Post image for Recycling soup cans for vintage oil can replicas [How to & oil can template for download]

Recycling soup cans for vintage oil can replicas [How to & oil can template for download]

April 3, 2012

by Seb Perez

A few weeks ago, we still had freezing weather here in The Netherlands. Following the dutch tradition we were eating tomato soup in the evening. While eating my soup I thought, hey! why not making a vintage oil can replica out of the coup cans? Said, done!

I took measurements of the cans, designed the labels according to pictures of vintage oil cans that I have. The idea here was not to make a prefect replica, but much more a look a like can, smaller in size and practical for use on my desk, for storage in my workshop or just decoration.

Well, let’s make one…

#1 – Getting the can ready

After cleaning, of course, you will want to remove the original etiquette if there is one AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU SAND THE EDGES of the the opened size. You don’t want to cut yourself when catching a pen or something.

#2 – Download your templates

Choose your between US-letter or DIN-A4 paper size, you know, right click, save as…

#3 – Printing & cutting the templates

THE PRINTER: I highly recommend to print on a color laser printer. If you don’t have one, check for a copy shop on your area. It’ll costs only a few cents and you’ll have a much better quality. If you are going to print with an inkjet printer, make sure to have enough cartridges home :-)

THE PAPER: In both cases, laser or inkjet, I recommend you use a thicker paper than the normal copy paper. Standard paper for daily printing is only 80 g/m2 heavy. I recommend at least 120 g/m2 or heavier. If printing on inkjet, you might want to use glossy paper. That’s an advantage if printing on inkjet, you can use glossy paper, that will give the can a “lacked” look, it’s a more expensive option though. (everything glossy, shiny, bling-bling is always more expensive, can anyone tell me why? :-( )

After printing the templates, cut them and glue them as seen on the pictures below:

When glueing the two parts together make sure you overlap the printed area around 1 cm – 1/2 inch so that there is no withe line interrupting the continuous color stripe around the can.


Repeat the process 2 more times for the other cans.


The finished cans

#4 – Usage

I use the cans to store the tools and materials I’m using on the current project. That helps me to keep a cleaner work ware, and therefore cleaner results on my my models and paintings and less accidents because of stuff lying around.

Of course you can do whatever you want with your cans. They are a cool decoration piece. Nothing for the hardcore original vintage piece collectors, but cool enough for those who want the look of it. If you live in America you might have easier access to all kinds of old vintage stuff, but in many other countries finding cool vintage oil cans is almost impossible and if you find them, you might have to pay too much… if you are not a collector and your idea is to use the for pencil storage, like in my case. I prefer to use my money in buying more model kits :-)


#5 – More templates coming on our Newsletter

If you have not subscribed to our newsletter yet, I recommend you do it. We are constantly sharing free stuff, model car building tips, free ebooks and mucho more.

I’ll be making more templates soon and those will be only available on our newsletter.

If you are not subscribed yet, subscribe now! 


#6 – Was this useful? Which vintage oil can do you want next?

How did it go? Have you made your cans? Did you like it? most important… which cans do you want next? Let me know and I’ll take in account when making the next templates.


#7 – Please, leave your comments below!


charly April 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm

hey seb! how cool is this! Thanks for sharing! I’ll be making my cans next weekend!

Seb April 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Enjoy your soup!

Steve Jansen April 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Cool idea! Thanks!

Seb April 3, 2012 at 6:48 pm

You’re welcome!

Yannick April 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm

hi Seb,

For your next can i suggest you make 1 of union oil 76 as it no longer exist since a few years
it might be cool to have a can from this brand,as a petrolhead i have all kinds of things
from 76 oil such as t-shirt and HO train wagons etc….and it’s a cool logo! The logo has changed a few times over the years but go ahead….



Seb April 16, 2012 at 8:17 am

Hi Yannick! That’s definitely a cool brand with a cool logo! I love that logo too! I’ll be definitely making a label of oil 76 next time! Thanks!
Take care!

Jon A. Bain May 15, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Way cool idea for the soup-to-oil can labels. I’ll definitely make several of these for arouind the shop.

mike kieperead May 27, 2012 at 2:25 am

i don’t know if you ever heard of it but how about wolf’s head oil?

Seb May 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Yes, I know it. Cool idea for the next set.

Juan Orti June 26, 2012 at 1:50 am

yes, i wish you make them all!!!jajaja I Love collecting these things.

Juan Orti June 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Wow I really hope you make more templates, Thank You so much for sharing I will really enjoy them.

Jack July 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Hi Seb
May I sugest a supertest oil can for us Canadians


Seb July 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Hi jack, thanks for the idea. I’ll take it into account for the next time!
Take care,

John Kemper July 31, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Son of a gun I just threw away a bag full of soap cans! Super cool idea, I love it!
I’d like to see a Union 76 can!

Rick Weeks August 19, 2012 at 12:17 am

that is such a cool idea!!!!!!

Seb August 19, 2012 at 8:08 am

Hi Rick, thanks! I’ll be making more templates soon.

BOB LORENZ November 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Seb I just received your books gas pump and making the texaco gas station they are great and the prints are easy to follow . I am in the middle of building the station in 1/24 scale styrene sheets looks even greater as i go …. thanks for making these books are so cool. I hope you make the templates availabile for the premium pump and maybe some other brands. Keep up the good work and thank again Your Buddy BOB

Seb November 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Hi Bob, thanks a lot for your feedback! I’m glad that you enjoy our books so much. There will be mucho more stuff coming soon. We have tons of ideas, stay tuned.

Frank December 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Can you make a polly label that will work on a qt oil can.Thanks Frank

Seb December 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm

can you give me the dimensions of a qt oil can? we don’t have qt oil cans over here in Europe.

Tsali Queyi December 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Did you ever make the Polly can labels in 1 qt. size? I am restoring an old Polly oil can display rack that I want to put the cans in. Here in the U.S. I can also get vegetable cans that are four inches in diameter with labels that are 4 3/8 wide that are a lot easier to find than quart oil cans are today.
Also please sign me up for your newsletter. Thanks

Seb January 13, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Hi Tsali, Sorry, I didn’t make any Polly labels.
In order to subscribe to our newsletter, please fill in the form on the top right corner of this page! Thanks!
Take care,

Tamara December 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Hi! I came across your site doing a search for this exact craft. I want to make this for my husband, as he just became an autoshop teacher this year-his dream job… But, I was wondering what size cans did you use for this project? Thanks for sharing!!!

Seb December 25, 2012 at 9:33 am

I used soup cans, and the dimensions are:
diameter: 9,5 cm (3 3/4 in)
height: 11,8 cm (4 5/8 in)

Tamara January 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Thank you much!

javier arcos February 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Nice stuff, thank you, I will send you photos to make other replicas.
Best regards

Iggy February 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you liked the cans!

Andy Peranelli February 6, 2013 at 4:57 am

The cans are cool and so are the signs made from soda cans. You guys have great ideas. Thanks.

Iggy February 10, 2013 at 9:38 am

Hey Andy,

thanks for the comment. I’m glad you find our stuff useful!


javier arcos March 4, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Very nice idea, thank you for share it

Seb March 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

I’m glad you like it! I just checked your robots! Cool stuff! Saludos desde Holanda!

dave March 22, 2013 at 11:15 pm


Have made a 1937 Bugatti 57S reproduction. You can see it on ‘you tube’. Enter “Bugatti movie 2.”
Any chance of a 2 litre reproduction Bugatti oil can coming? Sure would like to have one or two. Great job on what you’ve accomplished.

Cheers, dave

Seb March 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

I just checked the video, great car! Congrats! I have no idea how Bugatti oil cans look like, I’ll check, why not?

Jennifer March 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to do this! My dad’s 80th birthday is coming up and we are having a vintage car theme so I thought using vintage oil cans would be a fun prop.

Seb March 25, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi Jennifer, you’re welcome, and happy birthday to your dad!

paul coma April 14, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Just did your PDF on the oil cans, excellent. They came out great. I will be using them as soon as possible. Thanks very much.

PS; Can’t wait for the new stuff.

Iggy April 25, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Hey Paul,

thanks for the comment! I’m glad you find them useful!


John Woodward June 1, 2013 at 12:32 am

Thanks for sharing. This site has inspired me to start building again. Again, MANY THANKS

Iggy June 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Hey John,

Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you enjoy our site!


Bob A. June 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Love these. Just made four (4) new ones. Stocking my office and work bench.

Seb June 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Hi Bob! that reminds me that I have a few cans here needing more style! I’ll be making more for myself soon too! :-)

chelsey July 16, 2013 at 4:35 pm

What size soup cans did you use?

Seb July 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

4″ diameter x 4″1/2 high
10 cm diameter x 11,5 cm high

Melissa September 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm

When I try to download these, it says that the file is broken and I can’t get them :( I love these!

Melissa September 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I figured it out! It was my Internet connection! Printing now! Awesomeness!!! THANKS!!

Seb September 30, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Hi Melissa, I’m glad you like ’em!

gary schreiber October 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm

great idea for the oil cans.penzoil cans wood be great.

Seb October 12, 2013 at 9:47 am

Thanks for the feedback. I’ll keep penzoil in mind for the next batch of labels.

gary schreiber January 23, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Very good oil cans,make cases of oil stacked up and pennzoil cans

Francis. January 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Fantastic oil cans! Would be nice to have MobilOil or Pennzoil. There are so many…

Seb January 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Thanks Francis!

kitty Johnson-Woods February 11, 2014 at 6:55 pm

wonderful idea, would like more templates! Maybe STP. I am planning to make about 50 to use as vases for my vintage automobile (Studebaker) themed wedding in September! Thank you!!!!!

Iggy February 11, 2014 at 9:56 pm


cool wedding theme!! Thanks for the message!


Kim March 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm

I love these oil cans, am going to use in my sons’ room. But do you have them for measurements 9cm diameter by 10cm height? I can’t find any other can here in Asia that is close to what you used. Also,do you have any other logos now? I’m looking for a blue one. Thanks!

Seb March 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Hi Kim, Thanks for your feedback. I’m sorry, I don’t have any other labels yet and no other sizes. Try resizing our labels before printing until they fit the size you need.
Take care,

Cliff March 30, 2014 at 1:54 am

Love the oil cans going to make some for sure. I look forward to your e mails suck great ideas. Thanks for making the hobby even better with great ideas for us.

Night May 12, 2014 at 10:08 pm

That is so Great very very big imagination Hey I have a Sinclair Gas Station Museum an a Shell Gas station I really really nead the replicas for can you help me out Thanks So Much Night

Seb Perez May 23, 2014 at 9:13 am

What kind of replicas do you need?

Night June 10, 2014 at 12:48 am

oil cans ones with the Dinosaur an any an all of the others that existed that are willing to be made would like to have the little oil rack sign if poss as well an watever that would be some good items to replicate of The Dino Gas Station I physically will print an make from cans an watever else U tell me to make the items from soup cans, coffee cans, wood an etc When dedicating to them I will put Ur name as the Artist of all the artwork an my name as the maker of items with Ur help as the Artist only fair as doing the artwork we both will be the dedicator an No This Is Not A Joke or a way for free artwork I just enjoy Ur ideas an artwork an want to dedicate some items to this museum an I will take picture of the completed items an also have the pictures with the tags showing Ur name an hep on the items an send them to u as well so U might ant to post on this sight to show everyone Ur Great Talent Thanks So Much Night

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