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Crafts Using Tins

Updated on November 7, 2014

Use Tins to Make Fun Crafts

Do you have empty tins that you hate to just throw away? These crafts using tins will give you lots of ideas for putting these little containers to good use.

You may have tins sitting on your kitchen shelf that hold tea, spices, or cookies or any number of other food products. Many bathroom shelves have tins of bandages or salves.

Your purse might have a tin or two that holds mints or even tobacco. For a bigger container, don't forget about tin cans and coffee cans. When these tins are empty, make something useful with them.

I made these tin can luminaries from empty food cans. That was so much more satisfying than tossing the cans in the recycle bin.

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Crafts Using Tins - See the links below to these crafts. (Click a small image to enlarge it.)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Container magnets. Use empty tins to make container magnets. The link to this craft is provided below. Photo Credit:  MarthaStewart.comAltered Altoids Tin Tutorial. Save those Altoid Mint Tins and make little altered art pieces. Photo Credit:  rackycoo.Tin Can Dog Robot. This dog was crafted from tin cans. Adorable, right?! I think so. See the link below for directions to make one (or more) for yourself! Photo Credit:  MarthaStewart.comTin-Mold Soaps. Use small tins as molds for soap making. See the directions below in the corresponding link. Photo Credit:  MarthaStewart.comReverse Canvas Wall Pockets from Just Something I Made. Vintage tins are used with reverse canvas to make useful and decorative wall pockets. Photo Credit:  http://justsomethingimade.com/2012/01/reverese-canvas-wall-pockets/
Container magnets. Use empty tins to make container magnets. The link to this craft is provided below. Photo Credit:  MarthaStewart.com
Container magnets. Use empty tins to make container magnets. The link to this craft is provided below. Photo Credit: MarthaStewart.com
Altered Altoids Tin Tutorial. Save those Altoid Mint Tins and make little altered art pieces. Photo Credit:  rackycoo.
Altered Altoids Tin Tutorial. Save those Altoid Mint Tins and make little altered art pieces. Photo Credit: rackycoo.
Tin Can Dog Robot. This dog was crafted from tin cans. Adorable, right?! I think so. See the link below for directions to make one (or more) for yourself! Photo Credit:  MarthaStewart.com
Tin Can Dog Robot. This dog was crafted from tin cans. Adorable, right?! I think so. See the link below for directions to make one (or more) for yourself! Photo Credit: MarthaStewart.com
Tin-Mold Soaps. Use small tins as molds for soap making. See the directions below in the corresponding link. Photo Credit:  MarthaStewart.com
Tin-Mold Soaps. Use small tins as molds for soap making. See the directions below in the corresponding link. Photo Credit: MarthaStewart.com
Reverse Canvas Wall Pockets from Just Something I Made. Vintage tins are used with reverse canvas to make useful and decorative wall pockets. Photo Credit:  http://justsomethingimade.com/2012/01/reverese-canvas-wall-pockets/
Reverse Canvas Wall Pockets from Just Something I Made. Vintage tins are used with reverse canvas to make useful and decorative wall pockets. Photo Credit: http://justsomethingimade.com/2012/01/reverese-canvas-wall-pockets/

Books on Tin Crafts - Get even more ideas and instructions for using tins in crafts.

The lowly tin can. The next time you open a can of beans or soup, take a look at that nice container. The ridges in the side of the can provide dimension. The size is great for making all sorts of things like luminaries, pencil holders, bird feeders, and more. Save a few and see what you come up with!

Tin Can Craft Photos - See the links below to these craft project directions. (Click a small image to enlarge it.)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Recycled Tin Can Luminaries. Save your tin cans. For these tin can luminaries, I used tin cans from vegetables, cat food, and soup. Photo Credit:  Peggy HazelwoodTin-can Insects. Save your empty soda, tea, and beer bottles. I made this tin can insect mobile from an Arizona tea can. Photo Credit:  Peggy HazelwoodAnother tin can luminary. I added a found wire hanger to this one. Photo Credit:  Peggy Hazelwood
Recycled Tin Can Luminaries. Save your tin cans. For these tin can luminaries, I used tin cans from vegetables, cat food, and soup. Photo Credit:  Peggy Hazelwood
Recycled Tin Can Luminaries. Save your tin cans. For these tin can luminaries, I used tin cans from vegetables, cat food, and soup. Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood
Tin-can Insects. Save your empty soda, tea, and beer bottles. I made this tin can insect mobile from an Arizona tea can. Photo Credit:  Peggy Hazelwood
Tin-can Insects. Save your empty soda, tea, and beer bottles. I made this tin can insect mobile from an Arizona tea can. Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood
Another tin can luminary. I added a found wire hanger to this one. Photo Credit:  Peggy Hazelwood
Another tin can luminary. I added a found wire hanger to this one. Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Tin Can Crafts - Save your tin cans and make these fun crafts!

We all use tin cans. You open a can of green beans or maybe tuna fish and probably throw the can in the trash. If you recycle, you might rinse it out and toss it in the recycle bin.

Take a look at these projects for some ideas of how to put those tin cans to good use. These craft projects are great for kids to make inexpensive gifts from or for Scout troops to use as materials in their projects.

Tools You'll Need for Tin Crafts

These simple craft supplies will help you transform simple food cans from blah to beautiful!

K&Company 12-by-12-Inch Best of Brenda Walton Designer Paper Pad, 150 Sheet
K&Company 12-by-12-Inch Best of Brenda Walton Designer Paper Pad, 150 Sheet

Scrapbook paper looks great on recycled tins of all shapes and sizes. Layer paper for a more polished, finished look.

 
Crayola; Paint Brush Set; 5 ct.; Arts and Crafts, Variety of Shapes and Sizes
Crayola; Paint Brush Set; 5 ct.; Arts and Crafts, Variety of Shapes and Sizes

Craft paintbrushes will come in handy for crafts using tins. You can paint the tins or apply Mod Podge with a craft paintbrush.

 
Mod Podge CS11202 Original 16-Ounce Glue, Gloss Finish
Mod Podge CS11202 Original 16-Ounce Glue, Gloss Finish

It's fun to decoupage on tins. Use Mod Podge to adhere fabric or paper to tin cans to transform them into something wonderful!

 
Pampered Chef Smooth-Edge Can Opener
Pampered Chef Smooth-Edge Can Opener

I have one of these Pampered Chef can openers, and it's great! It cuts away the lid from the can leaving a smooth edge making the tin can perfect for crafts using tins. This can opener makes the cans safe for kids to handle and leaves a nice finished look to the tin cans.

 
Jolee's Boutique Steampunk Gears Dimensional Stickers
Jolee's Boutique Steampunk Gears Dimensional Stickers

Add embellishments like these Steampunk gears to your tin crafts.

 

More Crafts Using Tins - These projects look a lot more expensive than they are!

Some of the tins used for these crafts include tin cans like soup cans or spice boxes, large popcorn can tins, disposable metal pans, tart tins, and soda cans.

How to Poke Holes in Tin Cans - without the can collapsing or denting

Freeze the can with water then poke holes.
Freeze the can with water then poke holes.

This photo shows a tin can I was in the process of poking holes in. The trick to making holes without denting the can or causing the can to collapse? Add water to the can then freeze it.

When the ice is solid, set the can on a towel to help hold it steady. Then use a nail or an ice pick and a hammer to poke holes in the can. The ice gives you something to push against and keep the can from getting mangled.

This is great for making the tin can luminaries shown in the introduction above and for making a Tin Can Man.

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

More Tools for Crafting with Tin - Gotta love an excuse to buy more tools!

Depending on the project, these tools will come in handy when working with tin.

Four Tin Can Men I've made so far. Actual Ginger is a Tin Can Woman, not a man.
Four Tin Can Men I've made so far. Actual Ginger is a Tin Can Woman, not a man.

Make a Tin Can Man

Check out one of my latest craft articles here on Squidoo: How to Make a Tin Can Man.

This is a versatile craft using just a few supplies: a tin can, lots of bottle caps, and wire! That's it, besides some basic tools. Of course you can use embellishments like washers (I use them for toe rings) and fun buttons for the tin can man to hold.

I think they're very cute!

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Tins to Buy on Amazon - For when you need more tins than you have on hand

These tins are a little on the fancy side, but sometimes that's just what you need. No cleaning the gunk out of the can. And if you need a tin can or container with a lid, these are perfect!

Make dragonflies from aluminum cans.

Make dragonflies from aluminum cans.
Make dragonflies from aluminum cans.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure

Peggy Hazelwood is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Let me know you dropped by!

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    • profile image

      tcaldy 

      4 years ago

      Neat ideas. Nice way to keep them from the landfill.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 

      5 years ago

      This reminds me of the fun that can be had by using castaway items.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I love the luminaries and adore your dragonflies. Cool how the age old ice pick is still being used to pierce tin....FB like because I love this! :)

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 

      5 years ago

      I love your tin can luminaries! I totally remember making those as a kid, though with more enthusiasm than patience and child-sized hands and tools they didn't turn out nearly as nicely as yours. I switched to the kind of can opener that blunts the cut edge after my son had a pretty scary accident with our ordinary can opener's sharper leavings years ago. The "safety opener" keeps the lid tidy and the edges safe, and makes the cans useful-seeming enough that I'm loathe to toss them in the recycle bin, thus I'm always on the lookout for ways to repurpose them... and I just found the mother lode on this page ;)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 

      5 years ago

      You do such wonderful tutorials ... just wish I had time to make some of these gorgeous things!

    • profile image

      kathryn-gillespie 

      5 years ago

      My favorites here were the luminaries and the tin can man! Neat lens!

    • profile image

      peajock24 

      6 years ago

      nice work!!!

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 

      6 years ago

      Some great ideas to craft with tins.

    • profile image

      poutine 

      6 years ago

      Cool ideas.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      6 years ago from Colorado

      I love those magnet containers featured here. What a fabulous idea. There are so many exquisite tins these days. It's a shame not to repurpose them as demonstrated here. Thanks for the superb ideas. Appreciated!

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 

      6 years ago from USA

      I love this kind of recycled stuff...and great links in your lists, too. Thanks!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 

      6 years ago

      I love the candle tins. I've made a few of these before and love the interesting shadows they throw. Blessed.

    • gypsykitschpres profile image

      gypsykitschpres 

      6 years ago

      I love the Recycled Tin Can Luminaries. So pretty! Thanks for a wonderful lens. I tweeted it!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Nifty selection of crafts using tin cans and tin containers. Now I know what to do with all those that I've been saving.

    • buttonhead lm profile image

      buttonhead lm 

      6 years ago

      Wow! These are great. I love the luminaries. What a great way to recycle! :)

    • Mistl profile image

      Tjoedhilde 

      6 years ago

      The candle holders are super cute! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      love all the tins!

    • lexxsweet profile image

      lexxsweet 

      6 years ago

      OMG CANDLE HOLDERS! I never would have thought to do that, very exciting. I love candles.

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 

      6 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      A terrific way to recycle tin cans. Love your lens.

    • profile image

      bossypants 

      6 years ago

      Love the luminarias! Great ideas!

    • CraftyDaffy profile image

      CraftyDaffy 

      6 years ago

      When I think of tin crafts, I have memories of my days as a Brownie and creating a "camp stove" with a tuna fish can, rolled up paper and wax. I love the lens, especially the luminaries. Very nice.

    • profile image

      andradar 

      6 years ago

      Your lens is great - very good ideas, I like it! I think I will try some.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Love your lens. I've saved a few cans and knew I'd find a use for them. Thanks.

    • Joyce Mann profile image

      Joyce T. Mann 

      6 years ago from Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA

      I am not drawn to craft projects myself, but this is a great lens for those who are. Thanks!

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