When someone gives you cookies as a gift, typically around the holidays, they usually comes in a tin that you likely toss into the recycling bin after you’ve devoured the goodies inside. Instead of tossing the tin, consider giving it a new purpose and new look. With a little effort and creativity, that once useless tin can be useful once again.
Revamping the Cookie Tin:
Part of reusing the tin is giving it a new look. The best way to go about this is by spray-painting the entire tin. Lay out newspapers or large old towels, place the tin (with the cover still on) in the center, then use any color spray-paint you wish to go over the entire tin. You don’t have to do the color all at once; you can give each coat time to dry before applying another. Keep applying a new layer of spray-paint until you are satisfied with the results.
After it dries thoroughly, you can apply embellishments depending on what you’re using the tin for. If you want to decorate the tin with any form of paper, such as magazine ads or the covers of greeting cards, use a clear sealant such as Mod Podge to glue the items on. After it dries, apply another coat of the sealant in even strokes over the top of the paper. To apply non-paper decorations, using a hot glue gun is typically your best bet.
Reusing the Cookie Tin:
Before reusing the tin, make sure the inside is cleaned out and dried thoroughly.
Pet Food / Treats
Although pet food and treats typically come in boxes or bags, it may fare better in a tin. The tin may keep the food fresher for longer and can also keep hungry rodents from getting at it. During the summer months when little bugs manage to find their way into everything, they will have a much more difficult time getting into a sealed tin than into a box or bag.
Gift towers can be quite expensive if you purchase them pre-made, but making it yourself can cost a lot less. Gather cookie tins that are varying sizes and that match up well and fill each one with goodies such as peanuts and chocolate. Stack them with the largest tin at the bottom and the smallest at the top. Do not use glue or tape to stick them to each other as the recipient will remove any paint or decorations that you put on the tins when he or she tries to pull them apart. Instead, lay a large, thick strip of ribbon out flat and place the pile of tins on the center. Pull up either end tightly until you get to the center of the top tin, then overlap the ends by about two inches. Use a piece of tape to stick the two ends of the ribbon together. Rotate the tins and repeat the process with a new strip of ribbon on the other side of the tins. They should then stay in place and not slide around. To hide the overlapping ends and the tape on the top tin, put on a large bow.
Store Plastic Plates and Cutlery
If you use plastic plates and cutlery, put them in a large cookie tin after you rewash them. The tin helps keep them organized and all in one place. It also provides an easy way to transport them if you are using them on a picnic or in the backyard.
Store String Lights
Trying to untangle string lights is problematic to say the least. To avoid getting them tangled or broken, place one end of the lights at the bottom of the cookie tin and work your way around the entire inside of the tin until the entire strand is in. Place an item in the center that fills up the gap, such as a round piece of cardboard, then close the lid.
Store Pantry Items
Store cereal, pasta or any other items that come in boxes and bags in a cookie tin to keep them organized and fresh. It also provides a convenient way to stack the items in the pantry without having them falling over. Putting the food in cookie tins also helps keep away hungry bugs and rodents.
Organize Your Work Space
For those that have a messy desk inside and out, use cookie tins to organize and stack everything. For example, put note paper in one, wires to electronics in another and writing utensils in a third one. They stack on top of each other inside drawers as well as on the top of the desk and you can put a label on the side of each cookie tin to identify what’s inside.
Other than reusing the cookie tin for your own needs, another option is to refill it with more cookies or other goodies and giving it to family or friends. Receiving a cookie tin is almost like receiving a small free piece of storage or reusable gift packaging. With the many options for decorating and reusing it, there are many more reasons to keep it than to throw it away.