DIY my rubbish, sewing tin with DIY pin cushion

I love rummaging in the rubbish to see what I can use for crafting. You can find lots of different materials in the bin that is perfect for use in crafty projects. In this post, I share how I used an old metal tea bag tin and turned it into a sewing tin with a pincushion. 

Over on my YouTube channel, I have a DIY my rubbish playlist if you want more recycled craft ideas. 

You can click here to go straight to it. 

In Ireland, most households will have that metal biscuit tin knocking around in the house. However, when you excitedly open it expecting a biscuit, you will find a sewing tin full of bits and bobs. 

I wanted to play on that idea and make a sewing tin but make it pretty! 

DIY my rubbish. DIY sewing tin.

What you need to make your recycled pincushion sewing tin

Have a rummage and see what metal tin you have in the home. A smaller one like the one I am using is perfect as it has enough space for a pin cushion on the lid. 

  • A metal tin 
  • Paint ( chalk paint will adhere to metal) 
  • Paintbrush or sponge
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Sponge
  • Scrap piece of fabric
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors

I added a vinyl sign to my sewing tin using my Cricut. However, you can use a sharpie instead or print off a sticker. Have fun taking the idea, but make it your own. 

Upcycled tea tin.

How to paint the metal tin?

I am not a fan of chalk paint for larger projects. However, it adheres to surfaces like metal, and it’s perfect for smaller craft projects like this. 

Apply two coats of chalk paint to the tin. A sponge/roller will give a smooth finish. I wanted a vintage feel to mine, so I used a brush to add texture. 

A tester pot of paint is perfect for this project. 

Before applying any stickers or vinyl decals to the tin, seal the paint with a coat of clear wax or clear water-based varnish. If the chalk paint is left unsealed, the sticker or vinyl may lift the chalk paint and prevent it from sticking. 

DIY pin cushion.

How to make the pincushion on the lid

To make the pincushion, trace the shape of the lid onto a piece of cardboard and cut it out. 

Cut your sponge the same size as the cardboard and use your glue gun to stick it to the piece of cardboard. 

When cutting a piece of fabric, cut it an inch longer and wider than the sponge to allow for extra material, to glue to the back of the cardboard. Iron your fabric to remove wrinkles before applying the material to the sponge.

Lay your piece of fabric face down on your work table, place the sponge on top of the material. 

Pull the fabric tight on all four sides and glue the material to the back of the cardboard. ( This is kind of like mini upholstery ) Smooth out any wrinkles.

Glue the fabric covered sponge to the top of the lid. Do not worry if you have any wonky edges, as I did. I used some trim to hide them. You can use ribbon if you do not have any trimmings. 

DIY my rubbish, upcycled metal tin.
DIY pin cushion on recycled tea tin.

Want more recycled tin ideas?

Here is an older post from the blog archives, where I used some tins and turned them into succulent planters. Check it out here! 

DIY my rubbish.

Check out the video at the top of this post to see the DIY sewing tin in action. Also, subscribe to my YouTube channel for my weekly uploads. I upload every Thursday at 7 pm. 

Thanks for reading! Catherine. 


1 Comment

  1. Alice
    April 12, 2022 / 9:54 pm

    Thank you Dainty, I didn’t know when I signed up for your YouTube channel that I would get these nice e-mails. I love your house and all of your projects. You are like my much younger alter ego regarding color and style. I look forward to your next installment. AND, I shall make a sewing tin from my own tea tin.

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