Recycled Cookie Tin

Debra Frick

Have you ever been to a yard sale or thrift store and seen a great tin and you knew it would be just the right size to fit that special present but the tin was decorated with advertising. Well I am going to give you some great directions on how to recycle that great tin into something you would be proud to give a gift in. Tins are great for giving gifts in as reusing them keeps them out of the landfill and they can be used year after year.

Time to complete:


  • Sanding: one episode of CSI
  • Painting: with dry time about 12 hours
  • Decorating: about an hour and a half


  • one tin
  • a sanding block
  • spray paint your choice of color
  • old box to spray paint in
  • odds and ends of Christmas ribbon and old Christmas ornaments
  • old calendar

First you take your sanding block and sand the tin until it is no longer shiny. I used a sanding block with medium grit on one side and fine on the other. A sanding block looks like a sponge but it has sanding paper on both sides already attached. You can buy them a Harbor Freight or Home Depot. I liked using the sanding block because it is pliable and could get into the curves of my tin.

Next, I set up an old box to spray paint the tin in. Remember when spray painting to use light coats. Spray paint dries quickly but you really want this to be dry before you decorate. Let dry.

Now is the time to decorate the lid of your tin. You can cut an old Christmas card to fit into the rings on the lid or decorate with a big bow or hot glue on fabric and old Christmas ornaments. This would also be a great way to recycle the Christmas page or any page from your old calendars.

About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 8 grandsons and one granddaughter. She is a published author and poetress. Recycling and saving money are her passions. She also loves crocheting and cooking. She is also a pet rescue volunteer and has many pets of her own.


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By eve. (Guest Post)
December 21, 20071 found this helpful
Top Comment

I get the nice ones from the thrift stores. Wash them out really good and put cookies or soft candy in them. I take them to nursing home people who do not have a family. I also put flower arrangements in the tall ones. Be sure you rub the rim with candle wax, so it's easy to open.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
December 24, 20070 found this helpful
Top Comment

I use tins to store my Christmas CDs in, plus delicate Christmas ornaments, my wrapping scissors, tape, pens and loose gift tags. The larger tins I use to store my Christmas DVDs and video tapes. Old Christmas cards can be stored in the larger tins also.

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By falldowngobump (Guest Post)
December 21, 20070 found this helpful

really cute!

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By Paula Jo Carr Mebane, NC (Guest Post)
December 21, 20070 found this helpful

Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea that I will be using and very soon.


We have quite a few of those decorated tins & I was just wondering what to do with them the other day AND now I know what to do with them!

This will make cute Valentines gifts with a few candies inside AS we had purchased a huge bag of assorted candies.

Of course then with your plan painting the tin boxes could be done for any celebated occassion...thanks again for sharing this great idea!

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December 27, 20070 found this helpful

If the tin is in good shape and has a pretty motif and only the lid has the advertisement, could you just eliminate the sanding and painting and just cut the calendar or christmas card picture out and put it on the lid? Also, what kind of glue do you use? Decopage? Elmers?

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December 27, 20070 found this helpful

Love it!! I can't wait to run down to our local thrift shop and buy up all she has.


I could do this for each different holiday when I send cookies or candy to my husband's office...Thanks!!

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By spicemousey (Guest Post)
January 25, 20080 found this helpful

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By Tanya Smith from UK (Guest Post)
August 18, 20080 found this helpful

Absolutely love this idea. We are on a budget christmas this year so we are making Homemade spiced apple muffins and putting beautifully made up recipe cards with them. Been searching for ideas of what to put the gifts into and this is such an obvious choice but it didn't occur to me.

Thank you. Will hunt through our local charity shops, (thrift stores to you...)

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December 25, 20160 found this helpful

Amanda Hinners this is close, with directions

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