Thursday, June 30, 2005


My mother urged me to pitch them, but I just couldn't do it. And so 42 empty tea tins have again made the move to a new state. The collection has grown a bit since the last move, and is a testament to a near decade of graduate school and teaching in places with blustery winters.

In this world of cardboard and plastic packaging, it's feels wrong to throw anyway anything made of real metal — i.e., not flimsy aluminum. (Thank goodness I don't like Altoids, or I'd probably have dozens of those tins spilling from the cupboards as well.) As for the tea tins, I've peeled their paper wrapping, which leaves me with 42 pleasing metal cylinders. But what to do with them? Does anybody out there have any creative ideas?

I imagined decorating these tins to transform them into some sort of wacky, but useful, homemade gift. I just don't know yet what that gift would be... At five inches tall (sans lid), they're just a little too tall for holding pens. They will hold a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste, although the overall effect is awkward. And, anyway, I was hoping to come up with a more creative re-purposing than that!

I've thought about punching holes in them and turning them into candle luminaries. But, to shine brilliantly enough, the cylinders would need to be punched full of enough holes to turn them nearly to lace. I haven't any good idea as to how to go about that, or what sort of tool might do the trick.

Brilliant ideas, anyone? Or just a story to share about other odd stuff that you can't throw away?


At 6:03 PM, Blogger ~profgrrrrl~ said...

Ha! I can't throw those tins away either. :)

At 6:46 PM, Blogger jo(e) said...

Give them out as prizes to blog readers.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Being Shielded said...

Use them to transport or store all the small odds and ends that get lost so easily: paper clips, rubber bands, push pins, tiny paper muffin cups, corn-on-the-cob holders,extra sets of keys, screws, nails, rick-rack, safety pins from the dry cleaners, loose change, receipts you need to record but don't have time to right now.

And if you're really brave, load them with random treats and mail them off to your friends as a just-becasue gift. Or bloggers -- that would be good, too.

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Dafina Girl said...

Line them with wax paper and give away homemade truffles for xmas. So easy to make!

Alternately, if you're going to make blogger gifts.... yes please!

At 11:22 PM, Blogger What Now? said...

My idea was similar to Dafina's, to make them a nice kind of box for wrapping gifts. Maybe put lace around them, or decorate them in some other ways. And I guess it would work only for smallish gifts, although I like Dafina's suggestion of using them for fudge.

Sad confession: I have a hard time even throwing away cardboard boxes, much less understandable than real metal tins. When D. and I moved in together and she was helping me with the final clean-out of my old apartment, she had to throw away the entire cupboard full of cardboard boxes, because I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger YelloCello said...

Thanks to all for these ideas. Hey profgrrl, glad I'm not the only one. Occasionally, I think you and I are living parallel lives. Dafina Girl -- can you point me to any good truffle recipes? And What Now, I love that you've seen my tins...and raised me by cardboard boxes! I do understand that urge as well.

Meanwhile, I am thinking that I will follow Jo(e)'s and Being Shielded's advice and send the tins as gifts to bloggers. If you feel comfortable sending an address to my email, I will promise to send you a tea-tin gift. Offer good while supplies last.

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