Felt Crafts

Felt Sardine Can Tutorial


Felt Sardine Can Tutorial

Although tinned fish has had a recent resurgence in popularity, there are many who have been enjoying - and collecting - this food for decades. Part of the appeal of collecting is the charming packaging and typography. While it’s not considered the most glamorous canned fish in the sea, we think sardines are perfect for this delightful and unexpected felt container. Now you can show off your good taste without taking a single bite!

Skill Level: Intermediate

Time: 3 hours

Shop Supplies

Additional Supplies:

Sardine Can Pattern  (click to download)
Wool Felt Scraps in Light Blue, Dark Blue, Yellow and Red
Embroidery Thread - optional
Needle - optional


1. Print Sardine Can Pattern above onto cardstock and cut out. For metallic pieces, trace pattern onto non-metallic side of felt.

Tracing pattern pieces onto felt

2. Trim across one long side of each Waves felt piece with 5mm scallop shears to mimic water.

Cutting wave pieces with scalloped scissors

3. In addition to the pattern pieces, cut the following:

- One 1 x 14” strip from Metallic Silver felt
- Two ½ x 7” strips from Thick Slate felt

Cutting additional felt strips

4. Glue one Base to the center of Tin Bottom (non-metallic side.) Beginning at the center of one end, glue 1 x 14” metallic felt strip along the perimeter of Base. Strip should be flush with Base and Tin Bottom.

Gluing side to can base

Glue strip around entire base and trim any excess. Glue strip ends together. This is the foundation for the bottom of the can.

Finished side glued to can base

5. When glue is dry, cut Tin Bottom extending beyond Base and trim edge.

Trimming excess felt around base perimeter

6. Glue Silver elastic cord along bottom edge to cover thickness of Tin Bottom. This is the most time consuming part of the project. Take your time! We had great success with Fast Grab Tacky Glue. Hot glue is also a good option for securing the trim.

Gluing metallic trim to base perimeter

7. Complete the interior of sardine can by gluing metallic Sardines to interior Base. Alternate sardine directions.

Adding felt sardines to inside of can

8. Glue second Base to center of TIN TOP – A (non-metallic side.) Mark middle of each long side of Base with erasable pen.

Preparing can lid

9. Glue thick felt strip along edge of Base. Start at one middle mark and stop at the other, trimming excess. Repeat with other thick felt strip and glue ends together.

Gluing rim to top of can

Strip edge should be flush with and entirely secured to base – not touching the Tin Top.

Demonstrating postition of lid rim

10. Flip over Tin Top and let’s begin decorating the sardine can! Glue Tin Top – B to one end of Tin Top – A. This will be the partially opened side of the can.

Adding decoration to can lid

11. To mimic the can being partially opened, roll and glue Rolled Top piece, metallic side out. Glue in place where Tin Top A and B meet.

Adding "rolled" element to can lid

12. Fold one end of metallic Silver pipe cleaner into a turning key shape (see below.)

Folding can key from pipe cleaner

Trim unfolded end of pipe cleaner to be shorter than width of sardine can. Add glue to long end and slide into opening of the Rolled Top.

Cutting and gluing can key

13. Glue light blue Waves along bottom metallic side of Tin Top. Glue dark blue Waves over light blue with bottoms aligned. Be sure to fit ends snugly against the Rolled Top. Felt extending past Tin Top will be trimmed in the next step.

Gluing wave decor to can lid

14. When glue is dry, flip over Tin Top and trim excess Waves along curve.

Trimming waves to fit can lid

15. Glue Slate Sardine to center of Label. If desired, add stitched details to Sardine with embroidery thread for further embellishment. Glue Label to center of Tin Top.

Adding stitched details and label to can lid

16. Glue red Dots over top of Label to finish can design.

Adding finishing decor details to can lid

17. Glue Silver elastic cord along top edge to cover thickness of Tin Top.

Gluing metallic trim to can lid

Your sardine can is finished… and there’s no expiration date! Gently pull up on wire “key” to open and reveal fun treasures inside.

Finished sardine can

What a fun gift for a tinned fish enthusiast or just a collector of fabulous things!

Finished sardine can with objects inside

Thanks to Camille for designing and writing this tutorial! You can follow her on Instagram @notsomodernmillie or visit her website.