
Step 5
To hang it on a wall, attach the tins to the MDF board and to the wall using the joining tools.
To see how you can use your empty tins/kpan-go-lo for tissue roll holders, check here
Another amazing thing about recycling an empty tin is that its recycled use is really versatile. Aside from bathroom towel hangers and tissue roll holders, you can use them as cup holders for pen and pencils, makeup brushes, flowers and other items. Here are some beautiful examples;
On the right are empty tins wrapped with beautiful and colourful patterned papers, and below is a textured cup holder wearing a knitted wrap. At the bottom right is a bejewelled tin used for keeping makeup brushes.

A special teacher’s gift made from an empty tin can,
And these leather wrapped tins are just so pretty,
I would definitely be trying one of these really soon, even though I haven’t decided which one yet. We would love to see what you did with your empty tin(s), so please let us know when you’ve completed yours.
Images are from; Diy-enthusiast, Taylor Hall-Carrillo/pinterest , that’s what che said, dawanda, creature comforts blog, and Luzia Pimpinella.
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