Stamped Tea Tin

Stamped Tin Project

So often we use stamps to create greeting cards, but they can also be used to create one of a kind decorative items for around the house. Today, I created a stamped tea tin.

I’ve fallen in love with the loose leaf teas from Teavana. Yes, they are pricey, but so good! In the store, there is a wall of huge tea tins, each full of a different flavor of loose leaf tea. The person at the counter opens a tin for you and waves the lid in your direction so you can smell the tea. When you pick what you want, they weigh it and put it in little paper bags to take home.

Tea Tins to Re-UseTeavana also sells tea tins to store the loose tea, but the tins can cost anywhere from $6 to $13. I eye them every time I go into the store but I can’t bring myself to spend that much for an empty tin. So like any good stamper would, I decided to create my own. You can buy empty tins from craft stores that you can use, but I also buy tea bags in tins sometimes so I decided to use these rather than put them in the recycle bin only to have to go out and buy an empty tin new.

The tin I’m working with today (the one on the right) is a gold color with a paper label firmly wrapped around it. There are two raised stylized tea leaves and the words “Infused With Health and Happiness” on the lid that fits my finished project, so I don’t need to cover the lid. My mission is to remove the original paper layer that wraps the tin body and then replace it with a fresh stamped label.

Cleaning Tea TinLike a lot of product tins, the adhesive holding the label is very strong. I soaked the tin in a bowl of hot water for half an hour to loosen it up a bit and then used a kitchen spatula to scrape off the label. Because this tin is painted gold, I needed to scrape off the label carefully to avoid scraping off the gold color (although most of the gold will be covered by the label so it isn’t the end of the world if a few silver streaks are revealed.) I also needed to not be too aggressive in how I held the tin to avoid distorting the shape while I scraped.

After I got the paper off, I wiped off the adhesive left behind with some Goo-Gone. Be sure to wash your tin well with soap and water at this point. When completed, I’ll be able to wipe off my tin but probably won’t be able to wash it the sink or dishwasher, so now is the time to get off any stray label remover or cleaner.

At this point, there are a couple of ways you could go to decorate a tin. You might use an ink like StazOn to stamp and/or color it. Or you could use Ranger Vintaj Patinas to color the metal (which can really be a beautiful look. If you are interested in working directly on metal, you might be interested in the “Metal & Faux Metal Stamping Techniques” eArticle.) But for this project, I wasn’t looking for a shiny metallic finish; I wanted a softer matte appearance to go with the softer tea look, so I instead wanted to stamp a label to attach to the tin.

Using a label sheet lets me stamp flat and then easily stick my creation around the tin cylinder. Because it already has adhesive, it saves me a step too. I didn’t really want the bright white background of the label, so I needed to create a colorful background for my stamping. My kitchen is yellow and dining room is green, so I went with yellow and green.

Measuring Tea TinI used a ruler to measure the height of the label area (just slightly less than 5″.) I could have used a tape measure to figure the label length, but instead, I simply cut a piece of scrap paper to 5″ high and wrapped it around the tin. Allowing for a little bit of overlap, I figured my length as 9″. So I cut an 8 1/2″ x 11″ label (from an office supply store) to size.


Watercolor with Paper TowelI used Da Vinci tube watercolor paints to color the background. First I squeezed just a bit of green and yellow watercolor paint onto a plastic lid. Then I sprayed on just a very little bit of water to dilute the color just a little. Then I used a paper towel to dab first yellow and then green on the label. A paper towel is an unconventional applicator for watercolor but I was looking for a light textured look; this way I got a bit of the paper towel weave pattern onto my background.

Sponging Ink Over WatercolorAfter letting the watercolor background dry, I decided that I wanted to build up more color so I sponged on some Pale Ocher and Emerald Green Ranger Archival inks.

Stamping Over Watercolor & InkI stamped my images (both courtesy of Annette at About Art Accents ) onto the dry background using Jet Black Ranger Archival ink.

Coloring Stamped Image


I then colored the flowers using a Ranger Inkssential white gel pen and added some hatching lines in the background areas of the image using a blue Zig Memory pigment ink pen. The background wasn’t blue enough for me, so I colored some blue over it with a blue Copic alcohol ink marker.


Sealing Tea Tin

While I don’t expect my tea tin to get really wet, being in the kitchen, it is possible that it could be picked up with wet hands or splashed with water, so I needed to protect the stamped and colored label. Before attaching it to the tin, I sprayed it with Krylon Crystal Clear sealant. Once thoroughly dry, I put my label onto the tin and I filled it with loose tea. I still have some tea bags in the other tin, so once I’ve finished them, I’ll create another stamped tea tin with that one.

How about you? Have you covered items with your own stamped layers to use around the house? What kinds of things have you covered in this way? Would you like to see an eArticle on this topic – embellishing objects around the house with a stamped layer?

Have fun! ~Nancie

tea tin alternate labelPS: Here is the same About Art Accents stamp colored a different way. This one is stamped in black and colored in with alcohol inks. This treatment gives it a completely different look.


8 thoughts on “Stamped Tea Tin

  1. This is gorgeous and would make a nice gift for a tea lover. I didn’t see anyplace to sigh up to be a follower. Do you have that feature on your blog?

    1. Hi Kathy, Thanks! Yes, if you look over in the right column, you can either use the RSS Links option to add this blog to an RSS feed or you can use the “Subscribe to Blog Via Email” option by entering your email address in the box there and clicking on the Subscribe button. ~Nancie

  2. Wonderful idea could use a lot of spin offs for storage containers. I have large nut containers I saved and they would work well this way also.

    1. Hi Emilie, Yes, I think you are right. My family goes through an unbelievable number of trail mix containers (the big trail mix plastic jars that Target sells) and I always hate having to recycle them. I’ve used two of them to hold my kitchen utensils (spoons, spatulas, etc) on the kitchen counter but I must admit that I haven’t replaced the labels with something stamped yet. I think I definitely will. It’s such an easy project because you can do the stamping on a flat surface and then stick it on! ~Nancie

  3. Your blog is looking good, Nancie; happy to see you venture into blogland and will be following you. Always loved my Vampstampnews mag. The stamped tea tin is gorgeous; must try this, too.

    1. Hi Linda, Thanks! I’m so glad you like it (the blog and the tin! : ) I’m enjoying the blogging. I’ve always tended to spend most of my stamping time experimenting with techniques so that I have piles of technique bits, odd stamped images and half-finished cards. The blog is encouraging me to actually turn my bits into more finished projects! ~Nancie

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