Craft, Unlimited Ideas

Tin Series – Tea Caddy

Tin cases (or Altoid cases) can be repurposed for many things. This series is all about finding new ways to use them!

Total Project Time: 30 minutes (working time)

I am someone who doesn’t drink coffee. I don’t like the taste and I don’t need the caffeine. But I do love to have a hot drink in the morning. Sometimes I can’t find the right tea to drink when I’m on the road. I end up carrying around tea with me but I don’t like allowing my tea to be exposed to the air. Exposed tea loses its flavor. Making a Tea “Caddy” out of a tin seemed like the logical solution.

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For this project I used the following:

  • Metal Tin
  • Blackboard Paint
  • Twine
  • Hot Glue

I would also recommend having chalk to interact with the top of the tin. If you don’t want the blackboard top, a dry erase marker will also create the same effect!



Blackboard Paint

The first step in this process is preparing the tin. For this project, the top of the tin is going to be covered in blackboard paint so we can write on it with chalk! I followed the instructions on the blackboard paint. Mine had me do a single layer and let it dry for an hour and then do a secondary layer which needed 24 hours to dry. I would always recommend using at least two layers when doing the chalkboard paint. It helps reinforce the surface and avoid cracks.

I used a sponge brush to apply the blackboard paint to avoid the strokes a brush can make. This causes a different problem of bubbling on the surface. I like this effect because it allows for a better grip on the chalk writing. For a truly smooth finish, I would recommend using a mini paint roller.  


Twine on Top

The next step is attached the twine around the edge of the lid. I started in the back of the lid so the edges wouldn’t be noticeable from the front. Then it’s time to wrap. And wrap. And wrap. I put dots and dabs of glue sporadically to keep the twine tight to the metal. I tried this with both super glue and a hot glue gun and I think I prefer using the hot glue gun. It had better results for keeping the twine down quickly and it can spread easier than superglue.

One thing I didn’t consider with twine is that there are a lot of loose strands flying everywhere. The box needed a trim after everything was completed.


Twin on Bottom

Adding twine to the bottom of the tin reflected adding it to the top. Once again, I started at the back of the tin and wrapped my way around. I like started close to the hinges and working out because it allows more room to work. And there you have it! I like the blackboard being on top because I can then write down which teas I have packed inside!


Super Glue vs. Hot Glue

Super glue and hot glue have many uses, some different, some same. Superglue is extremely strong but it also brittle. It does not do well with the wear and tear of time especially on something that might need to bend. Hot glue does not have the bond strength of super glue but it is flexible. There are also many other glue types to explore – each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Quick Recipe


  • Paint the top of the tin with blackboard paint, 2 layers
  • Using hot glue (or superglue), attach the twine to the back of the tin and wrap around the lid until the top is reached
  • Repeat step two for the bottom of the tin.

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