I love when I find beautiful things in my every day routine. There’s something kind of magical about going through the daily grind, and being surprised by an item that is often looked at as mundane, or only serving one purpose.  Coming up with a new use for it is always kind of fun, and feels like a new discovery.

The other day this happened as I was making homemade lasagne….a dish that requires LOTS of canned tomatoes. After opening one too many, I suddenly realized that the packaging on these cans was actually quite pretty. A bright yellow background, with bold lettering and a hand drawn vegetable scene…too lovely to throw in the recycling! I decided to investigate my pantry a little further, and was quite pleased to see how many cans had gorgeous color stories, ethnic prints, or wonderful art….Warhol anyone?

Since the house needed new flowers anyway, I decided to put the cans to good use right then and there. Below we show you the results….take a look in your own kitchen and see what you find. You might be surprised as well!


Our materials are easily found and budget friendly. I stopped by Trader Joe’s and grabbed 5 bunches of flowers, which were each under $6. Canned food is usually quite inexpensive, and good to have around the house anyways. I try to save an eye catching can here and there as I cook through my pantry; you never know when you might tire of your regular vases, or need a pretty little last minute hostess gift.

Pretty Fall Flowers in Food Cans


I usually go for cans that have bright colors, a vintage or iconic look, or something that looks organic and hand drawn. These qualities tend to work well with lots of different flower types, and look like an intentional finished design. I also go for florals that have durable stems, such as these bright miniature Carnations and rich Dahlias.



Take a moment to match your flowers to the different cans you’ve collected. It’s fun to try to create individual color stories for each one, as there are no rules and you can be as out there or as safe as you’d like.

Matching Fall Flowers to Canned Food


Clip the stems to the desired length.  I like the flowers to sit just above the edge of the can, so they don’t droop or wilt to the side.

Arranging Flowers into Canned Food


Play around with fullness. Sometimes it’s nice to leave a bouquet a bit more spare and wild looking. Other times it’s great to have a very tight and full bunch that sits perfectly upright in the can. The Sun Valley vase shown below is a good example of one that can take on a more relaxed feel.

Purple Fall Flowers in Canned Food Process


With only a few items, you’ve created a handful of pretty and unique bouquets to place around the home in cozy spots, or to give away as surprising gifts to friends. Have fun with all the endless combinations to be found!



All photos by Carlton Canary, for “That Pleasant Surprise”