This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in May 2014.
A leftover candy tin seems to have endless potential when it comes to child play: a container for beads and friendship bracelet string, storage for a growing acorn collection, a makeshift bedroom for that furry caterpillar that you have to repeatedly insist must stay outside.
I really liked making one metal mint tin into a DIY Doll Purse, and once I knew it was a big hit, I decided to make one more doll accessory: a throwback to the classic metal lunchbox.
Start with your empty candy tin. Spray paint the first layer of paint on it lightly; you may have to do repeat coats to completely cover the graphics on the tin.
Once the paint has completely dried (12-24 hours), add painters tape around the center band of the tin. Spray your accent color onto the visible area. I’m making a color blocked tin, one reminiscent of my youth, and so I wanted the center band to remain gray. You’ll see that the top and bottom of the finished lunchbox are a contrasting orange color.
With the mint tin closed, you’ll have a better idea of what your finished lunchbox is going to look like.
With all of the paint dry, it’s time to add your handle on top. I found that a D-Ring worked perfectly to simulate a metal handle on my lunchbox. To attach it, I used wire, and to attach the wire securely, I first opened the tin to make holes with a small nails. A scrap piece of 2×4 comes in handy at this point, because you can fit it inside your tin while hammering the nails through, without risking warping the thin metal of the container.
Weave the wire through the holes you created, and secure the D-Ring in position. Coil the pointy ends inward.
Add graphics or stickers to the outside of your lunchbox. Julia said “Just to be clear, this is only going to be for LUNCH” and so, on went the vinyl letters to spell it out.
And don’t forget to pack a few little snacks in your tin for the playtime lunch date.
Looking for more mint tin upcycle ideas? Here are a few: