How to Recycle Candy Tins

Candy tins, like Altoids tins and others, are the perfect size for recycling into handy storage containers, homemade gifts or craft projects and decorations. Learn how to recycle candy tins to create useful items.


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    Find ways to re-purpose the tins.
    • Convert tins into household storage devices. They can be used to hold screws, nails and other small hardware in a tool or utility area. They make great mini sewing kits or storage for buttons, needles, pins and other sewing items in a laundry or sewing room. They can also hold craft supplies, beads or pieces of crayon. Tins are also a good way to organize jewelry. In a purse, they can hold coins or credit cards.
    • Use candy tins to make homemade gifts. Because of their size, they make a great box for a gift card or for money. Use them to make stocking gifts like sewing kits, first aid kits or small craft supply boxes for kids.
    • Think of art projects that can be made with tins. Many mixed media artists use tins to create mini shadowboxes, layered with old digital photographs, images and words cut from books, old jewelry and other vintage goodies. Think about creating seasonal decorations or grouping the tins together for a larger piece.
    • Decide whether you want to try a more advanced project like etching or creating an electronic device. For example, etching the candy tins creates a one of a kind storage case. It involves scratching a design onto a tin and using saltwater and a battery charge to etch the tin. Tins can be altered into robots, music devices and other electronics.
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    Gather materials to decorate candy tins. Paint is the simplest way to cover the tin. Decoupage--covering the candy tins with fabric or paper--is another way to decorate them. Use scraps of fabric, gift wrap or book pages if you have them already. Decorate with ribbon and other fiber, buttons, old jewelry, glitter or confetti. For another option, use polymer clay to cover the tin.
  3. Image titled Recycle Candy Tins Step 3
    Prepare the tin. Wash it out to remove dust and old candy residue. Sand the surface. How much to sand depends on how you will decorate it. For etching, you'll need a smooth, plain surface. If you plan to reuse the tin by painting or covering with paper, just sand enough so that paint or glue will adhere to it.
  4. Image titled Recycle Candy Tins Step 4
    Decorate your tin. Add paper lining on the inside, if desired. Add wire if you choose to hang it on a wall.


  • Donate tins if you don't plan to reuse them yourself. Many schools and daycare centers accept tins for craft projects. Try giving them away or selling them on eBay or Craigslist.

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Categories: Reduce Recycle and Reuse