Like any sale shopper with sense, I am a massive fan of after-holiday sales. 80% off? Yes please. I’ll figure out what to do with it later.
Which brings us to these $1, $2, and $3 Christmas tins from Dollar General.
Problem: These tins are not quite cute enough to want to keep for the holidays, and my craft desk is a disorganized, slowly tilting pile of work and project materials that may someday fall and bury me like a Collyer brother
Solution: Slap some pretty, colorful paint and classy stickers on the tins so they’re cute enough to deserve a spot on the shelf
- Go outside (or at the very least, not in an enclosed area)
- Lay down newspaper, take the lids off and turn the tins upside down
- Use a smooth motion to lightly coat the sides and top of each metal tin with paint
- Take a break, let it dry, and do it again.
Don’t be like Calamity: make sure each coat of paint is even and successfully covers everything. That teal tin of mine has a couple places where the old color peeks through. Oh well…
Make sure to not spray the paint on too quickly or thickly or it’ll look sorta wonky.
I suggest not painting multiple tins the same color or it’ll be a little overwhelming aesthetically on your desk. But you do you.
You could also:
- Apply masking tape around the inside lip of the lid and tin. That’ll make sure no paint marrs the inside, and gives you a more firm and distinct line.
- Apply washi tape in a complementary color or pattern around the side of the lid
- You could even tape more of the tin off and paint it multiple colors! If you’re really feeling it, learn to make a stencil [soon there will be a free printable and instructions for stenciling here!] and paint it on the lid. Or just tape off lines and do a modern look.
I have had these odd, pretty little stickers for a while. I literally found them in a garbage pile (yeah, I went through a stack of my neighbor’s craft trash). They’re intended to be book plates, to write your name on and tell others Who Owns This Book, but damn if I think they’re too pretty to hide behind a cover.
Decide if you’re going to write on the sticker or not, and if so, plan it out. Measure the book plate and practice your handwriting or lettering first to make sure you have the spacing right. The last thing you want is to ruin a cool sticker by writing like a third grader, where the last two letters run off the side of the page. (I mention this because it’s never ever been a problem I’ve had, because I am Calamity and I do everything perfectly the first time.) /s Plan ahead, class.
On one of the tins, I did write on the sticker, and regret it. I messed up the style of the letters I wrote and at the end of the day, I would have done better to leave well enough alone.
Here, I fixed it a bit with the metallic gel pens I got in my Christmas stocking last year. (Yeah, I’m embracing the “Christmas in July” theme, sue me.) Slightly more respectable, I think. (…Still wish I’d waited.) Here it is with a fancy instagram filter (follow @calamityjaycreations!)
The smallest of the tins fit one of the book plates perfectly in size, so I chose a color I thought would also go. It almost looks like, gasp, it’s supposed to look like this! Success!
And I was smart enough not to write on the main tin either, with its art deco muse book plate sticker. Simple, clean, pretty. Not only am I thrilled about the tin’s appearance, but it helps organize my desk like a boss. And it can actually hold some weight.
So for something like $6 plus paint, I was able to make all this! And really, the only time it takes is the painting time. And the time you take restraining yourself from embellishing the tins or deciding what to put in them. Either way, they’ve turned from christmas cookie tins into something sophisticated for my office and craft area. It’s amazing what a little paint and some stickers can do!
Have you repurposed sale or holiday items like this? What in your house (or dollar store) could be transformed with a coat of paint? If you do something like this, I’d love to see what you come up with!