Thursday, 10 February 2011


Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris

One of the nice things about doing lots of sewing (other than the sewing and the creations themselves) is that I can indulge my passion for interesting tins in a vague attempt to organise buttons, bindings, and bits and bobs.  

These two Coronation tins contain buttons and pins.  I was given the one on the right by a colleague many years back, from the attic of a house she had just inherited.  I always think of her whenever I see it, even though we have sadly lost contact.

The Cadbury's tin on the left is from the days of Queen Mary.  On the back it tells you that the painting is a portrait of Miss Mary Moulton Barrett, called 'Pinkie' and that it was painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence and sold for £160 in 1795 , and later for £77,700 in 1926!  I wonder what it would be worth now - so pretty!
The tin on the right is a modern Spanish one, but I love the painting, so it houses a portable selection of embroidery threads and felt for creating cottages on the go.

These are the tins that normally sit on my old roll-top desk., giving storage for memory sticks, ink cartridges and paper clips.  I love the pixie-like, balloon-carrying children on the big tin. 

This one was an ebay bargain - I think I paid 99p for it!  It still had many of the contents inside, so I got an extra pair of tins.  I love the lettering!  I have scanned and printed the big tin onto linen and created little First Aid rolls from it.

The perfect place for plasters, paracetamol and wipes!

Another modern Spanish tin.  Beautiful design, lettering and colours!

A sweet French tin with a Parisian view - used to contain mints, but now it houses more pins.  Likewise the Dorcas tin.  I had to buy this when I saw it on ebay - my Mum has one just the same which I used to use when I was a child and first learning to sew.  

This is another pretty French tin, though my photo doesn't do it justice  It is for bobbins of thread and has two tiny holes in the lid so you can pull off some thread without any tangling. 

 Friday - Bingo!  Found a better photo!

 I wonder how long before these tins from Tesco acquire that essential patina of age?

P.S.  If you've been here before, do you like the new look?


  1. A lovely, fresh new look! Love the tins - what a great collection! And I LOVE what you made using the First Aid tin - so cute!, what a good idea.

  2. You can't beat the old tins, I remember when Germoline came in a round tin! You're right, I wonder if the tins of today will have the same appeal in the future!

  3. I'm loving the new look, it's fab! Vintage tins are just gorgeous. I have the same tins from tesco! Em xxx

  4. I love how you have scanned & printed the tin design ( do you use TAP paper ? My printer isn't very good & I haven't had much success )
    The first yellow tin reminded me that my dad used to get cigrettes in tins & mum used them to keep pins etc in her sewing basket. I've just been looking for beads & bits in some tins I've had sine I was 18 and I have my mum's buttons in the old Quality Street tin.

  5. The method I use for printing on fabric was come by through a rather long and tortuous process where my heart was in my mouth most of the time in case the printer decided not to cooperate with my plans and chewed up the fabric, thereby turning my name to mud! So this is how I do it, but I accept no responsibility! First I treat my fabric with Jet Set 2000 so the colours will be fast. Then, after ironing the fabric to within an inch of its life, I attach it to an A4 sticky label which I then put through the printer, fabric side up. You can also buy some pre-prepared cotton or silk which relieves you of all the Jet Set faff, but I do love the texture of the linen!

  6. WOW ! if you know of any courses etc to go on I'm interested... I'm in Hampshire too. I love how you do it. I'm desperate to print on fabric !!

  7. Alix, you have such beautiful things, you lovely lady!
    Fabby tins!!
    Oh and love the new look!