I've been making these decorative cans for many years and they prove very popular at craft fairs.
These are ordinary tin cans that once contained beans, tomatoes and sweetcorn. I soak off the label and wash and dry them thoroughly before painting a base coat with a white stone paint (it's white paint with sand mixed in it). This gives a nice texture to the can.
I then either draw freehand or take a tracing of any design I like onto the surface of the can and then just paint it colourfully as possible with acrylic paints, adding sequins and any other embellishments that come to hand. I use gutta for the outlines. Pearlized acrlics are really good to use as they add shimmer.
Many of the cans I decoupage with images taken from gift wrap . I just base paint my can with white primer and then paint a second coat in whatever colour I want and then decoupage my images on top when the paint is dried. Napkins are very good for this and I seal it with either modge podge or any other good sealer.
These make really handy pencil pots, or little storage pots and I even put small plants in them and they brighten up my window sill. The uses are endless and it's a really good way of recycling:-)