As an avowed DIYer, the holidays have always been a time to celebrate my inner crafter — to either the joy or chagrin of the recipient. I’ve often felt that the personal nature of a homemade gift adds a touch of charm and displays an element of appreciation toward its receiver, which I hope outweighs the possibility of hokiness.
Frankly, I love getting homemade gifts. In fact, I recall a few self-created gifts that I would’ve loved to receive (because I’m humble like that), like the time I filled empty glass Coca-Cola bottles with Jelly Belly jelly beans and gave one each to my siblings. I was 10, would have killed or died to get a cleverly capped bottle filled with my favorite candies and was delighted when my oldest sister (who made a sufficiently big deal over her present), inevitably gave it back to me. Her generosity overshadowed any squeamishness she exhibited over the fact that I had neglected to wash the bottle first.
Over the years, my family has continued to be unwitting recipients of my quirky gifts from hands and heart. Luckily, my creativity eventually blossomed beyond macaroni necklaces and pet rocks, and ventured into the areas of stitched aprons, stained glass picture frames, handsewn quilts and homemade jams. And while life often intervenes, getting in the way of my crafting intentions and forcing me to hunt retail outlets for gifts I’d like to give, I still like to have a hand in the creativity of the gift somehow.
Which leads me to this DIY. While thrifting last year, I bought a bag of used holiday tins for a whopping $2. Painted with basic holiday themes and stamped with the products that once filled them — giant, smiling M&M candies or popcorn mogul Orville Redenbacher’s face — they weren’t exactly reusable for home-baked goods or other gifts. But they were perfectly nice tin boxes and it would be foolish for them to have seen only one use. It was time for a crafting makeover.
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Time, a little spray paint and a holiday ornament changed an outdated tin into a classy, reusable gift box. This makeover is fairly simple to do, and the boxes can be used for far more than just edibles. NOTE: I recommend avoiding painting inside the box. If adding food items, line the box with parchment paper and wrap the food.
What you’ll need
• Gift tin, lid removed
• Spray paint
• Twine or ribbon
In a clean, well-ventilated area, lay down newspaper and place the tin and its lid side-by-side. Using a well-shaken spray can, paint the tins in light strokes until completely covered. Let dry. Touch up as needed. Decorate with ornament and twine/ribbon. Line with tissue paper and use the tin as a gift box.