Upcycled metal tins using DIY chalk paint tutorial

Upcycle Old Tins with Chalk Paint

How to Decorate Your Old Tin Storage Cans Using Chalk Paint

Everyone has some old tin storage cans laying around, don’t they? Left over from Christmas or passed to you as a gift from a coworker or friend? You know, those cookie tins you got last holiday season (or five or six holidays ago now) and didn’t know what to do with? Get them out and let’s have some fun!

craft tutorial for chalk painted recycled metal tins



Old Christmas cookie tins or other storage tins

My budget-friendly DIY chalk paint (or your own store bought if you like) and paint brushes

Sand block & dry cloth

Old leather belt or lace or tape measure (recycle something lying around!) for handle

Cropadile hole puncher and brads (I used paper brads and painted the heads. They are for looks only; not for lifting weight.) Or #8 machine screws. (For some of my buckets I used 32 X 5/8 in. and they worked perfectly. I also purchased #8-32  cap nuts for a prettier finish.)


Upcycled Tins Instructions:

First, clean and dry the tins. Get out your paint and start painting. You can use chalk paint or spray paint, either will work. I used both. Let the paint dry. (Be sure to remove the lids and put them aside for a future craft. Waste not, want not! Or, you can clean and paint those too to use instead of adding handles as in the final step.)

upcycle old holiday and christmas tins with chalk paint

Craft Painting Tip: I usually paint one day and then finish the next. But if you are anxious to finish, just make sure everything is thoroughly dry before sanding. If you are using spray paint sanding will not be necessary unless you want a distressed look. However, if you used chalk paint, you will need to sand off the roughness until the finish is smooth.


how to chalk paint metal tins craft tutorial


Decorate the painted tins using recycled materials. For my tins I used old books to decoupage the inside but any decorative papers would work. I suggest using old books, music sheets, scrapbooking papers or even magazines. Tear the pages and glue to the inside of your tin using decoupage glue. (I used Mod Podge on this craft project.) Allow to dry and coat with another layer of your decoupage glue to seal.


Chalk painting holiday tins and embellishing

Craft Painting Tip: I added a couple sprays of Tim Holtz brand distress ink to my Mod Podge to give it an antique look and used it to finish not only the inside but also some of the outsides as well.


Optional: To give the tins a more functional look and feel, add handles. I upcycled old broken leather belts, lace and even old measuring tape. I used my cropadile to punch holes in each side of the tin, and then in both sides of the belt. (Whatever you do, don’t use a regular hole punch because it will break. Trust me, I broke mine and that is why I now own a cropadile!) With some I used paper brads to attach the belt to the tin, this will work but only for asthetics. For a functional bucket, use the machine screws. If you want a little more finished look, use and eyelet to cover the hole. I did this with most of mine.

chalk painted bucket with handles craft tutorial


Have you used chalk paint on metal surfaces or painted recycled metal tins before? What were your results? My next project using my DIY chalk paint recipe will be on glass jars. Be sure to subscribe to get all the latest posts in our weekly newsletter. For more examples of my chalk painted tins and other items, check out my arts and craft business site, The Ragged Rose.

And, don’t forget to pin this to remember and share it with a friend!

Upcycle Tins with Budget Friendly DIY Chalk Paint


Until my next chalk paint adventure (coming your way soon!),


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