Class Up that Trash Can!

Our schools have a surplus of boring storage. Green is great and all… but blah!

A co-worker of mine had the brilliant idea of making our rather boring wheeled fellows look a bit more exciting. I was given free reign and no money. So my solution was to buy up some cheep acrylic paints at Hobby Lobby and round up some capable 4th and 5th graders.

The goal was to cover as much of the can as possible and emphasizing that this was a RECYCLE bin. Not for trash, please!

trashcan4 trashcan3

Our first set of cans was inspired by Keith Haring. It began as a light spray paint base. Then we painted body figures in a variety of poses around the can. Our goal was graffiti. I think this fit the bill.

trashcan6 trashcan5

Our second can was Van Gogh Starry Night inspired. This was all cheap acrylic paint you can get from any craft store. The key to this can was making sure it consisted of many lines much like the style of Van Gogh.


Our last can was my favorite. We were inspired by Wassily Kandinsky. I think this can turned out most successfully because we were able to completely cover ALL of the original can color. The wheels even got a color treatment.

Each of these cans has been placed in a hallway for our white paper recycling program. Wouldn’t it be fun to see one out on your curb on pick up day?



  1. pamlauner · July 24, 2015

    Love this idea. Way to turn something drab into something awesome!!


    • Amanda · July 24, 2015

      Thank you. My students really loved contributing to our school in a creative way as well.


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