My all-time favorite upcycled metal craft is making “origami” (aka, folded) stud earrings, but today I’m going to share how I make cute magnetic pencil holders from old tins. (I love that you can do so much with them, so stay tuned for more “green” how-to info in the future.)
Read on to get all the details on how easy it is to make your own pencil holder from a neat, old tin.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
A Vintage Tin
Tip: Stick with something tiny but tall.
My first attempt on this upcycled metal craft project was with a cute but squat little spice tin that just couldn’t do the job. Avoid this error by choosing a container with a height that is at least half the length of the goodies you plan to store inside.
Tip: Wait for the glue to dry completely.
There’s nothing worse than watching your tin slide off its magnets then down the front of your refrigerator. Not that I made that mistake on my upcycled metal craft project or anything—ahem.
3 One-Inch Diameter Disc Magnets
Tip: Powerful magnets are your friend.
Initially, I thought two magnets would be strong enough to hold my tin securely to my refrigerator once I’d filled it with a handful of pens and pencils, but I was wrong. I had to go back and add a third magnet to its back so it would stay in place.
Save yourself some hassle and consider the weight of what you’ll be putting into your container upfront and make sure you pick magnets for your upcycled metal craft that will do the job.
Daydreaming of Vintage Tins (When Not Making Upcycled Metal Crafts)
Though it has nothing really to do with this upcycled metal craft project, I have to mention that it made me think about a passage from Elizabeth Stout’s 2008 book Olive Kitteridge:
“You couldn’t make yourself stop feeling a certain way, no matter what the other person did. … Eventually, the feeling went away because others came along. Or sometimes it didn’t go away but got squeezed into something tiny, and hung like a piece of tinsel in the back of your mind.”
Of course, this quote wasn’t referring to a feeling associated with a vintage tin for an upcycled metal craft project, but it could have been.
My mom used to have the cutest round floral tin covered with embossed red, yellow, purple, orange, and blue posies on a rich black background. She used it in the bathroom for the longest time to store this and that. I thought it was pure magic when I was little.
The underside revealed it was made by Daher in England. And—as a budding anglophile—that origin made it seem even more exotic and exciting.
Finding one of my own has been on my thrift store wishlist for years. I’ve come close, but the ones I’ve discovered are either ridiculously overpriced or overly rusted.
Though I know that I could probably snag one in decent shape for a fair price by trolling Etsy and eBay, I sort of like the adventure of trying to find my own vintage floral Daher tin in the wild.
What can I say? I continue to hold out hope. Until then, I will just keep making more upcycled metal craft projects from less cute tins.