Mint Tin Upcycle: Make A Metal Toy Lunchbox

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.

Make a play vintage lunchbox for a child's toy set using an Altoids tin.

Keep on reading to learn how to customize your own.

Looking for more mint tin upcycle ideas? Here are a few:

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Step 1

 Open GallerySpray paint your mint tin with a base color.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.

Step 2

 Open GalleryUse painters tape to create a line for where the colorblocking on the tin lunchbox takes place.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.

Step 3

 Open GalleryMake a mint tin look like a vintage metal lunchbox.With the mint tin closed, you’ll have a better idea of what your finished lunchbox is going to look like.

Step 4

 Open GalleryMake holes in a metal tin by inserting a 2x4 board to help the metal from misshaping.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.

Step 5

 Open GalleryAdd a D-Ring to the doll lunchbox for an easy handle.Weave the wire through the holes you created, and secure the D-Ring in position. Coil the pointy ends inward.

Step 6

 Open GalleryUse stickers or vinyl letters to decorate your kid's mint tin lunchbox.Add graphics or stickers to the outside of your lunchbox. My daughter said “Just to be clear, this is only going to be for LUNCH” and so, on went the vinyl letters to spell it out.

Step 7

 Open GalleryMake a kid's lunchbox for playtime using an upcycled mint tin.And don’t forget to pack a few little snacks in your tin for the playtime lunch date.

Materials

  • Metal candy tin
  • Spray paint (1-2 colors of choice)
  • Painters Tape
  • Nail (for poking holes)
  • High gauge wire
  • D-Ring
  • Piece of 2×4 wood
  • Vinyl Letters or decals (optional)

Tools

  • Hammer
About Emily Fazio 

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I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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