Tag Archives: crafts

How to Make an R2D2 Trash Can

30 Dec

Alternate title: How to Make the Best Christmas Present Ever

A few months ago my brother went to the Container Store with my parents. He found a small, rounded trash can and joked about it looking like R2D2. My mother, ever observant, relayed the experience to me over Skype. “You should buy it and paint it to look like R2D2 as a Christmas present!”

It seemed like a great idea. I’m a sucker for an art project and it seemed easy enough — just blue, black and silver paint, right? I was forgetting one minor detail — I can’t forget minor details. I couldn’t just draw some circles and rectangles, paint a few blue, and call it R2D2. I went to the library, checked out the Illustrated Guide to Star Wars, and made sure my little trash can resembled R2D2 as closely as possible. There was a lot of painter’s tape and measuring involved. But all the time and effort were worth it — my brother loved it. I know this because he immediately Instagrammed it with the caption “My sister hand painted an r2d2 for me. She rules so hard.” And then he chastised me for not taking more progress photos because I could have made an epic Reddit post. This is the only progress picture I took:

r2d2 trash can design

And it was on my crappy iTouch camera!

I took a bunch of photos when I was finished though.

r2d2 trash

r2d2 garbage can

But nothing beats the picture my brother took on Christmas, with the magical tree and presents background:

r2d2 trash can

And now, if anyone happened upon this post because of my search engine-friendly title, here are some tips if you want to make an awesome-o Christmas present for a Star Wars fan:

1. Use an oil pastel (I used grey) to sketch out your design, then use painter’s tape to draw straight lines with permanent marker. Rub off the oil pastel with a tissue. Look at photos online of R2D2 from various angles, or check out an illustrated Star Wars book from the library.

2. Use metallic silver and blue acrylic paint. The metallic blue especially packs a punch compared to matte. I think that’s what’s missing on this example I found on Apartment Therapy:


3. If you forgot to buy red paint or just don’t want to for one tiny area, cut the red light out of red paper and glue it on.

4. Once the paint has dried, cover the entire trash can in Modge Podge to seal it.

5. Don’t ever touch it or actually use it as a trash can, because the paint will peel and flake. I’m only slightly kidding about that, but even with the Modge Podge I’m afraid my handiwork won’t last long. But hey, it was a fun project and present and at least we have the photos! I hope R2 is enjoying his new home in Louisville.