Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Bin a tin, tin?

Are you still hanging on to a few empty sweet or biscuit tins?  Not quite ready to chuck them in the recycling? Surely there must be mountains of them stacked up somewhere don't you think? Supermarkets were coming down with tubs of Quality Street and the like before Christmas - you practically tripped over them on the way into our local Tescos. Anyway, we were left with several, and even though the house is coming down with containers thanks to my rusty old tin addiction, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of them all. I can always find something to put in a tin - though can't always find somewhere to put the tin...

If you have held onto one or two empties, it is good to hide the evidence and do a little decorating. There are plenty of brilliant ideas online (5 fantastic ones here from Mum of All Trades)
I was thinking about some comic cutting or sticky back plastic, and then spied a roll of flowery table/oilcloth type material in Dunelm Mill - just £1.49 a metre in the sale. Apart from being cheap and looking good, the big appeal was speed. And it was a quick job - though I did learn a few useful things along the way.

I covered a plastic tub, because it was for my daughter, and the kids seem to do something to the tin ones which makes them impossible to close - but it would be easy with tins too.

The compass in my son's new maths set came in handy for the top circle (thank you Father Christmas?) - his ruler was pretty useful too.

A strong craft glue works well - nothing instant, so you can move the vinyl fabric about and smooth it down easily. My tip would be to spread a thin, even layer of glue over the surface you want to cover, and leave it for a minute or so to go slightly tacky before sticking down. I used too much glue on my first attempt and it made the material wet and bumpy. The other thing I did that helped, was to make sure the strip for going round the tub was longer than needed, and then cut it into 15cm sections. This made it easy to apply, with no wrinkles or ruffles.

Ours is now home to an assortment of plasticine - and the lid works perfectly as a mini portable, wipeable work surface!

... while we're on about plasticine, how long does it take before yours looks something like this?


  1. This is a great idea! My boys have all their cars/Ben 10 stuff in Quality street tins but I agree they all get trodden on and the lids bent out of shape within seconds - very annoying!

    1. Very! A plastic tub and lid seem to stay together longer!
      Just covered a tin and I'm keeping that one :)