How to upcycle a tin can into a pin display and bookmark or pencil holder

Posted by Cecilia Katan on

Welcome to tips'n'tricks from Pinz'n'Thingz !

In this blog post, I'll show you how to upcycle a tin can into a pin displayer that doubles as a pencil holder or bookmark holder!

Here's a video of the tutorial! You can also continue below for a written version to follow along with.

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

A clean, empty tin can;

Cork roll;

Ribbon;

Scissors;

A pencil;

A flexible measuring tape;

And hot glue.


Start by measuring the height of the tin can, then around the outside.

Next, draw out those dimensions on your cork roll. You might want to switch to a solid ruler for this, which will be much easier than fighting against the roll like I’ve done here.


Then, cut out the piece of cork. You’ll want to check that it fits straight around the tin can, and trim if needed.



While the glue gun warms up, cut a piece of ribbon about 6cm longer than the height of the can.

Glue one end of the ribbon face-down to the top of the can, at the seam.

Then, glue down the piece of cork, aligning the edges with the seam of the can.

Now, measure around the outside of the can again.

This will be the length of the second piece of cork. For the height, subtract 5mm from the original height. This will create a layered effect on the finished item. If you prefer a straight top, feel free to keep the original height measurement.



Now, glue the second piece of cork the same way as the first, making sure to align it with the bottom of the can.

Next, repeat the previous step to cut out a third layer of cork, making sure to measure around the outside of the can again, and to subtract 5mm from the height.

You may be able to stop at three layers, depending on the thickness of your cork roll or the average length of your pin backs. Just test it by inserting whichever pin you have with the longest prong. If it leaves a gap, repeat the previous step to add one more layer of cork.



Now remember that random bit of ribbon? Well, it’s not so random! Now you can glue it down to hide the seam where the layers of cork meet.

And finally, insert your favourite pins!

I hope you found this tutorial useful! Thank you for taking the time to read it. You can leave any questions or comments below.

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