The Impatient Crafter™ Free Holiday Craft Project Bindi Tin Ornaments

(Click on images to see close up!)

I have had a stack of boxes of empty metal bindi tins sitting on a shelf in my studio for several years. I’d not yet devised a project for them, until this weekend when it occurred to me how much I love dioramas and those little sugar eggs you get at Easter and oh heck anything miniature and three dimensional for that matter. So after some trial, error, thinking and rethinking, I came up with these fun and easy to recreate ornaments you can make with virtually any tiny tins you have in your stash. I collect vintage paper and I’m always devising new ways to use it in my work. Be careful because I’m seriously warning you that these are addictive. I’ve only begun to make them! Now I’m scouring the thrift shops for miniature items to make tiny holiday scenes in them! (You can also use old Altoid or Fisherman’s friend tins to make larger dioramas.)

This is a totally kid friendly concept with parental assistance, in fact my daughter Avalon made the lovely Lotteria rose tin!
The Impatient Crafter™

Bindi Tin Recrafted Diorama Ornaments
Kid Tested-Mom Approved
Free Holiday Craft Project
Copyright 2008 Margot Potter

For Personal Use Only!
Metal Bindi Tins or other tiny tins with removable lids
Background papers (you can use scrapbook paper, handmade paper, ephemera or recycled magazine paper...I used scanned and sized vintage images, an image from a day book with Mexican posters in it, a small Lotteria card, an old handwritten letter and textured paper from India)
Scrapbook or card making stock (need a thicker paper for stand up letters)
Vintage playing cards (if you want to do something like the bear which is from a vintage children’s card game.)
Rubber Stampede Letter Stamps
Ranger Archival ink jet black
Stickles in coordinating colorsBeacon 3 in 1 Advanced craft glue
16 gauge Colourcraft wire
Fuzzy cord/tinsel ribbon (also try the big box chains!)
Two-hole metal punch (If you don't have this tool yet, you need it. Trust me!)Round nose pliers
Wire cutters


1. Trace bottom of tin on selected background paper.

2. Cut out paper slightly smaller than outline so it fits inside of tin.

3. Glue paper into tin and let dry.

4. If you’re using a flat image, decorate it with Stickles in coordinating colors. (I edged the images with a coordinating Stickles color and on one I added glitter all along the inside edge, which turned out really nicely when it dried.)

5. If you want to add text, stamp letters on a thicker card stock or scrapbook paper using archival ink. Each letter paper should be about ½” tall.

6. Trace bottom of tin along letters where they will be placed inside of tin. (The letters should have a slightly curved bottom.) Cut them out.

7. Cut out small strips of paper to make stands.

8. Glue paper to back of letters allowing some paper (about ¼”) to be bent on bottom. This will create your stand.

9. Glue letters to inside bottom of tin and allow to dry. Trim tops of letters if there is overlap.

10. If you are creating a stand up image, create your background and decorate it and allow to dry.

11. Decorate the stand up image and allow to dry.

12. Make a stand as before big enough to support your image.

13. Glue into tin.

14. Measure and mark even side hole placement for handles.

15. Use two-hole punch to create holes for handles.

16. Thread about a 3-4” length of Colourcraft wire into tin and use round nose pliers to bend into a small loop. Bend wire gently over your fingers to round and insert into hole on other side. Cut off any excess wire and loop with round nose pliers to secure.

17. Wrap wire handle with fuzzy tinsel ribbon. Cut off excess and tuck in ends.

You can hang them with the clear glass lids on or off. I like them off so that you can really see the detail. When storing the dioramas use the lids so they stay lovely for years to come!




Dave Robertson said...

We've got to try this at home. Good idea for re-using tins! My kids & the environment thank you.

at Rings & Things

Anonymous said...

I love this project.
too cute.a perfect pretty thing to give.
found your site from following some links,from one pretty thing. I think.
How I got there I don't know.

What size of these great tins did you use?
I'm thinking I'd like to make some with my nieces picture in them for their tree.


Margot Potter said...


YAY! My daughter loved this project, and it's always cool to upcycle.


Margot Potter said...


Oh thank you! I used the 2" tins.


photorebl said...

Recently stumbled upon your blog, and I'm loving it! I especially love your tin ornaments since two of them have my name on them... I vote for more projects that declare Joy!

Margot Potter said...


Oh what a lovely name! Somehow, no other word seems to fit this particular holiday season!


Anonymous said...

These are really cute. They would be great for little girls too. Thank you for all of your great projects.

Anonymous said...

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