Upcycling

Upcycling that’s the new phrase these days for recycling. Well I guess it’s different in that it’s reusing an item and not simply tossing it to recycle into some thing else new.

tin1I seem to collect lots of Altoid tins. I love the candy, I love the tins and always save the tins. I can only make so many little first-aid kits out of them. Seems every one in the family and every one I know has several. It’s some sort of compulsion for me to make small first-aid kits and hand them out to every one….If you can figure it out I’d like to know why. Mostly I find it fun to put them together and always be looking for useful items to add.

I was sewing the other night thinking about (Do I dare mention it) the holiday season coming up in December. One thing lead to another and this cute little needle holder was created.

tin2I had a pile of wool felt scraps all over my lap and sat there cutting and sewing away all evening while chatting with Dick. Daisy had gone to bed, there is no serious crafting allowed while she is up. She is just to “helpful”. :) We do craft together but me crafting while she is around isn’t possible.

Sorry I don’t have a pattern or even know how I went about making this. I  made the swatches of wool and glued them to the bottom.  Each swatch I cut to be a wide as half the length of the tin. This way when they are folded into the tin they cover the storage space in the tin. Does that make sense? I then covered the bottom with more felt. I also lined the top and inside of the lid and the bottom of the tin.

The flowers and leaves are cut free hand and stitched around the edges. I then sew several layers of petals together and sew the leaves to the back side.

tin3If you decide to make your own let me know I would love to see your’s. So what do you do with your Altoid tins?

When is the last time you saw thread on a wooden spool? I am fortunate to have several tins full that were my grandmother’s. These this size in assorted colors were for hand mending, there are other tins full for the sewing machine of course the spools are larger. I just love using them. The price tag on the top of this one is 7 cents. It makes me smile to think a spool of thread this size these days cost over 2 dollars.  Of course I always keep my eyes open for wooden thread spools when I shop yard sales, thrift stores and church rummage sales. It’s a silly little yet useful hobby.

Posted on June 4, 2009, in Crafts, For Fun, Tutorials. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Your tins are delightful and practical.
    I get candy from the Dollar store in such tins and have collected a bunch of them too.
    Haven’t done anything with them yet but was trying to think of something to do with them for my nieces as gifts. They are all under 12 at the moment. If you have an idea please pass it on.
    I use them personally for safety pins for my quilts.
    Marlyn

  2. What a wonderful idea! I have been making an effort to reuse or upcycle as a first choice before recycling. Although recycling is better than stuff going to the landfill, the recycling process still uses lots of energy in order to turn items back into something useful.

    I’m going to pull out my mint tins and work on a sewing kit for my niece! I already put a couple herbal tea bags in a tin to have with me when I’m at a restaurant. The tin protects the tea bags from getting punctured and keeps the herbs fresh.

  3. What a wonderful idea! I love both the needle case use as well as the first aid kit one. I will start buying candy in these tins more now, as I love the mints too but don’t buy them much.

  4. I posted a comment on your pet feeding post, and I’d love to have you reply! Thanks…

  5. I love this idea, how sweet!
    Great upcycling.

  6. lizzylanefarm

    I just love the idea of storing tea in them. What cute little thank you gifts they would make if you just did something to the outside and added a few tea bags.

    I have been thinking on the idea to make a couple into tooth holders for the tooth fairy. I have a granddaughter that told me just last night she has her first loose tooth!

    Last year I made several into a traveling tic-tac-toe games. I found cute little magnets and glued them onto wooden x and o’s. The bottom of the tin because it was flat I painted on the board. The pieces, a small pencil and score card fit nicely inside.

    I have also thought about making mini paper dolls and using the tins to store them and their clothes.

    I have decorated one for my sister who loves to enter every drawing and give away she finds. (I don’t like the sales calls from them) but I printed address labels with her address and now she simply uses the labels it’s quicker that writing her name and address several times. You could also do the same thing and add stamps for a mini postal center for your purse. These would be cute thank you gifts or hostess gifts.

    I am working on the idea to make one of these with little felt compartments and flaps to hold jewelry while traveling….

    It seems I have to much time on my hands doesn’t it, well I think about these things while I am doing something else. Any one else have any ideas?

  7. Love it! We’re into GeoCaching and altoid tin sewing kits are my favorite thing to leave in a geocache!

  8. lizzylanefarm

    Cheryl,
    I had to look up GeoCaching, doesn’t that sound like fun! I would love to find a sewing tin… Now if I only could find my missing gardening glove :)

  1. Pingback: Recycle or Upcycle | Journey to Simplicity

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