Miss P was breastfed until she was 7 months old only. What that means is that in those months between when I weaned her and when she was allowed to drink cows’ milk (about 12 months old), we went through a LOT of tins of baby formula. If you’re using formula, you’ll know what I mean. I couldn’t bear to throw them all away; ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle’ is our household’s motto. I was sure I could find a way to re-use them so I kept some and I now found a couple of ways to make them look nicer and use them as storage boxes. Here’s the first one:

Upcycled Tins 1 - bis

What you need:

    • A fat quarter of fabric
    • Small piece of fusible fleece*

Upcycled Tins 4

Start with drawing and cutting out a circle 15cm / 6” in diameter (7.5cm / 3” in radius) from a piece of paper (you can also use pattern tracing paper if you wish). Using this template, cut 1 of your fabric, and 1 of the fusible fleece. Fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the fabric circle.

Cut your main piece of fabric: 42.5 x 23cm (16” x 9”). The short edge (23cm / 9”) will be along the grainline.

Upcycled Tins 5

Take your main piece of fabric and overlock the top long edge.

Fold the fabric down close to the overlock stitches and sew in place all around.

If you don’t have an overlocker, fold the fabric down 5mm (¼”) towards the wrong side and press. Fold it down another 5mm (¼”) and press again. Stitch in place.

Sew the short edges together using a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance. You obtain a tube. Open the seam and press it flat.

On both the circle base and the bottom of the tube, mark the halfway and quarter points with pins or a fabric pen. To do this, simply fold the pieces in half to get the halfway points. Mark with a fabric pen or a pin. Fold it in half again to get the quarter points and repeat the same process. It might make it easier if you also mark the 1/8 points.

Pin the tube to the circle, matching the marks you’ve just made. You might find it easier if you place the pins on the tube, so that it will be on top when you’re sewing and the circle base on the bottom. Place a few more pins all around, smoothing the fabric as you go. You might have to pull on the fabric a little to match them up. Don’t worry too much if it bunches up a bit at the edges, this is due to the fact that you’re pinning a straight edge to a curved edge.

Stitch in place with 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance. Cut small notches all around the seam, being careful not to cut the stitching.

And you’re done. Now all you have to do is place the formula tin inside and fold the extra fabric to the inside.

Upcycled Tins 3

* The use of the fusible fleece is optional. You can do without it, but using the fleece will protect and cushion the bottom of the tin so it won’t scrape on hard surfaces.