Fabric Tins for the Kitchen

I might have mentioned a few weeks back that my fiancé and I were moving into our first house. We LOVE the house, are thrilled to be in it, and are slowly making it our own. I am trying to keep costs down by thrifting, using what we already have, and making new things. My latest project was making tea, flour, and sugar tins for our counter. There are (hopefully) just temporarily going to be in use, since we registered for some really nice ceramic ones. Eventually I see these guys being more of a fabric art decoration, since we have so much counter space to fill! I decided to use some of my favorite fabrics from Lida Enche's line "September Light" (In the Beginning Fabrics) and couldn't be happier with how they look in the kitchen. Read on below to see how you can win some fabric!!

I should start by saying that I drink a LOT of tea. And I love getting tea in tins – therefore I have lots of tins just sitting around. 

I picked out my fabric (you could use leftover quilting fabric or large fabric scraps), measured how much I would need using the label as a guide, cut the fabric, and then used an all purpose craft glue to attach the fabric.


Here are the three finished tins. I love how they look against my red kitchen! I also just discovered my love for instagram, which is why these pictures look so cool.


I had two final issues, and discovered a solution to fix them both. The first issue was how to label them so we didn’t have to open each tin every time we wanted to get sugar, tea, or flour. My second issue was how to make sure the end of the fabric would stay glued down. The solution was to make labels (using scrapbook letters and scrap paper) and glue them to the back of each canister, over the back seam. Worked out great!

If you're looking for more fabric art ideas for your home or gift-giving, please check out our issues of Quilting Arts Gifts.

– Lindsey

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108 thoughts on “Fabric Tins for the Kitchen

  1. My husband has lovely shirts that after a few years are a little worn around cuffs and collar. I cut them up and use the main panels to make drawstring bags in various sizes for everything from shoes to toy cars, appliqueing an appropriate motif on the side so my 2 and4 year old know what is inside! These are really useful day to day and invaluable when packing toys for holiday…Sussexmum

  2. I raided the local liquor store for free boxes. Covered the variety of booze brand labels with fabric the color I wanted to store in it. Last deco touch was to use same colorway frizzles I made ‘lace’ of and appliqued to the box fronts. Pretty stash storage, if I do say so myself!

  3. One of my favorite diy’s is one I just completed recently. I bought a couple yards of a heavy weight nylon and made cockpit covers for our sea kayaks using elastic and a toggle. We have a great outdoor space we hang them in, but I needed some assurance that creepy crawlers weren’t taking up residence while they’re hanging there. I’m happy with how they turned out. 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win!!

  4. The latest diy home project that I saw was… my niece took fabric (Wal-Mart inexpensive and colorful) and hot glued around the sides of her empty large diaper boxes . She didn’t do the whole bottom or top, just enough to cover so looked finished. Now, my grandniece (her 6 year old) has pretty boxes to use for her books. As a new reader, she is excited. Also, she has boxes for all those treasured found objects from school that make it home in her pockets and backpack. It really turned out well.

  5. I like to get the most bang for my buck out of fabric, when decorating my daughters nursery I baought two yards of fabric that coordinated with her bedding. I then went to town, and had so much fun with them. I mod podged the fabric to her ceiling fan, I sewed a sweet bird on branches mobile (my all time favorite project), I covered her light switch plates and her electrical outlets, sewed a sweet banner for her door, I covered the knobs on her dresser, and lastly I made a fabric covered C for my sweer carlee. It was a lot to do, but it was such a labor of love, I really enjoyed it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. I made personalized placemats for the children. Fabrics chosen to reflect their interest and appliquéd the table setting (plate, silverware, circle to mark the glass) to teach how to set the table.

  7. I took an especially long selvage strip, tied a couple of loops at one end and it made my cats happy to chase it around. And our little neighbor girl enjoys using it to play with the cats.

  8. Well, I love home remodeling and my “favorite” would have something to do with painting! I have made several glass stovetop covers for my stove/oven. I love these.. they cover up any “stains”, and they look great in my kitchen. I have one for every season.

  9. Well, I love home remodeling and my “favorite” would have something to do with painting! I have made several glass stovetop covers for my stove/oven. I love these.. they cover up any “stains”, and they look great in my kitchen. I have one for every season.

  10. I used some unfinished projects left to me by my grandmother to make shadow boxes and gave them to family members. They now occupy places of honor in the homes of my mother, aunt and uncles.

  11. Wow, going back 43 years, I also needed some thrifty decorating for the over 100 year old house…. I was very daring at that time of my life, and also wanted to make a statement of individuality. We slowly worked our way around each room tearing out plaster walls that had cracked…these walls had lats that plaster was put in…. we also had used different textured paneling to many. When it came to the dining room, we decided we had enough paneling to patch together walls, and had decided a wainscote style would work nice to cheer the area. So I started with many layers of light cotes of white paint to make all the panels look like they melded together….and for the top of the wall decided on a almost blue print style fabric. The background was deep blue and all styles of ships were white. But how was I going to put this fabric on the wall? The staple gun loooked me in the eye….so I stapled the fabric to tthe upper wall…and used furring strips that I painted white….to hide the salvages. Finished off with ceiling and wainscoting mouldings also in white… we had probably the first fabric covered walls ever! Some thought we were crazy…but it stoodup well and was easier than wallpaper. Also tried using burlap to hide an old chimney…unfortuneatly it didn’t work as well, as the change of climate would allow for shrink and sag during the heating changes to the chimney area…. but the dining wall (heavy duck wieght fabric withheld the stress of climate).

  12. when we remodeled our kitchen, we put in an island and bought wooden stools . The stools were a little hard! So I used fabric (batting underneath) in bright colors to match the bright blue tile we used on the counter tops to make stool covers – much more comfortable and unique! by One Loose thread

  13. Love the tin idea, I collect tin boxes. Recently cover some of my tins with beautiful paper. Now I will try your idea with fabric, hopefully I will win the fabric to apply to my tins. Thanks for the fun!!!!

  14. We just purchased a villa in FL and am looking to bring some color into the kitchen. I loved the fabric on tins idea. I can make it tropical and add the color already predominate in the other rooms. Thanks so much for a great idea.

  15. I just recycled a ton (okay, maybe only 1/2 a ton) of blue jeans into two denim quilts – one with a Celtic knot design that looks great. The waste triangles leftover from the Celtic quilt made a light/dark triangle quilt. Yipee! No more leftovers!

  16. I took a 3 panel photo frame and removed the glass and backing, replacing it with window screening. Makes an awesome freestanding holder for earrings – and was a yard sale 25 cent find.

  17. I love buying up old cutains and offcuts of fabric from car boot/yard sales. I upcycle the material into shopping totes, very often lined with the lining material from the curtains. These make a very useful gift and I have also sold over 40 to raise funds for Cancer Research. After all the inspiration from Quilting Daily I am going to start using the smaller pieces I have left over and quilting them into the bags. I think the tins are great, keep the ideas coming

  18. My favorite DIY has been stenciling teapots on my kitchen walls. I looked all over the net for a detailed teapot stencil and finally ordered one from Britain. Lovely overlapping pots with lots of floral detail. I used red, green, white and a little blue on my newly painted ‘Mac n cheese’ yellow walls. I love it and get lots of compliments on it. My latest is repurposing glass jars to hold my buttons. I used different types for visual interest, like jam jars, Starbucks coffee bottles, etc. I plan to wrap them with some ribbon or ricrac just because!

  19. I like to make sewing machine covers, I have made a few and everyone that I know that has a sewing machine tells me they want one. It just give a whole new look to your sewing machine.

  20. I like free toys for kids and my cat. Like Judylineberry, I used a long strip of selvedge, to which I tie different objects: a few strips of batting or one of her little purchased toys. Drag it around the house and the cat will chase it, for endless hours.

    For kids, a memory game: Make pairs of cards using matching pictures from leftover novelty fabrics (bugs, animals, flowers, etc.). Fuse them on (or use stickers). The flip side of the cards should all be the same so as to know what side faces down when the game is being played.

  21. Lovely project!
    I covered a lamp shade with fabric and used a complimentary trim on the top and bottom edges, when I couldn’t find a replacement shade in the right size.
    Thanks to all the other comments I have alot more ideas to think about!

  22. Every Saturday morning, I scour the internet for inspiration for Priority Quilts for Ami Simms’ Alzheimers quilt initiative. They are small 9×12 art quilts that are auctioned off for research. I’ve just completed three more to get in the mail this week. My best friend is suffering from the disease and I felt helpless to do anything for her so decided to take on these projects to contribute in some small way by using my quilting skills.

  23. I’ve covered several ordinary round tins (baked bean tins) with recycled material to make pen and pencil pots. I also made a square pencil pot from pelmet vilyne which I decorated with free motion machine stitching to look like coloured pencil scribbles. The next project is for two of my Grandsons named Riley and Blake!

  24. I love the tins! As a fellow tea drinker I can see some of these in my future! I am a pack rat and save all my scraps from fabric projects and sew them into improvisational squares and rectangles. When I have enough of them, I sew them into one big scrappy quilt. Most of these quilts go to project Linus, but a few have made their way onto my son’s bed and the back of the couch. I also like to knit and often add a lining and zipper to the rectangles to create quick project bags. Last Christmas, all the women in my family got their presents in a project bag so I didn’t have to buy wrapping paper.

  25. I used machine embroidery herb patterns to embelllish off white cotten duck which I then sewed into a shopping bag, mixer and blender covers. Really brightens the kitchen and hides the appliances.

  26. I discovered a great way to use up leftover fabric! (and people were starting to complain about the tea towel/ quilted hotplates/ baby quilt abundance!) I was redoing my den into a sewing room, (thank you honey!) and I could not bear to throw out My quilting arts magazines…but magazine storage thingys are expensive! What to do? I had all these leftover express mail boxes, (which are free!), so I cut the entire box off at an angle, covered them in fabric, and voila! Perfect storage, that looks impressive! I am a bit giddy every time I look at them, and think I’m pretty clever! Thanks for sharing your great tin idea! Its going to be my pencil holder project! 😉

  27. My favorite DIY is painting. You can make a big and beautiful change in a day (ha ha) and it lasts a long time.

    P.S.. I’m redoing the kitchen and I’d like to know what is your counter top? (If you don’t mind, material, brand, color name.) It looks like one I am interested in.

  28. I think the tins are great! I may have to start drinking tea. ;o)
    I think my favorite DIY project is the one I happen to be working on at any given time. I love the little bit of fabric that is showing since my two granddaughters love penguins, owls, elephants and bugs. I’d love to try to think of things to make with this fabric.

  29. Love the tins. Very creative and useful. I typically look at everything as, not what it is, but as what it can be. Like you, I explore the possible uses of all items for the recycling bin before tossing them. Lately I have been cutting selvage edges from all of my fabrics to give to my husband for use in the garden. The selvages are great for tying tomato plants to stakes.

  30. I hate taking wall paper off walls. Although if you use steam, or a spray bottle of hot water fabric softener or even vinegar you will have an easy go of taking off the wallpaper. Using the wallpaper scraper or a large plaster spatula you should get a whole room done in a single night.

    How about realizing that if you need a big piece of fabric you don’t need yards of a solid, but pieces that make up a yard. You don’t need bigger piece you just need more pieces to make up that fabric piece, like the coat of colours Dolly Parton sang of!

  31. I love making snuggly blankets and quilts. And anything that makes my grandbaby smile adds to the decor of my home,,,so minkee blankets/playmats for Nonna’s house are high on my list right now. Thanks for the chance to win.

  32. My favorite DIY project (besides quilting!) is to decorate ceramic or terra cotta flower pots to line up on my windowsill. I can mix and match them, and plant herbs for my mini kitchen garden. I love to cook with fresh rosemary, so I try to always have some of that growing.

  33. My favorite DIY project, is using the embroidery test designs, in a crazy quilt design and framing it with batting in an old picture frame. This gives a nice inexpensive picture to hang on the wall, using nothing but scrap fabrics, and throw away embroidery designs. It can be changed as the mood changes, and doesn’t really cost anything.

  34. Recently I decided to make two wall quilts from a larger top I’d started. The second wall quilt was the perfect size for a curtain for my kitchen door, so I quilted it by machine, added a hanging sleeve, and now I have some Winter Birches to look at when the curtain is pulled! And being quilted, it will help conserve heat in the winter, and block out the heat in summer!

  35. Personalized napkins! So easy, and so appreciated. I choose a fabric to suit the individual: chipmunks for my nature loving Mom, hand tools for my Mr. Fixit brother-in-law, sewing bee fabric for my quilting Sister, golf fabric for my husband, etc. Then a quick rolled hem or overcast stitch around the edges, and I use my embroidery machine to put their name on the corner. They don’t match anything, so they all go together!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win those lovely fabrics.

  36. My favorite diy project so far has been a lap quilt for keeping warm. Made it out of all different cat fabrics. I think my new favorite (when I get it done) will be a sofa pillow. Have hand drawn flowers all over white fabric with a Sharpie black pen and will now paint with fabric paints in red and purples.

  37. Favorite DIY project? Why, the next one, of course. I love the problem-solving part of any project. Favorite use of leftover fabric? Tissue box covers, valances, covers for commode tanks and lids, any appliance covers, placemats, napkins…. Really, if you have leftover fabric, you have a lot of options for new projects. Thanks for all the great info!

  38. Since I retired I’ve taken up quilting almost full time. I’ve taken classes on line for some machine quilting and I’m making a quilt for the quilting group to give to kids with cancer. Right now I’m working up the nerve to make an art wall hanging. I love to watch your show Pokie. You have some great guest with interesting ideas. Great job on the tins, way nice.

  39. I love these tins, I’m going to go upstairs after this note and going to pick some quilt fabric ( I just bought some cool Kaffe Fassett the other day) and try this method on my 30 year old bread box that sits on the counter and has been looking shabby for a few years. I can’t get rid of it cause its the biggest I’ve ever seen and now I store all our various vitamins in it now. We don’t eat that much bread anymore. Also I just finished 3 baby girls quilts, everyone’s having girls this year!

  40. bought an old sewing chair for 1.00 at yard sale (sewing chairs, the seat lifts up and you have a place to store thred, deedles, etc.) Refinished the wood , tightened the back and legs, put new fabric on the seat, Now I have a new-old antique. Aren’ t yards sales great. Keep up the good work and congrats on your upcoming marriage.

  41. I use potatoe chip containers (pringles) and cover them with pretty wall paper. They are great for knitting needles and crochet hooks. The plastic lids go back on to keep the dust out.
    Nice flower pots work great to keep scissors, snippers, and rotary cutters neat and handy.
    Try shipping labels to wrap lace and ribbon and keep them in their own box nice and tidy.

  42. I just got finished helping my grand daughter weave fabric, paper and strips of tin together then sew together for a school project. I’m also making a piece for a show by weaving fabric and lace.

  43. My current DYI projects include creating three mobiles for my first grandson, a quilted playmat that will have a tripod to dangle a toy from for him to play with., bibs, a Topponcino and burping clothes. 😉 I’m in expectant grandma heaven.

  44. Wow. Such great comments. My biggest success around the house is in corraling things in baskets, and lining the baskets with squares of fabric that I quickly hem. Having things in baskets makes our home look more organized, helps me put things away instead of setting them down on a counter, and I like using fabric that would otherwise be tucked away for some future “special” project. And on occasion I have raided the basket liners for use in a quilt–I cut up the fabric and then replace it with a new favorite.

    Thanks for the fabric giveaway. We have so many new babies in our family that I am falling behind on making cute quilts. This would be great incentive.

  45. My favorite DIY home project using fabric is making coasters. Fabric is pre-stiffened, then “decoupaged” onto canvas. The method is from “Floorquilts!: Fabric Decoupaged Floorcloths-No-Sew Fun” by Ellen Highsmith Silver. (I also used this method to make easy-to-spot luggage tags!
    Joanna Price

  46. I just finished quilting 2 yards of fabric from clearance materials to use in making a tote for my quilt mats, rulers and assorted other quilting supplies. I don’t like to spend $14-$20 a yard for fabrics.

  47. Congratulations on your fun project. One of the biggest DIY projects that my husband and I took on – several years ago was to cover my ugly concrete laundry room floor with a patchwork of bright fabrics. We first painted the floor white and then glued down the fabric pieces, then we covered with urethane. It has been a fun floor. It was a once in a lifetime project, but I did learn that I should have tested the fabrics first to make sure that they didn’t show through when the urethan was applied. (like wet)

  48. I like doing all types of DIY projects for around the house. Some of it has to do with sewing, others are gardening and making things for that, then woodworking and painting projects. I love to do it all. Thanks for the giveaway.

  49. My favorite DIY project is to buy painter’s canvas and cut it up and sew them into sections and paint them to match my decor. I add a few layers of poly varnish and they are a snap to wash when they get dirty!

  50. I love to knit and crochet with cotton yarn, so I make a lot of washcloths, in all shapes and sizes, that I use in the shower with my body wash.
    BTW, if you go to a tobacco shop, you can usually get some really cool wooden cigar boxes that can be covered with fabric or some look fabulous all by themselves. And they are either free, or just a few bucks.

  51. I don’t know if this counts as a DIY home project but I made a coat out of a Goodwill red flannel sheet and some leftover fake sheep’s wool for my new rescue puppy this past winter. She was thin and got the shakes when I took her for a walk in the cold so I made a paper pattern to fit her and then made the coat. Had to tweak it a couple of times to fit properly but it all worked out in the end. I used Velcro on the neck closure and the strap that went around her belly. She looked like Santa’s helper dog but at least she no longer shook when I took her out. (PS: Love your tins. I have some of these tins so I will have to think about doing this also.)

  52. I’m a serious tea-drinker too and can’t bear to get rid of the tins because they’re so solid and well-made. My problem has been that, while some are beautiful and almost works of art, some of them aren’t much to write home about. This is a terrific idea and I see in my future (in addition to kitchen canisters) desktop containers and front hall catch-alls. Thanks for the idea.

    My DIY project of the moment is taking left-over ceramic tiles and re-purposing them. I will be working with some local kids to add either heavy felt or corkboard to the back to make hot-pot pads for the table for Mother’s Day gifts. I will also be using some larger ones that have textured surfaces and putting lines of silicone on the back to make a counter-protector to put beside the stove for hot things when they come off the stove or out of the oven. Several folks who have just moved or are moving into a new home will be getting them as housewarming gifts. And this time I’ve promised me I’ll make one to keep!

    I’m amazed by some of the ideas in the comments here – now I have projects to keep me busy for a while!!

  53. I am absolutely infatuated with making scrap fabric rugs! you can use anything, kids old sheets, old t-shirts, even yarn! it has really given me an outlet to recycle all the previously unusable stuff that’s too sentimental to throw away. I love this idea for the tins, I can see these as being perfect for my three kids to stash all their little parts and trinkets they find.

  54. My current projects are buying old linens from goodwill and doing hand embroidery with crochet edgings to decorate my home. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  55. I love to refinish woodwork and old furniture. Our house is 70+ years old and most of the windows and trim have not been painted. Over the years between college, motherhood, graduate school, and a full time job (now retirement) I have refinished most of the house. It looks stunning with our hard wood floors. Now, I can sew new curtains with hand embroidery, quilt throws, and pillows for the finishing touches. Thanks for the give away. psb

  56. Darling tins, love them! Thanks for the chance at the fun Riley Blake fabric! My favorite fun re-purposing use of fabric is to cut up old clothing, and mix with new fabric to create mini albums, great as coffee table books. They make unique and fun gifts too!

  57. “Favorite” DIY project is usually the one I’m working on! However, one that worked: speaking of tea, I have saved iced tea mix containers with their lids to store the amazing amount of buttons that seem to have collected at my house. Covering or painting container lids helps to distinguish colors, shapes and/or sizes of the multitude for easy finding when needed for embellishment.

  58. “Favorite” DIY project is usually the one I’m working on! However, one that worked: speaking of tea, I have saved iced tea mix containers with their lids to store the amazing amount of buttons that seem to have collected at my house. Covering or painting container lids helps to distinguish colors, shapes and/or sizes of the multitude for easy finding when needed for embellishment.

  59. Last year when my husband turned sixty I used my scraps from quilting to make bunting. (is this the right english word for a series of little flags on a cord, to be strung from wall to wall?)
    Also use material to cover jam bottle tops. Looks much nicer on your breakfast table. It is just fun to work with fabric, making quilts and thinking up other projects.

  60. love the tins – I try to find a purpose for everything, especially tins. You can stack them, cover them in fabric or yarn. The tins with handles make wonderful little project kits to take to a class.

  61. Made a floor cloth for the back door using cotton duck. Base painted the cotton duck with left over interior paint, then stenciled the same design used on the walls of my kitchen onto the floor cloth with acrylic craft paint. I also made a table runner to match. When they get dirty, you just wipe with a damp cloth.

  62. Several years ago I began making drawstring bags from vintage holiday tablecloths & tea towels as reusable Christmas gift bags. Old ribbon, ripped fabric strips or vintage trim make great drawstrings. I’ve now expanded to using stash fabric, old flannel shirts & my grandma’s silk scarves for birthdays & other occasions. It makes for easy wrapping & a memorable gift. When the receiver gets to recycle the bag for another gift, the spirit continues.

    Have you ever tried to cover a mints tin (altoids, etc) with fabric?

  63. I’m making a wood cornice covered in fabric for my bedroom window and I’m hoping to add some coordinating curtains for a window that’s on a door in the same room.

    thanks for the chance!

  64. aside from making quilts, I like to make potholders for each season. It keeps my kitchen cheerful, and doesnt take much fabric. sometimes I use a spare or practice block.

  65. I also love to recycle tins as well as just about all other packaging. I cover them with both fabric and papers. It’s not only a thrifty way to decorate, it’s also good for our planet and it’s fun!

  66. I love the cool fabric….blues and turquise, my fav colors! One of my favorite Diy projects is easy and fun. I use plain 2-ply paper towels. peel em apart. Using some paint (watercolor or acrylic) get creative and paint them how you want. You can add some glitter or metallic to the paper or in the paint mixture. It will sink in the paint mixture so mix it before applying. When dry you can use a mixture of regular glue and water and paste them together. They can be as thin or thick as you want. I use them in collage. You can stitch them, paint them more….make a wall hanging. I have so much fun when I make a day of it and people love them.

  67. Organization always seems to escape me. I’ll organize in a whirlwind, only to not keep up with it! To try to help stay organized, I like taking fabric scraps and making fabric baskets. I recently made baskets to organize my scraps – blue basket for blues, batik basket for batiks, etc. Not only do these baskets help me organize my scraps, they make it easy to identify the color and they look sooooo pretty on the shelf.

  68. I have an ugly, ugly bedroom door. For ages I have “spray starched” my door with fabric and starch. Cover the door with the starch, then lay the fabric on it. When you get bored with it, just peal it off. Then clean the door with a little soapy water and start all over.

  69. I don’t drink nearly as much tea as my mom, so she saves her empty tins for me. I like to reuse them for all the herbs and spices I use as well as the tea blends I create. So I recover the tins with scrapbook paper then print labels for them.

  70. I love to make fabric gift bags from left over fabrics..either pieced or not. Two rectangles any size sewn around 3 sides, hemmed at the top and gathered up with ribbon. Sew easy.

  71. Had so many hard sided and immensely huge glasses cases that I used all kinds of quilted fabric leftover pieces to make cases for my hubby and myself–each appropriately themed (golf, sewing, reading, computer etc) sure saved space in pockets and purses and offers lots of protection as well