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Memorabilia Tins

Keep your favorite vacation ephemera, such as maps, menus, and fliers, on display by using them to decorate tins.




  1. Step 1

    Begin with a tin, such as a soup can or spice box. Remove any paper labels. Attach one end of the paper to the other, using a glue stick.

  2. Step 2


    Measure the height of the container, and cut a long strip of your paper keepsake to the same height. 

  3. Step 3

    Wrap the paper around the tin and mark it with about 1/2 inch of overlap. Cut away excess.

  4. Step 4

    Attach one end of the paper to the other, using a glue stick.

Martha Stewart Living, July 2002



Reviews (26)

  • angelasouthafrica 17 Oct, 2012

    I have used this idea using my baby's formula tins. They are such a good size!

  • nana2oneboy 2 Aug, 2010

    I use Altoid tins to hold almonds in my purse. I always have a snack so I don't have to buy something while I'm running errands. Now I will use this idea to cover to give them a creative appearance. Thanks for sharing.

  • sainterdog 2 Aug, 2010

    I love this idea! I have "stuff" from all my vacations that are just put in drawers

  • Orah 2 Aug, 2010

    I've taken photocopies of beloved photos and applied them to the inside and out of Altoid tins. The smooth topped ones are best as to the ones with raised letters. These are cuol keepsakes that a sm. first aid kit can go in or sewing kit or other "treasures".

  • pinkprotractor 22 May, 2010

    For tin cans, adding a coat of clear nail polish to the bottom rim can prevent rust rings. or just coat the bottom rim with polyurethane, when you shellac the paper.

  • carabau 20 May, 2010

    For the soup cans I will add a small plant in a vase or fresh flowers in a small round glass jar to tuck inside.

  • lisaemc2 20 May, 2010

    This idea is brilliant. Especially good as gifts to the friends

  • Karen_Johnson 3 Aug, 2008

    When I was a kid in the 50's we got our potato chips in large cans, the size of a small wastepaper basket. I still have two that we covered with Christmas cards. We glued them on at different angles and completely covered the tin and then we brushed on a couple of coats of shellac. Probably today a polyurethane finish would be better and would not yellow.

  • sherlene 22 Jul, 2008

    Pickypeople, I like your user name and your image (avatar). Where did you find the image? Can I have a copy? I won't use it as a user image. It's very cool.

  • Genelle21 19 Jul, 2008

    I have been trying to think of crafty ways to use old greeting cards that my grandmother saved for me. I think I'll give this a try and decorate my grandfather's cigar boxes! I'll be able to look at them everyday instead of leaving them in a box in the closet. Thanks for the idea!

  • pickypeople 18 Jul, 2008

    Thanks for such an EASY

  • Beckaj01 17 Jul, 2008

    I did this several years ago using coffee tins, cookie tins, etc. of various sizes

  • amazingmaizey 17 Jul, 2008

    I've used National Geographic maps to cover old card tables I cut them in small pieces and then Mod Podged the pieces to the tables. They not only covered the old tables but the tables are waterproof

  • maggieo 17 Jul, 2008

    I'd love to do that in half bath.


  • Czarina 17 Jul, 2008

    Kathmeg ~ Did you know the late great chef James Beard had his entire teaching/home kitchen done -- ceilings and walls! -- in National Geographic maps? It was the most gorgeous room I've ever seen, and I swear to do it before I die!

  • CassandraRussell 17 Jul, 2008

    You can also make a waterproof seal and avoid "dog ears" by coating your finished collage with an art supply called Acrylic Matte Medium found at art supply stores. This will also make your piece last which is great if the your collage materials are especially sentimental to you.

  • kandee 17 Jul, 2008

    ive done some in the early 70,s and they are still good

  • KathMeg 17 Jul, 2008

    My mother did this many years ago with the maps that use to come in The National Geograpic Magazine. She put them on the wall with wall paper paste. The house was sold about 18 years ago; at that time they had been up for about 20 years. Looked like thay had just been done.

  • stampnoutloud 17 Jul, 2008

    You can also use old Crystal Lite plastic containers for this. They are great!

  • wduke2 17 Jul, 2008

    You can get a can of spray from about any store for around $3 to $4 and is made by Krylon. It looks like spray paint but is a clear sealer in matt. Works great.

  • pama56 17 Jul, 2008

    That's the same idea I had was using the modge podge. We just got back from a trip and I always have a habit of picking up take-out menus and info about places to see or stay so this is a great idea to use the items that would otherwise be thrown out or stuffed in a drawer. Thanks!

  • beverson 17 Jul, 2008

    I have a LOT of old maps and have been intending to do something with them. This is a great start. The colors in maps are so soothing, with the blues and greens. I always thought they'd make neat wallpaper in an extra bedroom or a den.

  • SunnyS 17 Jul, 2008

    If you do decide to make one for kitchen utensils, be sure to use plastic or some other non-metal material because moisture will create rust.

  • Lynnell 17 Jul, 2008

    I'm leaving tomorrow for a 20 day Harley Ride to Sturgis S.D. and now I know to collect, maps, napkins, matches etc.with this idea in mind. Thanks!

  • quackmehard 17 Jul, 2008

    if you're ok with making it permanent (so that it doesn't get damaged - but you won't be able to take it off), use modge podge to protect it from ripping and to give it a nice finish.

  • Cathyvon 6 Jun, 2008

    You can also do this with a nice tan or natural looking cotton or muslin and embroider a design - such as a spatula for keeping in the kitchen, or pencil for holding pencils, etc.