Tin often gets a bad name in today’s society just because it doesn’t choose to be as flashy and commercially attractive as its precious counterparts gold and silver. Instead, tin likes to concern itself with more humble surroundings like our kitchen cupboards and fridges and because of this it seems to be looked down on.
Whilst its other element buddies are flying high and are synonymous with important wedding anniversaries, tin has to make do with just representing 10 years of happy marriage.
Something that does go against tin is that it is regularly used for packaging yet it takes a lot longer than other materials to decompose and is also a danger to wildlife if not recycled properly. Fear not though because there are plenty of ways that you can extend the life of your humble tin can and help the environment in the process.
Whilst it may be destined to remain a put-down term for a cheap version of its metallic counterparts, there is hope for tin yet. Here are some practical and fun uses for your faithful bean-holder.
For Green Fingers
Plant Pots – Decorate the outside of your tin and then use it to grow some colourful plants to brighten up your home or office desk. Alternatively, you can collect a range of different sized tins and grow your own herb garden.
Bird Feeder – Attach some string and fill the can with bird seed so that the animal kingdom can profit from you recycling as well.
In The Kitchen
Wine Rack – Stick more than one together in a few rows to make your very own DIY wine rack. Add an MDF back and you can even wall mount you wine collection for all to see.
Utensil holders – Dot a few of your recycled cans around the kitchen so that they can be on hand with the utensils you need to cook up a storm.
Cookie Cutter – Use the uniformly roundlid or cut a different shape to create a useful cutter for home baking.
Cake Stand – Do you often bake cakes but you have nowhere to display them for all to see? Personalise your tin can and then attach it to a flat surface (such as a round piece of thick card) to make your very own stand to show off your delicious morsels.
For Creative Types
Candle Holders – Your old baked bean tin can be the perfect home for a lovely smelling candle. Cut the sides down so that you can see the candle over the top and then place it inside to collect all the dripping wax.
Lanterns – If you cut holes in the side of your can and place a candle or tea light inside. Decorate the outsides with interesting patterns and watch the shadows dance on the wall.
Table Numbers – Whether you are planning a wedding or just a big party, recycled cans can become great table numbers. Decorate them in accordance with your theme and add some funky numbering.
Stationary Holder – We’ve all been in the situation when you’re on the phone and you can’t find a pen; well here’s your chance to change that. Keep them rustic or paint them bright colours, fill them with pens and place them right next to the phone.
Money Box – Create a lid with a slit it in for the top of your can and it can be transformed into a piggy bank, or ‘beany bank’. You can even decorate it along the theme of what you are saving up for.
Present Packaging – Instead of wasting more wrapping paper or buying presents with excess packaging, why not use you trusty tin to house you gift. You could even try to create something like this clever Pressitin. They can provide a great home for sweets or underwear and can be decorated to suit the person receiving the present.
Sock Drawer Organiser – If you can never find anything in your underwear draw then place a few of these recycled cans inside to help you organise them better.
Bag Container – If you are really big on recycling then the chances are that you have plenty of plastic bags that you like to reuse. Make a lid for your tin and pierce a hole in it so you can store you bags in one place and pull them out one at a time.
For Young Recyclers
Tin Can Phone – This is a great way to get the kids involved in your recycling. The classic tin can phone by which two tins are joined by a piece of string is always a winner with the little ones.
Can Robots – Add some googly eyes, some arms and legs and put on a funny voice and you can create your very own version of Robot Wars in your front room.
Are there any more? If you have any other ideas of how you can reuse your tin cans, post them in the comments below.