45. How to Make a String Tin

Make a simple string tin with scissors handy

This episode is subtitled: ‘Everything but a bonfire and children…’

What a lovely evening for a bonfire party! Saturday was freezing cold but clear and dry and I was warm as toast because I’d put plenty of layers on (you get to be an expert at layering-up when you work in a flower shop).

Kim called it a bonfire party – we had toffee apples, sparklers, garden lanterns (strung from tree branches with my handy supply of string), ginger cake (made by me), in fact pretty much everything except a bonfire and some children. I’d brought Blue with me – Kim will stretch to well behaved dogs but rarely to children.

As you would expect, it’s not Blue’s favourite night of the year but I decided he’d prefer to be amongst friends than at home on his own. In any case, Bill (Gillian’s husband) loves any opportunity to spend time with Blue and show his wife how adorable a dog can be. I’m not sure that Gillian is conscious of his subtle actions but I think he’s been quite calculated over the last few months. My estimate is that in six months time Gillian will tentatively suggest to Bill that they get a dog and she’ll be over the moon when he agrees.

I was chatting to them on the far side of the garden, although Bill wasn’t paying much attention, when I caught sight of Jeremy just emerging from the house. Oh dear, I hadn’t considered I’d bump into him again. I wondered whether Julia was with him. She hadn’t told me she was up from Birmingham. In fact, the only conversation I’d had with her since she stayed with me for the weekend last month was to ask her if she minded me giving Jeremy her phone number since he’d asked me for it. At the time I’d been half relieved that he wasn’t asking me out and half disappointed that he’d chosen my friend instead.

I tried to engage Bill more in the conversation so it looked as though we were deep in discussion about something (anything) in an effort to discourage Jeremy from coming over.

‘Hello Jenny.’ His clipped military voice hadn’t softened at all. I suppose it has only been a couple of months or so since he’d left the army.

‘Err…hello Jeremy. How are you? Julia with you?’

After introducing him to Gillian, Bill and Blue he was happy enough to share with us all that he’d had a fairly long and pleasant conversation with Julia on the phone but had been disappointed that she hadn’t wanted to see him after all.

‘No luck there,’ he said and I almost felt sorry for him. Then he turned his attention to Blue who was having his head scratched.

‘You thinking of getting a dog, Bill?’

‘Oh….maybe one day, you never know.’ I could see he was a little deflated that he’d been exposed. But Blue, as usual, provided a focus and so an unlikely bunch of guests had a amiable evening chatting, drinking beer (orange juice for Gillian) and eating ginger cake.

salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's pawMy ginger cake recipe usually uses golden syrup and black treacle but when I came to make it on Friday night I found I only had treacle so it was a bit darker than normal with a deeper flavour, which somehow made it taste more seasonal. Luckily I had a couple of empty syrup tins in my salvage box anyway so I had plenty of choices when it came to making my string tin.

Make a simple string tin with scissors

This chunky ball of string wouldn’t fit in the small tins unfortunately so I used the larger one for that, but I had a roll of skinny string too which I could put in a smaller tin.

Make a simple string tin with scissors

So I chose an appropriate size of drill bit for each width of string and drilled one hole in the large tin lid and one in a smaller one.

Make a simple string tin with scissors

As you can see, it’s very easy to make a string tin!

Make a simple string tin with scissors

But I wanted to make it more useful so I pulled out my new tube of corsage magnets so I could use a magnet to attach a small pair of scissors to the outside of the tin. When we first used a magnet in episode 37 I told you we’d be using them again and I’m sure this won’t be the last time. They are so handy.

Make a simple string tin with scissors

Because the ‘tin’ is magnetic you just need to place it on the inside – these magnets are so strong they will jump out of your hand into position (no glue necessary!).

Make a simple string tin with scissors

Make a simple string tin with scissors

And your scissors will always be there when you need to cut your string!

Make a simple string tin with scissors

It was a really simple and quick project his week.

Make a simple string tin with scissors

I’m not sure this spare small tin will fit three rolls of curling ribbon in but maybe in a big one….you could drill three holes and always have your ribbon handy for wrapping presents.

Make a simple string tin with scissors

What else could you put in?


  • Take care when drilling the holes. I weighted the tin down with dried chick peas and put tape across the lid to reduce the chance of the tin or the drill slipping. You may prefer to clamp it to something for extra security.
  • I could save space by putting both of my rolls of string into the large tin and drilling two appropriately sized holes in the lid.

Salvaged Items:

  • Empty syrup and treacle tins

I’m not sure what next week’s creative project will be but I have started to gather supplies for a mosaic. Those of you who subscribe to our email list will know that it’s something I’ve been keen to do for a while but I keep putting it off because it looks difficult. Hopefully within the next few weeks I’ll pull myself together and have a go.

See you all with something creative next week.


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2 thoughts on “45. How to Make a String Tin

  1. Excellent idea. My flat is full of string but always in the wrong places when I want to use it.
    This will help.
    I life abroad and I can say with certainty that Lyles Golden Syrup in tins (sold in almost every country of the world) are readily available. Just a piece of background information.

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