Things to Make From Tobacco Tins

Written by ryan voss
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In an age where most products are sold in disposable packaging, much tobacco is still available in durable metal tins. These attractive, long-lasting containers are ideal fodder for a variety of small storage needs. Though you can use the empty tins "as is," it takes only a few alterations and decorations to transform them into attractive or custom-fitted storage, useful for both practical and sentimental purposes.

Coin Bank

Transform a large, empty tobacco tin into a coin bank using an oscillating power tool with a thin grinding attachment. Create a slot in the centre of the lid of the tin measuring 1 /12 inches and 1/2 inch. If you don't have an oscillating power tool, create a hole with a nail and hammer and cut the slot using tin snips. Grind the inside edge of the slot using an emory board or fine metal file to smooth them.

Moulded Object Case

Empty tobacco tins are good for storing small objects, but you can make them even better by creating a fitted cushioning liner for a specific item. Purchase an air-dry modelling craft foam (usually sold for children's crafts) and fill the inside of the tobacco tin about two-thirds full with this substance, depending on the size of the object. Lay a sheet of kitchen cling film over the top of the modelling foam, then press the item you want to store into the foam through the plastic, creating an impression. Press the object down far enough that it sits just below the top of the tin; remove excess foam if need be. Set the item aside, peel away the plastic, and let the foam dry.

Clay Keepsake Box

Decorate a tobacco tin of any size in a layer of polymer clay to create a keepsake box. Roll out the clay into a flat sheet of about 1/4 inch using a clay rolling pin and press the clay over the box; bake both together according to the clay maker's instructions. Make a simple box covered in one colour, or build onto the layer of clay sheet with smaller clay sculpture shapes or design elements such as bows or clay "ribbon."

Pill Box

Transform a very small tobacco tin into a portable pill box by building separating sections in craft foam. Use a permanent marker to mark off the sections you want in lines on the bottom of the tin. Cut strips of craft foam to cover all the lines running parallel in one direction, tall enough to reach from the bottom of the tin to the top. Glue these in place with hot glue or tacky craft glue. When the glue is hard, cut shorter pieces of foam to fit in the spaces between and cover the lines that run perpendicular.

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