20 things to do with film canisters

Constellation viewer
Take a black canister and throw the lid of the canister away: that is where you look into the "telescope." On the outside of the other end, girls tape a paper circle on which you have already made a small dot-to-dot picture of a simple constellation like the Plough or Cassiopeia. After it is taped on, they use a straight pin to make a hole through the dot that represents each star. Then point the end with the holes in it towards a light source and look through the open end and you will see the constellation.

Pinhole Planetariums
You need to have a few photocopies of constellations that will fit with in the middle of the gray top. I checked out books from the library and shrank the pictures down till I had the correct size. You drill a small hole (1/8th inch) in the end of the canister. Have the girls place the gray cap over the constellation they want to make and have them draw a circle around the constellation. They then cut out the circle and put in on the top of the gray lid. They take a push pin and prick the gray cap at each star point. Put the lid back on and look through the hole at the end. You should see your constellation.

FILM CANISTERS can be used as.....
1) personal S&P shakers for camp
2) holders for smelly cotton balls for identifying smells
3) mini first-aid kits
4) decorate as mini vases (and put in the mini flowers that you can buy at a
craft store) and use as tray decorations

Mini first aid kit
Use an awl or large nail to poke a hole in the centre of the top. Take a long piece of yarn/ribbon, about a yard long, and put the two ends through the hole and tie in a good knot that will not come out that hole. Then, you can put 2-3 plasters, an antiseptic wipe and a rubber glove in. Yes, you really can fit it. What you have to do is start with the finger end of the glove and fold it so there is no air in the glove. Roll it up small and then put the wipe and plasters around it. Then use a white label for the girls to write "First Aid Kit" and put their names. You can also do these in advance on the computer.

Containers for home made cosmetics - may be best to wash and maybe also boil them first! (For recipes for cosmetics etc, click here.)

Bubble Solution necklace
Version 1 - Hot glue a narrow piece of plastic canvas to the inside lid; hot
glue a pony bead on top of the lid, and thread a necklace length piece of
lanyard lacing through the bead. Then fill the canister with bubble solution, and enjoy!

Version 2 - All you need for each one is one pony bead, some ribbon or yard, a small piece of plastic canvas and bubbles. You scrape away some of the top of the lid so you can hot glue the pony bead on its side. Then string the ribbon through and you have the necklace part. Take a small piece of plastic canvas, say 2 squares by 6 squares big, and hot glue that on the inside of the lid,. You have to hold it while you are glue gunning or it won't stay straight. Then fill the canister with bubbles. When you blow through the plastic canvas, many tiny bubbles float around.

Bud Vases
Cut an X-shaped hole in the top, decorate the bottom with stickers, fill it
with water and insert a small daffodil or other available flower.

SWAP Bud Vases
Use small amount of putty or play dough in canister to hold silk flowers in
place. Add small flowers and pin on back.

SWAP - "Oscar in a can"
Take a large green pom-pom and glue to open end of the canister. Glue the lid on pompom for lid of garbage can. Add 2 google eyes and a pin on back to attach it.

Campfire ash necklace
Punch hole in lid and thread yarn through. Label date and place on outside of canister with your name.

"Fried Eggs in a pan" Swap
Cut down and around the side of the film canister to make a "frying pan with a handle" shape. Hole punch handle for safety pin to fit through. Take white paint and drop a couple of dots onto the bottom of the skillet. Let dry a minute and then take orange paint and drop onto whites for yolks.

Canteen swap
Uses grey lids off of film canisters. Take 2 grey lids and glue together. Take a small strip of leather and glue around outside, leaving some hanging for the "carrying strap". Glue pony bead on top for screw top. You can write cute things on outside of canteen like "thirst for knowledge" or your name and unit name.

Film Canister Angel Puppet
35mm film canister
wooden doll head to fit top
elbow macaroni
bow tie pasta
card or stiff paper
gold elastic ribbon
hot glue

Hot glue the head to the flat bottom of the canister. Draw on a face and glue an elastic loop of gold ribbon on top of head for halo. You may also glue on straw or other hair. Put dab of glue in middle of bow tie noodle, let child push it on back of angel to stick. Same with macaroni arms. Cut the card or paper small enough to fit macaroni arms and glue on for song book. We also put a piece of mattress foam in canister so child's finger would fit nicely in the puppet. Set several up around a table - top tree or glue loop to back and hang on tree.

A dangling spider
With an adult's help, use a ballpoint pen to poke a hole in the bottom of a film canister. Thread yarn through the hole, and make a large knot at the end inside the canister. For legs, cut four 7-inch-by-1/2 inch strips of felt. Spread glue around the inside edge of the canister lid. Place the legs on the lid (over the glue) so that their centres overlap in the middle. Squeeze glue around the open edge of the canister, and then push it hard into the lid. Make eyes from paper (or use googly eyes), and glue them on. Hang your spider by the yarn or make him dance along the floor. If you've done this right, the film canister should be closed up, with the lid at the bottom and the legs between the canister and the lid.

Bats & Cats
Cut wings from black fun foam & add them to the back of a film canister.
Put a face on the lid & black ribbon to hang. For a cat, make ears & add pipe cleaners for whiskers.

Stand for a small ornamental doll
cut an outline from card & stick on the canister then the card will stand up.

See also Film Canister Rockets and http://www.makestuff.com/film_cannisters.html