Pretty With (Re)Purpose!

If I had to pick one thing that all scrapbookers have in common, I would have to say it would most likely be....their stash!!!!

I'm not talking about the twizzlers behind the paper boxes or the bottle of cabernet stashed under the sink for "inspiration" (although those both sound like fine ideas...).  I'm referring to the shelves, boxes, filing cabinets, you name it, full of 12X12 sheets of patterned papers, cardstock, ribbons, buttons, brads, rivets, clips, cutouts, chipboard cutouts, fabric cutouts, alphabets, tags, shiny flowery thingies, glitter, ephemera...did I mention 12x12 paper?

You get the idea.  Scrappers love stuff, we are creative beings that for the most part create because we are inspired...and nothing is more inspiring than pretty stuff!  And there's nothing wrong with that!  Scrapbookers are always challenging themselves to use up their stash, in fact right now I am trying to not buy anything else until I use up some of my existing stash.  But there is one part of my stash that I sometimes find extra challenging to use, and that's my scraps.  Often in scrapbooking you will cut into a piece of paper and will have some of it left over.  I keep almost all of my scraps and try really hard to use them up.  But the pile is there and sometimes I feel guilty about the waste, especially when I've only used a small part of the paper.

Finally, the other day, while I was changing the garbage of all things, inspiration struck.  I really think I'm a genius for coming up with this one.

You know those giant 454 gram tubs of spinach that you can buy? The ones that come in the big plastic container that isn't recyclable in many areas?  Well, I was about to cram one of those containers into a garbage bag when I thought, not for the first time, isn't there anything I can do with this besides sending it off to the landfill?  I took a closer look. These containers are well made, they have a lid that fits well, they are clear...really the only difference between them and a lot of other plastic bins is the label on top.

And then it hit me...the label could be's getting clearer....SCRAPS!!!!

 As you can see here, once inspiration hit I wasn't limited to spinach containers!  I'd been holding onto a few empty Tetley tea containers for awhile for the same reason, they were so well designed that it seemed like a waste to just thow them away. 

I took my "supplies" and headed for my craft room to create.  Once I was finished I had four snazzy new containers to use for storage, gift wrap, or organizing.

The best part is that this project is incredibly easy and fast! 

Start by taking a piece of plain white paper and press it into the inner most indent of the spinach container lid. Then, trim around the indentation and you now have a template for cutting out your paper.  Go though your scrap stash and find a piece of paper that will fit your template.  For my project I used sassorted scraps of Stampin Up Designer Series Paper in Razzleberry Lemonade (all four projects).  Once you've decided on your paper, trace the template onto the wrong side of the paper with a pencil, and then trim it with scissors.  Keep trimming until the fit is perfect! 

Once you are sure that your paper is perfectly trimmed, get out some good craft glue.  I like Aleene's Original Tacky Glue because it dries clear and bonds different surfaces together well (like shiny plastic to paper).  Apply glue to the wrong side of the paper, trying not to apply it too thick.  Then, carefully position the paper in place in the indentation on the lid.  Apply gentle pressure to the paper to ensure that there aren't any lumps and that the paper adheres to the lid.  Let dry.  If you wish, you can trace another template for the inside of the lid, as the label will show through on the inside (I wasn't able to remove all of the label).  This isn't necessary but it looks nice, especially if you are using the container to wrap a gift.  Once the glue is dry, you can place it back on the container and start thinking of what you want to do with your beautiful new designer container!  I've already decided to save the next three to help organize my coat closet.  I'm going to assign one to myself, one to my husband, and one for the dogs, to hold all the "things" that are always floating around in the closet (hats, gloves, leashes). 
Spinach Bin Container Holding Yarn

  The next project is to use up those tea canisters! The best thing about the Tetley canisters is their lids; since they sink into the tube they won't tear the paper (as potato chip tube lids and coffee tin lids can).  For each tin, I cut a strip of paper 7.5 cm wide by 24.5 cm long from scraps (also SU Razzleberry Lemonade).  I dabbed craft glue on the wrong side of the paper and, on the edge of the paper that will be seen, I applied a strip of Stampin' Up Snail Adhesive on the wrong side of the paper. Then I removed the lid from the canister, took a strip of paper, lined the edge of the paper up with the seam of the canister label, and held it in place with a piece of scotch tape.

I then wrapped the paper around the canister slowly, making sure to line up the edges and smooth the paper where the glue was.  When I reached the end, the Snail Adhesive held the edge cleanly in place.  That's all there is to it!  If you like you can embellish the tins a bit.  For the pink tin I used a scrap of Stampin' Up grosgain ribbon in a pretty spring green, and a few dollar store floral embellishments.

Here are my completed projects!

As you can see, this is a simple project but one that is satisfying because the results are attractive, useful, and green!  I will leave you with a few more images of how I used my new containers.

Holding yarn (I'm a wool snob!)

Pen Cup

Craft room organizers.


  1. Great ideas!! I hate throwing away those things!!

  2. I can totally see using these containers at christmas time to hold all those goodies I give away... cookies, fudge, jam, breads etc...! thanks! ... now, will I remember when Christmas arrives?

    (found you through!)

  3. Great idea! I am so with you -- it kills me to think about throwing things like that into the trash. (Our poor landfills.) It's typically enough to keep me from buying the item again, but I love your idea of repurposing them! Fantastic. Thank you for the suggestion!

  4. Oh Thank you so much for the great recycle idea!!

  5. What a creative idea! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us.

  6. I love these! I've been holding on to a cocoa tin for the exact same reason. :) Do you think this would work with fabrics too? Am more of a sewing girl so fabrics are readily available. Thanx for sharing!

  7. I think fabric would work...maybe just use a bit more adhesive around the edges so it doesn't sag. Fabric would look nice, too, more texture than paper!

  8. That is so cute! Very clever too...totally has a purpose and saves the earth a little more each day!

  9. I have made some pencil holders out of tin cans, but a girl can have only so many pencil holders. I have 3 right now. I never thought of the clear plastic containers that would be nice as storage you can see it.


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