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Make it Green: Use Vintage Tins as Creative Storage Containers

11/22/2010 12:00:36 PM

Tags: make it green, kirsten hudson, decor, repurposed, repurposing, storage, containers, decorative containers, kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, vintage, antique, design, budget

In the past, antique metal tins were used to hold food items such as tea, sugar, crackers, coffee, spices and others goods. Today, I love to use vintage tins to store and organize items around my home. Put them in any room in your house to add a retro feel to your décor. 


Add some spice to your kitchen décor by using vintage tins to hold wooden spoons, spatulas and other kitchen utensils. The tins will give your kitchen counter visual appeal while also keeping essential utensils close at hand.  

antique kitchen tins 
Use retro antique tins to store wooden spoons, spatulas and knives in the kitchen. Photo By **tWo pink possums**/Courtesy Flickr 

In my kitchen, I use a pretty vintage cake and biscuits tin to hold packets of tea. The tin saves space by storing all of my tea packets in one location. It also keeps my cupboard looking sleek and organized instead of a mess of various tea boxes. Vintage tins can also be used to store baking goods like sugar, salt and flour. You could also use a tin to keep coffee beans or grounds near the coffeemaker. 

Choose tins with bold graphics and bright colors to give your kitchen a retro vibe. 

Living room 

At an auction I found two adorable antique tins that were missing lids, which I placed on a table near my front door to store mail. They keep my papers organized and add warmth to the room. 

vintage tins 
I keep two vintage tins by my front door to store my mail and keys. Photo By Kirsten Hudson. 

Antique tins can also be used to hold flowers—just make sure to place the flowers in a glass of water and then put them in the tin. Use several different sized tins filled with flowers to make a creative table centerpiece or place one on an end table. 


Bring a bit of whimsy to your bedroom by using pretty vintage tins with floral patterns to hold jewelry, gloves and scarves or other clutter. Place several tins of varying sizes on a shelf made of repurposed window shutters for a shabby chic look. Etsy offers many pretty vintage tins. To find tins, search “vintage tins,” “tins” or “antique tins.” 


Make your medicine cabinet or bathroom counter more stylish by using smaller antique tins to hold cotton balls, brushes, cotton swabs or make-up. A larger antique tin could also be used as a more decorative wastebasket. 

You can find vintage tins to repurpose as home décor at antique malls and flea markets, but many can also be found for cheaper at auctions, garage sales and estate sales. Ebay also offers antique tins. Search “vintage tins,” “vintage canisters,” “antique tins” and “tins.” 

Do you decorate with antique tins? Would you try any of these ideas? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section. 

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