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Collecting and Using Decorative Tin Boxes, Christmas Tins Too!

Updated on November 17, 2015

The first purchase we made!


Before moving to Colorado, I had always lived in humid climates and thought that this metal container would keep crackers fresher and bug free. We have used it for about 40 years and, while there some dings and dents made by fascinated toddlers, it is still attractive and useful.

A vintage Christmas tin

The first vintage container that we purchased ... in an auction box

Normally, I do not attend auctions but in the late sixties I did check the miscellaneous boxes at one. One of them contained western china (see my 'western' china hubs). This Christmas tin was also in the box. It contained many sewing items; such as, buttons, cards of hook/eyes and snaps, pieces of elastic tape, small spools of thread. Some I have used, but you can see that I still have some of the original items in the tin.

Traditionally, the round tins were used for round cakes, such as fruit cakes. Other oblong tins were used for those baked in loaf pans.

Boxes used for chocolates

The early wooden boxes were designed so attractively that they were kept after the candy was eaten. For example, the box shown is inlaid with other woods and there are other decorative carvings around the sides as well.

A box such as this one can be used for necklace packages, as I do, or for stationery, sewing supplies, craft supplies, photos, or other items. .

An early Whittier's chocolate box which was given by an ancestor to his wife.
An early Whittier's chocolate box which was given by an ancestor to his wife. | Source

Modern candy tins

Although many modern tins have designs that make them look older, most seen in thrift shops and garage sales are fairly new. That does not make them less desirable, however. As you will see from my pictures, they are suitable for storing buttons, sewing materials, small pictures, jewelry, or other items.

An assortment of tins I use

Contains an assortment of buttons.
Contains an assortment of buttons. | Source
The box pictured above, open and showing the assortment of buttons.
The box pictured above, open and showing the assortment of buttons.

Many companies put chocolates for Valentine's Day in attractive tin boxes


What can we do when we have just too many tin boxes.

  • If you have small boxes with appropriate illustrations, line the box with tissue or cotton and give it to a little youngster with trinkets inside.
  • Use for a gift of homemade cookies, candy, or other food item. Note: always make sure that it is a food-safe storage container. Can also be lined with plastic wrap.
  • Donate to your favorite thrift shop or a white elephant sale.

Tin boxes by the number

How many tin boxes do you have?

See results


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    Post Comment

    • wabash annie profile imageAUTHOR

      wabash annie 

      5 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      Thanks so much for your comments. The tins are indeed useful.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have several tins I have kept through the years and they really come in handy for storing a lot of different things. This is a useful hub.

    • wabash annie profile imageAUTHOR

      wabash annie 

      5 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      I have three Elvis tins, one is filled with small items. I tried to include them in my hub but was not able to load the capsule. Thanks for reading my hub and commenting.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I too, love to go to the Goodwell store and find all kinds of jewels. I have several tins that i love, my favorite is one of Elvis and his guitar..Fun hub..Thank you...

    • wabash annie profile imageAUTHOR

      wabash annie 

      5 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      Thanks, Joe, for commenting on my hub. In addition to eBay, there is an excellent Goodwill in our area and I have fun in that store. Wow, the things one can find!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Annie, I found this very interesting. As an eBay entrepreneur, one of my favorite niches is vintage tins.

      It's great to see a hub that addresses the practical applications of tin containers. It's a perfect complement to the collectibles perspective.

      Aloha, and have a great day, my friend!



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