Obviously, it isn’t the night before Christmas yet, because the creatures have been stirring in my pantry, and I’m not happy about it. There’s nothing more frustrating than discovering a mouse has helped himself to foods in your pantry, and they are persistent little critters. We live in an old house that has lots of little nooks and crannies they find their way in through. They don’t come indoors during the summer, but in the winter, they make themselves right at home in our warm pantry.
Plastic storage containers weren’t keeping them at bay – they just chewed through the lids. I have glass canister jars that I use for a lot of my staples, but they aren’t big enough to hold larger quantities, like full bags of potato chips, so I needed to find something else to store things in.
Just what I needed to keep the critters out of my food, came waltzing through my door recently. Well, they didn’t waltz in exactly. My in-laws brought us this tin filled with cookies when they came to visit for Thanksgiving.
My oldest son brought home this tin full of popcorn a few days ago.
Both of them are very cute Christmas tins, but the reason you see tin storage containers in the thrift stores all the time, is because people don’t want to hold onto something they can’t use year-round, and once they’ve eaten the food inside the tin, they can’t think of another way to use them. The good news is, mice don’t like the tins either, because they can’t chew through metal, so these were going to be perfect to protect my food.
I didn’t want Christmas tins in my pantry, so I gave them a makeover as chalkboard kitchen canisters. I just painted both tins with chalkboard paint. You can use either the spray paint or the brush-on paint. I brush painted the larger tin, and used spray paint on the smaller one.
I could just use chalk to label the contents inside the can, but I wanted something a little cuter, so I designed some labels for the tins.
Here’s a blank label too, so you can create any word you want.
Now, you could just print these labels out (on laser paper), and decoupage them onto a tin, but I wanted mine to look more like a chalkboard, so I traced the design onto the painted tin by coloring the back side of the labels with a pencil, then turning the label over and tracing over the design with a ball point pen.
You can see how the design now shows up in pencil where I traced over it. You can also use white tracing paper, rather than color the back of the label with pencil, but I didn’t have any on hand.
You could trace over the design with chalk, and it will be erasable, or you could spray over the the chalk marks with clear coat so they won’t rub off, but I opted to use a fine tip white acrylic marker to trace my letters, because I wanted them to be permanent.
I did the other can the same way, except I drew a straight line across the bottom of the label outline on this one so it fit on tin. This one will hold pasta. I didn’t use the paint pens on the back sides of the tins, so I can still use chalk on them if I want to put something else in them, and hand write a label with chalk.
I rubbed chalk dust with my fingers around the tins, just so they’d look like authentic chalkboards, but that’s unnecessary if you aren’t going to actually write with chalk on them. You will need to prime the surface if you will be writing on yours though.
This should keep those critters out of the food in my pantry…but I need to get some more large cans. Unless someone shows up with more popcorn or cookies, I’ll be hitting the thrift stores, because I know I’ll find plenty of them there!
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