Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Straighten-Up" - Tin Tower Organizers

Tin Tower Organizers
by Wendy Switzer
Level: Intermediate
Time to Complete: 4-6 hours

Teen make-up & hair accessory organizer
Square & Circle tins used, two lid bottom, rod top extension with doc clip, paint splatter & vinyl accents


  • Cookie Tins
  • Spray Paint - Primer and color desired
  • Threaded Rod 3/8"- 1/2"
  • Washers & nuts - to fit onto threaded rod
  • Drill & drill bit - size of the threaded rod
  • Flat drill bit - size needs to be the width of the washer
  • Newspaper, marker and pencil
  • Scissors
  • Wood scrap...plywood, pine, etc.
  • Jigsaw
  • E6000


  1. Wash tins and dry completely.
  2. Decide how many tins and lids will be used for your project
  3. Paint tins, lids, washers and bolts with primer and set aside to dry completely. 
  4. Next paint with desired color and allow to try for 1-2 hours (depending on the temperature)
  5. Trace the bottom of each tin onto the newspaper and cut out the circle 1/4" INSIDE of the line.  Fold the paper circle in half and then in half again.  Snip off a small piece of the tip of the "pie" piece of folded paper you have created. 
  6. Place paper circle inside the tin and use a pencil or marker to make a mark onto the tin center using the hole in the center of the paper circle. 
  7. Do steps 5 & 6 for each tin and lid that you will use.
  8. Cut a piece of wood to fit inside the largest lid.  Drill a hole into the wood that goes only HALF way through the thickness of the wood.  The hole needs to be as wide as the washer.  The washer and nut will be recessed into the wood and when the nut is tightened (step 12), it will be flush with the wood so that the base sits level.  This will give your tin tower good stability.   You can also use E6000 to glue the wood into the lid permanently.  I also like to use a bit of E6000 on each nut to make sure it is "locked" into place. 
  9. Drill a hole into the center of each tin piece using the center mark as your guide. You may want to punch a hole in the center of the tin with a nail, first, to give the drill bit something to grab onto and keep your hole centered. 
  10. BOTTOM/BASE ideas:  You can do many things to create your base/bottom.  You will notice that I did not do any of the bottoms the same.  You can use multiple lids to create additional organizing space  as your base.  Turn lids upside down on top of each other, layer lids, etc.  Be creative and design something that will work best for your individual needs.
  11. To begin assembling your tin tower, twist a nut onto the threaded rod and twist it up about 6". Next place a washer onto the threaded rod and then your tin.  The largest (bottom) tin should be placed onto the rod so that the nut and washer are on the INSIDE of the tin.  
  12. Place another washer and then twist on another nut.  Using your wrenches (one wrench on each nut...inside the tin and bottom of the tin) tighten as much as possible.  
  13. Next place the next items in this order...nut, washer, largest tin lid (upside down), wood piece, washer and nut.  
  14. Now with your base complete, you are ready to stand it up and begin assembling the rest of your organizational tin tower.
  15. Assemble the rest of your tower in this order...nut, washer, tin, washer & nut.  This order of items can be used as many times as needed to create the tower height desired.
  16. FINISHING the top:  You can finish off your tower in many ways....1.  You can have a small tin for the top.  2.  You can have a lid as the top.  3.  You can finish off your tower by having the rod extend above your top tin (photo 1A) and glue a large document clip onto the top of the rod.  Let dry over night and this will give you a place to display recipes, photos, reminders, etc.  
  17. Finish off with stickers, vinyl lettering/shapes/names, tin contents, embellishments, etc.

BLACK: Three tin craft room tower. Two lid bottom and top extending rod with document clip
BROWN:  Three tin planter tower, textured paint to resemble sandstone, one lid for the base

Two tin organizing tower:  Offset, two lid base, embellished with vinyl filigrees

4 tin craft tower:  Two lid base

Produce/Table top tower: Used "flecking" glitter spray paint, placed the bottom tin on an upside down lid as the base.  Used a small lid as the very top.

Check out to watch the tv demo segment :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reunion Ideas for all ages!

Reunion FUN!

Here are some great ideas for pulling off a stress free family reunion.  Getting everyone involved with simple activities will provide hours of entertainment for all.  It also provides "busy time" for younger people so those who wish to socialize can do so without much interruption.

Easiest way to Tye Dye tshirts
Tye dying tshirts is a great reunion past time, but can be a daunting and messy task.  Here is a simple and mess free way to achieve similar results.


  • t shirts
  • Rit dye (multiple colors)
  • small spray bottles (your local Dollar stores carry the perfect size)
  • table covering/newspaper
  • paper stencils (optional) covered with clear acrylic spray
  • rubber bands

  1. Cover table with plastic, newspaper or paper table covering.
  2. Scrunch t shirt together
  3. Spray with dye
  4. You can repeat steps 2 & 3 as many times as necessary or to achieve the look desired using multiple colors.
  5. You can also use pattern stencils made from paper (spray with clear acrylic spray to make them durable for multiple uses)
  6. You can also take sections of the t shirt and tie with a rubber bands.  Spray with the dye until the section is saturated.  Remove rubber band and you have a unique look and design. 

This is a fun activity that has been around for generations.  So many fun and unique new ways to keep you busy for hours.  Absolutely THE best patterns for Boondoggle is  Amazing patterns EASY instructions and so simple that kids can follow along!


  • Rexlace or plastic lacing
  • Design instructions from website mentioned above
  • key chains, safety pins, etc. (things to hook to your boondoggle)
  1. Follow instructions and create unique and fun boondoggle crafts.

Friendship Bracelets

These are a fun and easy activity for ALL ages.  A great activity to pass the time, have something to do while just sitting around, etc.  Best patterns are available at or

  • Embroidery Floss - multiple colors
  • Safety pin 
  1. Select pattern and number of colors of embroidery floss desired/needed to create your bracelet.
  2. Secure floss to safety pin and follow pattern

Ancestor Sharing
Doing some research of ancestors can be, not only fun, but extremely educational for everyone involved.  Bring photographs, journals, family stories, etc. to display and share.  Learning about your family history can be a great way to connect with everyone attending the reunion, regardless of age.

Great sites for family history:   OR

Personalized Table Cloth

Make an easy camping table cloth with sentimental value and a personalized touch.

  • twin sheet
  • fabric crayons, markers or pens
  • iron to set designs
  • sewing machine or serger
  1. Remove all the folded edges off of the sheet and serge or finish the edges.
  2. Have everyone create their own unique art work on the cloth.
  3. Add their initials or names next to their art work.  You can also add the age and date at well.
  4. Set with an iron. Ready to use!