How can I reuse or recycle chocolate/sweet tins?

After seeing Judith Williamson’s wonderful jewellery made from old sweet tins the other week, I’ve been thinking about what else could be done with them. T’is approaching the season for big tins of chocolates and biscuits after all.

Since they’re well sealing metal tins, they’re great for using for stuff that needs to be kept dry – a sewing kit, next year’s seeds stash, spices, flour, first aid kits/emergency kits, spare nuts & bolts in the garage… What do you store in them?

But do you use them for anything more exciting? Like Judith, have you use them to make anything fun?

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11 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle chocolate/sweet tins?”


  1. Bellen says:

    Much to my dismay, my Dad made my son a drum from a sweets tin. He painted the side in red and blue stripes, the top and bottom white. Drilled two holes opposite each other on the side and then used a heavy braided cord with knots on the inside. Cut the ends off two old wooden spoons so they would fit in the tin and of course, sanded them smooth. It was loud!! And my then 3 yr old son adored it. Hiding the ‘drumsticks’ inside, he couldn’t get the top off, didn’t help. He used his spoon, a shoe, and anything else he could find to drum away.

  2. carol says:

    I give homemade cookies in them, and the really large ones I use to store bird food in

  3. Roger says:

    There is a particular brand in the UK that states on the label that the tub is perfect for re-using, it’s microwave and freezer safe, excellent for a massive soup stash. Also it is the perfect size for a large cake.

  4. Feeling the pain Bellen.

    A word of warning don’t leave two large metal tins lying about, our kids made a symbol out of quality street tins.

    Handles from big lumps of blue tac. Not that great to look at but what an almighty racket.

  5. Drums were the first thing to come to mind!

    I’d also use the tins as stackable sorters for needlework equipment, tools, office supplies and so forth, and as containers for homemade biscuits and dry pet food. I remember making a portable diorama of a prehistoric scene inside a big Danish butter cookie tin as part of a school project when I was little. It’s definitely more durable than a tissue box for that purpose! Also, when you’re having birthday parties and gatherings, a sweet tin would be great for holding raffle tickets and small gifts and forfeit slips for a pass-the-treat-tin game.

  6. Di says:

    I reuse tins for home made soy candels and give then away as gifts. I do the same for jars with lids, old coffee cups and pots I no longer use for house plants. All can be left the same of decorated.

  7. SMucciardi says:

    You could use the tin covers as large ornaments. Spray paint them or decorate as you please, then drill a hole (or use a hammer & nail), thread fishing string, and hang from wall or ceiling.

    The bottoms can be painted (or covered w/fabric) and made into a Christmas tree by stacking them on top of each other upsode down. If you have little room: do a flat row against a wall (10,9,8,7……). Or you can do a circular tree if you have more room. I guess you would attach them together by drilling holes and wiring them to one another.

  8. Jajabing says:

    Made one into a guitar although it didn’t sound very good

  9. Olia says:

    Store things in them. Carry one in a trunk of your car with emergency supplies.

  10. Gothgun says:

    If you can’t use them and nobody else wants them then recycling is the best thing to do
    Schools may like them where children take what they have made home. They make good storage containers for seeds if you know any gardeners. Extra change could be put in them.
    store buttons in them. children’s toys such as marbles etc. Store sewing, embroidery or craft supplies in them. Or, give them to kids to store crayons, costume jewelry or game pieces. More storage ideas: hair clips and barrettes, cookie cutters, cards and letters. Use them to protect fragile Christmas ornaments when you’re not using them. If they are metal you can use them for holding things like butons pens and pencles. or paint them and they would be GREAT gifts. if i have a spare tin laying around somethimes i cover it with tisshue paper and sell them to my neighbors! these tins are verry helpfull and can be super decrative as well.



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