How to Repurpose Candy Tins

It can be hard to part with a solid, well designed candy tin. While adding it to the recycling bin is definitely a better option than tossing it in the garbage, there are actually some very nifty repurposing solutions you can use to give the candy tin a second chance. In this article you'll discover just a few of the possibilities and hopefully these will inspire you to come up with even more of your own!


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    Turn spare candy tins into container magnets that organize your tiny stuff. Hold notecards, pens, pencils and various paperclips and office supplies in a handy candy tin container you can attach to the fridge. This is suitable only for upright rectangular shaped candy tins that have a small lid at one end rather than wider flat style tins. To make such a candy tin magnet:
    • Clean the upright candy tin thoroughly. Remove all stickiness and candy crumbs.
    • Line the inside of the tin with contact or craft paper. Measure the inside of the candy tin to determine the size of craft or contact paper needed to line the tin walls and bottom. Cut to the precise measurements and either use the self adhesive to attach to the inside of the tin or line the back of the paper with a glue stick for adherence.
    • Place a self adhesive magnetic sticker on the backside of the container. For a small to medium sized tin, find the center of the tin side and attach a two inch (5cm) magnetic sticker. For larger tins, consider using two magnets––one toward the top of the tin side and another toward the bottom.
    • Attach to the fridge to see if it hangs well. Make adjustments as needed.
    • Add the items you wish to store inside the tin, shut the lid and hang from the fridge or other magnetic surface.
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    Create a memory box using an extra special candy tin. A delightful memory box can be created using a small candy tin; tiny but very precious! This can be given as a gift, carried around as a keepsake or even placed on display. Here is one way to create such a memory box from a candy tin:
    • Decorate the outside of the candy tin using photos and scrapbook type paper and materials. If you're already into scrapbooking, make the most of your know-how to perfect the cover. You could also decoupage it or paint it. Another approach is to simply stick a favorite photo on the lid and varnish over it with an appropriate craft varnish.
    • Create a small "album" that can be folded out of the tin. Measure the size of the tin for the paper width. Out of thin card, create a concertina length of folded paper that equates to the width of the tin (you'll need to ensure that the rectangle/square shape is just a little smaller than the tin, so that it fits in neatly). How many concertina folds you make is up to how many photos you'd like to add. Keep in mind that if you start adding ribbon, lace, scrap paper bows, etc., then the height of the folded album will increase quickly.
    • Assemble the album. Glue the photos in place on each folded square/rectangle of the concertina album. Some pages you might like to add special quotes or messages rather than photos––the design additions are entirely up to you. Leave the base layer without a photo though––this will be glued to the bottom of the candy tin.
    • Once dried and completed, attach the base layer of the concertina album to the inside base of the candy tin. This will ensure that the photo album remains attached to the tin and cannot be lost. Of course, you can skip this step if you'd prefer to be able to remove the whole album.
    • If wished, you could also add pieces and keepsakes inside the tin, such as memorable coins, locks of hair, baby teeth and other keepsakes. Put items in special envelopes or pouches to preserve the integrity of the item; obviously, the more items you wish to add, the bigger the candy tin will need to be.
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    Use a candy tin as a jewelry or hair accessories box. A candy tin can be a great way to store lose jewelry or hair accessories that don't have a home anywhere else. This can be handy when you'd like to keep certain pieces together for easy retrieval. You could also keep broken jewelry in a candy tin, for safe storage before taking it in for repair or repairing it yourself.
    • Design the outside of the tin to taste. One approach might be to decorate as outlined in the previous step. Or, you could jazz it up by using spray paint and faux jewels to cover the candy tin.
    • Place individual smaller boxes inside the larger candy box to hold specific pieces. Divide your earrings, necklaces, rings and pins using either smaller candy or gift boxes or you could even use paper muffin or cupcake cups as a divider.
    • Consider creating a second shelf inside the candy box if the box is deep. Use a piece of cardboard to separate levels. Cut to fit.
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    Turn candy tins into emergency kits. A candy tin can be the perfect size for small emergencies, such as a sewing kit, tiny first aid kit or a mending kit for a sports or hobby activity. Simply pack in the items needed for repair and it's ready to go. For example:
    • Sewing kit in a candy tin: Add a few needles, a small card of basic colored threads, a few generic buttons, a thimble and a small pair of scissors (preferably foldable). The sewing tin lid could be lined underneath with batting and a piece of fabric; this will allow you to slip the needles and any pins/safety pins into it for ease of finding and storing.
    • First aid kit: This kit could contain some Band-Aids, some antiseptic cream, a bandage and bandage tie, some alcohol wipes, etc. Obviously it can only contain a small amount, so be wise about what you add but this can be ideal for short day hikes, picnics, etc. when you may encounter basic bumps, bites and scrapes.
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    Use candy tins to keep craft materials ordered and safe. You won’t need to do much to create a handy organizational system making the most of candy tins; just choose a tin size that accommodates the craft materials you need organized and stored. Candy tins of varying sizes can be ideal for storing buttons, beads, sequins, thread, writing and painting items, stamps, decoupage pieces, and more.
    • Designate different tins for specific materials. Separate your craft stuff into the different tins. For example, if you have numerous boxes of half used crayons, consider consolidating all crayons into one tin or provide your collection of different threads for sewing into another. Obviously, take into account not mixing objects that might stain or poke each other and cause damage.
    • Use like-sized tins for crafting projects that can be stacked and easily stored. If you are a big crafter (or have a number of craft supplies that need to be separated and organized). If you have numerous candy tins, make sure they are stackable and can easily accommodate your supplies.
    • Candy tins can also be simply tossed into sewing baskets, craft caddies, etc. and will still keep their contents safe. You don't have to stack them as long as you can still get to them easily.
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    Put candy tins to good use for hobbies. As with craft, candy tins have an excellent second life holding all manner of hobby objects that might otherwise go astray. Some ways to make the most of candy tins for a hobby include:
    • Store stamps inside the candy tin, both sorted and unsorted ones depending on what your needs are.
    • Store war-game figures inside the candy tins. Label according to the game and ranks.
    • Store seeds for gardening inside the candy tins. Be sure to date the seeds though, as most seeds are viable for a short period only.
    • Store tees for the golf green inside a candy tin.
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    Use candy tins for keeping hardware items organized and clean. Candy tins happen to be an ideal size for storing nails, nuts and bolts, screws and all those other little items that the handy person needs to keep in place. They can be easily labeled using adhesive labels and a marker––there's really no need to decorate them unless you want to. Candy tins used to keep hardware organized can be stacked, thrown into toolboxes or arranged neatly in drawers.
    • All those bizarre little objects you find around the house that have fallen off things but you're not sure what can be safely stored inside a handy "discovered objects" candy tin. Often one person might find something that has ended up on the ground, like a covering button off a piece of furniture or a mechanical piece off an appliance without realizing what it belongs to. By having a household "discovered objects" tin, you can be reassured of finding the missing object again, especially by the person who knows what it is and what to do with it!
    • Candy tins are great for storing car fuses and household fuses. Always easy to locate again!
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    Keep your coins of different currencies organized when traveling by road. Coins rattling around in the car are a nuisance and even the car's own coin holder can be a pain when it rattles. By lining a candy tin with cotton wool, felt or fabric scraps, you can deaden this sound and keep spare coins needed for tolls, snacks and other needs neatly together inside the candy tin. Moreover, having two candy tins can be really handy if you live near the border of another country, such as between the USA and Canada. If you frequently travel across the border, it can be easy to start confusing the coins that you gather. A simple and effective answer is to place the coins of different currencies into different candy tins and slip them into the glove compartment of the car for ease of reach when needed. This method can also be applied to storing coins of different currencies at home if you're a frequent traveler––they're easy to find before you travel each time and can be neatly stacked with other travel items when not in use.
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  • An upright candy tin can hold Q-Tips neatly. If you attach a magnet and you have a magnetic surface in the bathroom, this can be a neat way to keep them.
  • For those who cannot give up their children's lost baby teeth, a candy tin is the ideal place to ferret these away!
  • Throw away candy tins that have rusted or are dented and damaged. They won't improve with time. If they're old and of sentimental value, try to arrest further decay by cleaning and keeping in a dry area, on display but don't try using them to hold keepsakes.
  • Use candy tins to hold business cards you collect along the way.
  • Another way to make a memory box is to simply line the base of the tin with felt, then add a special object to the tin.
  • Re-gift a candy tin by filling it with home baked treats during a special event or the holidays. Even more fun if you can replicate the original candies it contained, but do so using homemade goodies only.

Things You'll Need

  • Spare, clean candy tins
  • Decorative items (where relevant)
  • Suitable glue if decorating

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