asking for trouble

Can you ever have too many tin boxes?

Collection of tins

A question discussed by myself and Claire from Miso Funky the other week. The answer, clearly, is NO. You can pick up amazing patterned tins and boxes for literally nothing these days and they have a multitude of uses, keeping your bits and pieces hidden away from view. These are my favourite four which are currently in use around my room.

This tin I bought in a charity shop in Aberdeen, back when I was art art school and I love it so much. It was a tea tin originally but I think it has only ever had one use since I bought it – to hold my badge collection. I love badges and keep pretty much every one I come across. Most of them are for bands and record labels plus lots I have bought at craft fairs or been given with various purchases. There’s even a pack of envelope security pattern badges by Mark Pawson shoved down the side. I used to have about twice as many but I donated some to Miso Funky for their awesome 80s ranges.

This little tin was purchased at The Barras market in Glasgow last year for the princely sum of £1. No idea what it’s original use was, or where it was made but it’s very lovely. I use it to store all the buttons that are the right size for brooches and purses to save me rummaging around in my entire button collection.

This beauty was a Christmas present from Jo Miso Funky and is a delight, covered with pretty flowers and Japanese ladies. Sadly it did not come with any biscuits inside but instead with other Christmas joys. It’s a very big tin so these days it holds all the rest of my buttons, in varying sizes. Actually, not ALL my buttons – I also have a wooden button box, a jar of tiny buttons and a tub of sparkly buttons.

Albert Heijn tin

Finally, this pretty Dutch tin that I must have been given by my mother at some point. Also a biscuit tin originally, it did continue with that task for a while but has now made its way to my bedroom where I’m sad to say it now holds a ridiculous amount of 1p and 2p coins that I am too lazy to change into ‘real’ money.

I just did a quick search for vintage tin box on Etsy and oh my. I came perilously close to buying this beauty but international postage makes it a little too expensive for an impulse buy. Tread carefully!


Hello! I’m Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I create illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. This is my business and personal blog where I write about my creative doings, inspirations, travels, Japan trips and daily life. Read more »

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