Recycled Fish-tin Desk Tidy.




I was about to put the dirty tin cans in our recycling box when I noticed five identical mackerel tins. Always a fan of 'direct' recycling, I came up with this handy storage unit for small components.

It took around five minutes to work out the best configuration, and another five minutes to make. I will now save you five minutes by showing you how to make the RECYCLED FISH-TIN DESK TIDY.

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Step 1: Materials, Tools and Constructing the Base Level.

Take five empty mackerel tins. If mackerel is not your fish of choice, pilchard or sardine tins would be equally at home in this project. You will also need a way of sticking the tins together. A hot glue gun is the ideal weapon to use here.

Wash the tins out well. Wash them out VERY well. No-one likes a desk tidy which smells of fish.

Turn one of the tins upside-down and run a couple of lines of hot glue down one of the long sides. Hold the tins together until the glue cools. Don't hold too close to the glue - those tins are excellent heat conductors.

Step 2: Adding the Second and Third Levels.

Take two more tins and put them upside down and side by side. Keep them flat on the workbench, and dribble some hot glue between to hold them together.
When the glue has cooled, turn them the right way up and glue them to the other pair of tins so that they slightly overlap the open tin.

Take the final tin and place it crossways at the back of the second layer. See where it sits best, then turn the whole thing over and dribble hot glue around the edges where it touches, especially where the lower two cans meet. Leave the whole assembly to cool for a while.

Step 3: Finishing and Ideas for Expansion.

Spray the whole desk-tidy a colour of your choice. I left mine unpainted as a handy reminder of the nutritional value of mackerel (and because I didn't have any spray paint).

You now have a useful little desk tidy or small component holder made of recycled materials. If you collect more tins you could extend this indefinitely by gluing several units together, or be daring - come up with your own fish-tin configuration.

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    11 Discussions


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Altoids tins have too many other uses for this. The great thing about buying an Altoids project box is you get free mints with it too #;¬)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Or leave the lid on O.o That way you don't knock it over and spend the next 30min picking up components; and spend the next month stepping on them on your white carpet, haha.


    11 years ago on Step 3

    Very nice :) You don't by any chance have a smart way to make a lid, just for the top one in your construction?

    1 reply

    The way to make a lid would be to open the tins with one of those openers that cuts sideways through the seam rather than pulling the tab or using a downward cutting opener. The side cutting type automatically create a lid as they cut. Look on the advertising / packaging - the manufacturers often use the 'lid' thing as a marketing point.