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DIY Farmhouse Canister Set - using stencils and distress ink - Life on Kaydeross Creek

How to Make a Farmhouse Canister Set – A Birch Lane Knock Off

Hey everyone! I love looking through catalogs for cool decor ideas especially Birch Lane, Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs. They have great stuff but, unfortunately, it’s a bit pricey. I happened to spot this farmhouse canister set a while back from Birch Lane. I love the color, the patina and the worn farmhouse look.Birch Lane 3 Piece Metal Nesting TinsSo cute but a whopping $122.99 ON SALE.  Can’t do it. What I can do is DIY them! It’s so much easier than you think!

Here’s what you need: 

I picked up these old tins for $2 each at a garage sale.


Farmhouse Canister Set - Farmhouse style - Upcycled tins - Life on Kaydeross Creek


I really like the base color of the Birch Lane version so I used a gray Hammered finish spray paint by Rust-oleum to get the look. It gave the tin a bit more depth than just a flat paint.  You can see they have just a little texture.


DIY Farmhouse Canister Set - thrift store tins turned into farmhouse kitchen decor - Life on Kaydeross Creek


Once the base coat was dry, I needed to add the block of color that would be the background for each number. I used painters tape to section it off. I didn’t overthink it and measure anything because I wanted it to be on the not so perfect side and a bit rough around the edges.


DIY Farmhouse Canister Set - craft paint and stencils make these an easy project - Life on Kaydeross Creek


You can see on the bottom of each tin where the tape took some of the paint off because I didn’t let them dry long enough. I didn’t mind, though because it gave them a more shabby look.  Yes, I agree, the smallest tin should have been smaller. 🙂

So then I started stenciling the numbers.


DIY Farmhouse Canister Set - Stencils and craft paint make these knock off tins and easy project - Life on Kaydeross Creek


I used basic craft paint in espresso and black and a stencil brush to apply the paint to the tin. I tried to skimp on the paint so that the number seemed more worn.  Once the numbers were done, I added the words.


DIY Farmhouse Canister Set - Easy DIY project using craft paint and stencils - Birch Lane knock off - Life on Kaydeross Creek


So I like the way the numbers came out but the background seemed to white. I used a cotton rag to apply some distress ink on the square and heavier around the edges. If you would like a cleaner piece, you can skip this step.


DIY Farmhouse Canister Set - using stencils and distress ink - Life on Kaydeross Creek


They still didn’t have enough of the character I was looking for so took the stencil brush again and some black paint and dry brushed it in criss-cross motions along the edges of the top and bottom and here and there on the top and sides. I may go back in and add a bit of brownish orange to give a more rusty look.


DIY Farmhouse Canister Set - distressed - Life on Kaydeross Creek


You can see where the colors from the original tin are sticking out just a bit but I’m OK with that. I considered spraying a bit of the spray paint in a dish and using a brush to apply it as a touch up but I kinda like it.  They’re not exactly like the originals but this farmhouse canister set only cost me $6. The possibilities are endless, too. You could do letters instead of numbers, sayings, pictures of farm animals or whatever you want to match your kitchen.

I like that I can use them together or by themselves. I love the charm this adds to this vignette. The  wall decor was also a DIY project and you can see that HERE.


DIY Farmhouse Canister Set - thrift store tins become cute farmhouse decor - Life on Kaydeross Creek


DIY Farmhouse Canister Set - thrift store finds to farmhouse decor -Birch Lane Knock Off - Life on Kaydeross Creek


DIY Farmhouse Canister Set - Add Character to your kitchen with DIY Canisters made from thrifted tins and craft paint - Life on Kaydeross Creek


So there you have it. An easy, inexpensive project that adds lots of charm to your space. Talk about bang for your buck! 🙂

Do you have easy projects or pieces that have really made an impact in your home? If you’re looking for more, check back soon.

Happy DIY’ing!



  1. Sue says:

    Just great. What an idea you gave – I love Ballard Designs catalog but never thought about crafting something myself from items I like. And, yes, expensive so I generally only look but you’ve shown me to think outside the box Thanks!

  2. Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com says:

    These are amazing, Colleen! Such perfect farmhouse decor! Would love it if you shared them at The Creative Corner party on my blog please 🙂

  3. Virginia says:

    I liked how the canisters looked before, but it´s a wonderful project if what you need is uniformity. Great job!

  4. I love the finished look, but I’m dying a bit too because my mom collects those old tins and uses them to store what it says on the outside! Ok, well, she would probably hide chocolate in the coke one. But we have the rice one and the cracker one, with rice and crackers in them! Thanks for linking up to #HomeMattersParty

  5. Allyson Schmidt says:

    What a great idea! You’ve got my creativity going with the possibilities. I get all those catalogs, too, and think the prices are crazy expensive. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Nicole says:

    Your DIY farmhouse canisters are awesome. They look great, I like them better than the $122 ones. I’ll have to keep my eye out for canisters to re-do. Stopping by from the #HomeMattersParty linky. Have a great week!

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