If you have children you’ll know that it can often be a struggle to come up with ideas for affordable and environmentally friendly ideas for party bags. We know you could skip them entirely, but they are fun and young children in particular have learned to expect them. One of our bloggers Clare, who blogs at Maybush Studio tries every year to incorporate a bit of upcycling into her son’s party bags and this year she decided to try party tins rather than bags.

Clare says “My sister drinks a lot of Expresso and at Christmas I saw one of these tins sitting in her recycling so I asked her if she could start saving them for me to use for my son’s birthday.”

It was another 8 months before Clare’s son turned six, but fortunately her sister had done just what she asked and a few weeks before the party she presented her with a large carrier bag full of empty tins.

Clare says that although she had the tins in good time, holidays and other commitments meant she left spraying them till the last minute. “I was a bit worried because I only had an hour or so the day before the party to spray them, but I had forgotten how quickly the chalk paint transforms them. It literally took seconds to do each can. Then I left them to dry in the sun and applied a second coat.”

To prepare them all Clare did was stuff each tin with newspaper to keep the inside it’s natural silver metal colour.


Finally Clare added a small piece of stick chalkboard vinyl to each tin as a label on which the child could write their name in chalkpen. You can actually buy chalkboard stickers ready cut in packs, but they are expensive. In this case Clare was able to use an off cut of a piece of chalkboard vinyl sticker she had left over from another project.

The next day Clare divided up some multipacks of stickers she had bought and put two small sheets in each child’s tin. At the party everyone got a tin with the stickers and was asked to decorate it.



When the kids had finished their art work, Clare popped a small paper bag of sweets and a satsuma inside each one. “The feedback was really good, everyone enjoyed the activity and having something they had made” to take home at the end of the party. I used a really small amount of paint for the tins, really just a small fraction of cans I already had open from earlier  projects so it was incredibly cheap to do.”