Christmas gifts: Personalized Christmas Gifts from Recycled Tins

Christmas gifts: Personalized Christmas Gifts from Recycled Tins

Last Updated on October 11, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

Keep Christmas sustainable by revamping old containers. Cover tins with recycled papers and fill with organic or handcrafted items to create personalized Xmas presents.

Most households will have old containers lurking at the back of a cupboard or on a shelf in the garden shed. Lidded tins of any size can be salvaged and crafted into unique and inexpensive Christmas gifts.

Recycle Tins and Paper to Make Environmentally Friendly Personalized Christmas Gifts

#1. Manuscript Christmas Vase

Manuscript Christmas Vase | Personalized Christmas Gifts from Recycled Tins


#2. Recycled Tin Wall Lamps

Recycled Tin Wall Lamps | Personalized Christmas Gifts from Recycled Tins




Lidded tins such as those that have been filled with coffee, baby formula or fortified energy powders are ideal for recycling. Some biscuit and cake tins will be suitable without any added decoration but others will have surfaces that need to be camouflaged.

Equipment required:

  • Clean, rust free tin – a medium sized tin is easiest to handle
  • Sheets of sturdy paper, preferably with a wipeable surface (old wallpaper could be used)
  • PVA glue
  • Trims and decorative elements such as binding, braids, lace, buttons, stones, beads, sticks, shells, etc – look around the home or visit a local thrift shop to search out items that can be re-used.

How to Craft Sustainable Xmas Presents from Altered Tins

#3. Tuna Cans

Tuna Cans | Personalized Christmas Gifts from Recycled Tins

#4. Tin Can Snowman

Tin Can Snowman | Personalized Christmas Gifts from Recycled Tins


Cut the paper to fit tightly around the circumference of the tin, leaving a slight overlap for the side join. Cut a disc of paper to closely fit inside the rim of the lid.

Cut a strip of trim to fit along the side join plus two strips to fit around bottom and top edge of tin. Lay the sheet of paper on a flat surface. Smear the glue around the top and bottom edges of the tin, just below the rim and just above the base.

Lay the tin sideways on the paper, making sure to keep bottom and top edges neatly in line with edges. Roll the paper around the tin, smoothing carefully until the joins overlap. Glue join firmly.

Glue trim over the overlap and around top and bottom edges. Glue the disc of paper into the top of the lid and glue a button or other raised object into the center of the lid to create a small handle. Add embellishments. Move objects around to find an effect that pleases before gluing anything into place.

The suggestions given above can be extended in many creative directions. Think outside the square when looking for personalized coverings and accessories. Collaged pieces of newspaper, magazines or junk mail may give an edgier look to the finished product. This type of covering would benefit from a coat of varnish.

Fill Altered Containers with Handcrafted or Natural Eco-Friendly Products

#5. Snow man soup

Snow man soup | Personalized Christmas Gifts from Recycled Tins

The finished tins can be filled with numerous items. Personalize fillings to suit the recipient. Some ideas are:

  • baking, chocolates or sweets
  • small jars of jams and jellies
  • desk or hobby items
  • cosmetics and skin care products
  • soaps
  • sample size bottles of shampoo, conditioner and skin care (especially useful for the traveller)
  • pouches of dried herbs
  • herbal teas or organic coffee
  • packets of seeds and a pair of gardening gloves

The list of fillings is endless. A degree in fine arts isn’t necessary to make altered objects. Let the imagination roam free, but to keep the eco-friendly theme alive, look for natural products or create handcrafted organic gifts to load into the recycled containers.

Christmas gifts: Personalized Christmas Gifts from Recycled Tins