When we moved into the house we new that we wanted to have dual garbage cans for recycling and everything else so we went to our local hardware store and bought a couple of plain trashcans with the intent of sprucing them up a bit. We knew that we needed cans with a semblance of a lid to inhibit nosy toddler fingers and dogs from pulling trash out. Our final choice was a Rubbermaid can and we popped the rotating cover off because it didn't actually work under our counter. The remaining lid does a nice job of keeping those hands out, so we're happy with our choice.
I got to work on making labels for our cans now, after putting it off for a few months and confusing all of our guests. Here are my steps:
1. Draw the stencils on large sheets of paper. I used AutoCAD and printed the stencil, but hand drawing works, too.
2. Cut out the stencil using an X-Acto knife and a straight edge for precision.
3. Spray adhesive on the back side of the stencil and adhere the stencil to the trashcan. Pay special attention to the edges of the stencil and make sure they are smooth and adhered well for a crisp painted edge.
4. Use spray paint to evenly coat the stenciled opening.
5. Wait for the spray paint to dry and peel back the stencil.
6. Clean up any stray paint by gently scraping the paint off with a X-Acto knife.
I decided a pretty standard symbol for recycling would work for one trashcan, but we definitely needed a symbol for the garbage can as well. I used an up arrow to convey a "put trash here" sentiment. I have no idea whether people will understand that, but I think it's kind of cute.