Monday, January 3, 2011

Upcycling Christmas Trees and Altoid Tins

I was searching online today for an upcycling idea for my artificial Christmas tree and ran across these trees on

Is that not amazing?  Did you go look?  It' s made of Mountain Dew cans.  Not sure I could stand looking at it in the daylight for a month though.....and not what I was looking for.  But there was an article on
"Ten Ways to Reuse an Altoid Tin". 

I have been using a system of recycled tins for years at my vanity.  It has become so much a part of my daily routine that I no longer think about it as unique.  I decided I should share! 

I created it years ago when we had no money and what little jewelry I had was just piled in different jewelry boxes and stashed away so it wouldn't get lost in the general chaos of living in a very small house with three other people.  My step-dad used to tease me that my jewelry would be completely safe if someone were to break into my home.  He could not believe it when I pulled out the various things I had it tucked away into. 

Then my son, who was not old enough - yet was smoking, gave me these tins he was getting for free when he was making his illegal cigarette purchases....hmmmmm.......something wrong with that picture, but I'll continue the story.  Of course, I loved the tins but didn't know what to do with them.  And didn't know if I should feel happy or sad that he thought about me, knew I would love them and actively collected them for me.  A couple of years later the jewelry idea happened:

This is an old soda crate I have had for years.  I bought it at a garage sale.  Someone had already put the hanging apparatus on the back and painted it.  I repainted it and stored/displayed knick-knacks in it for years.  Then I found that the tins fit perfectly in the shelves.  So Kenny repainted it for me again and I started using it for my jewelry.

The tins work better if you cut a small piece of shelf liner to fit in the bottom - the kind that keeps things from sliding.  That way, pairs of earrings tend to stay together in the tins. 

Then I used another tin for my eye shadows.  I had various brands but found there were two reasons why I had quit using them.  1)I had to open and close each one with its tiny little latching system to get to it and 2) they made a powdery mess.  So I popped them out of their original containers and stuck them down in a tin:

Now I use them again! 

My most recent addition to my vanity was another upcycle Christmas tree idea.   I love silly, noisy bracelets and they were taking over the space in the soda crate.  This metal Christmas tree was a close-out Big Lots item years ago.  My mom insisted that I needed it and it was only about $5.  I took it home and it has lived in my basement storage area for 10-15 years.  Frankly, it looks silly with Christmas ornaments on it so I just stored it, not sure what to do with it because it obviously had potential for SOMETHING! 

So, those are two unique upcycle projects from my home.  And in case you were wondering, my son quit smoking twenty months ago (at age 26).  And thankfully, he has been drug-free for a full five years now.  That makes something to celebrate each December! 

Now - back to what to do with this artificial tree that I am just not crazy about putting up with anymore.........


Terri said...

Kitty--I did visit the DIY site. We could easily do the can tree (out of beer cans), but I was especially intrigued by the tomatoe cage trees. I will have to remember that one for next year, as we have many birds and squirrels that we feed.

I have the same problem with jewelry and keep trying to interest my husband in a simple peg board system for my closet wall. It hasn't happened yet. I like your crate and the tins. And, I like the the tree, although I'd probably drive myself crazy looking for one now.

Kitty said...

Terri -

Yes, I am sure we have enough empty beer cans here for a nice tall tree too! And I understand about trying to interest your carpenter into building the pegboard system. I'll bet if you got out some nails and a hammer and started teetering on a step stool putting holes in the wall - his interest would pick up quickly! That's my secret!

Carolyn said...

Thankyou so much for your comment about my daughter's dress!
And I agree it was very sweet of your son to think of you and collect those lovely tins, even though their origin was of concern for you I'm glad that all is well that ends well. They look to be of a really good quality and a perfect size for storing jewellery.

Terri said...

Ha, Kitty, I'll have to try that!