Monday, July 09, 2012

Altered Box for a Picnic

by  Jean Louis De Marne, France  1752-1829

Someone gave me this large, round, empty coffee box. Coffee cans are no longer made of tin, but of cardboard, so to clean this can and get rid of the coffee smell, it cannot be left to soak in water for any amount of time. It can be cleaned with a wet rag dabbed in liquid detergent.

 Although short in size, this one is very large and roomy. It can be covered in any scrapbook paper (any theme), and can be made to suit any person in your family. 

Turn the paper over to the blank side and press with a pencil, knife, or your finger  into th edge of the can to mark the width of paper. Then fold the paper evenly on that mark and cut along the line.

Mark the lid on the paper by pressing the paper into the indented area, and cutting out the circle.
Paint white glue around the can and the lid with a foam brush, and press on the paper. 

Paint a strip of white glue around the top of the can and apply a piece of wired ribbon or other type of ribbon,  tying it in a knot on one side.

Cut another piece of wired ribbon and tie it on each side of the other ribbon, to make a handle, as you see above.

The picnic basket is large enough to hold snacks for quite a few people. Think creatively and find different ways to re-create this box. Use fabric, gift wrap, brown paper, construction paper, or anything you like. Try lining the inside with co-ordinating fabric or paper.


Anonymous said...

that is simply charming and a great use for a good-sized can of any kind. I feek that it would make a nice gift too.
Lynn M

Eve said...


Shelley said...

Great idea....your picnic box looks very pretty...blessings

Gayle said...

Very sweet craft,I love your scrapbook papers that you used and the trim.Another good one to put on my "to do" list.You always have the best crafts.

Gayle said...

Very sweet craft,I love your scrapbook papers that you used and the trim.Another good one to put on my "to do" list.You always have the best crafts.

Barb said...

Hi Lydia,
What a great craft project!
Your instructions are clear and easy to understand.
This basket could be used for many things...Thanks for sharing.
Have a good week
Barb from Australia

Anonymous said...

This would make a wonderful gift full of baked goods. Thank you.

Anonymous said...


I'm thinking something like this would make a wonderful morning/afternoon tea or confectionary basket (depending on its size.

Some sweets suggestions whose recipes are easily found on-line could include:

coconut ice (delicious)
honeycombe (also equally delicious)
hand-made toffees/boiled sweets
turkish delight
Nougat (if you're an experienced cook and have no fear of working with Italian Merringue - made with eggwhite and boiling sugar)
chocolate crackles - (these are NOT just for the children!! :-) )
White Christmas (An aussie specialty that is very very good indeed if made properly)
fudge of all flavours - vanilla, butterscotch, caramel, chocolate)
apricot-coconut balls or bars
Peanut or sesame brittle
savouries such as cheese straws, homemade cheese 'crackers'

glace fruits (if you've the experience that allows you to work with something such as Italian Merringue, making your own glace fruit will not be too challenging)
handmade chocolates (rocky road is an easy and delicious beginner option)
tartlets of any variety - lemon, jam, etc.
tiny biscuits (cookies for our North American readers)
Petite fours of all descriptions
filled chocolates.

These can be bagged up inside the can and would be ideal for a morning or afternoon tea, or as Christmas or birthday presents (make a batch of three or four confectionaries and divy up between several altered tins with a selection of excellent quality tea and coffee, recipes, even a lovely cup and saucer if the tin is large enough ( (and tea defuser so they can start right away without needing a teapot).

For the little-ones, Merringue mice, snails and hedgehogs would be a show-stopper!! (make your merringue then pipe it into the body shape you want (swirl for snail, teardrop for mouse, and ridged teardrop for hedgehog (using a star 'attachment' on your piping bag. Tails can be made out of finely cut liccourise, slivered almonds work as hedgehog quills and mouse ears, with tiny cut confectionary of choice for eyes and noses. Bake following merringue rules until you've a melt-in the mouth, crisp, crumbly product. If you're really game, you can dip them in white chocolate that has been tempered so it sets and decorate with crystalized violets for a ladies tea showstopper. (though you'd either leave off altogether, or alter the manner in which 'body parts' were added if you wished to stay with an 'animal' theme.

If folk want exact recipe for this, the Woman's Weekly 'beautiful biscuits' contains it.


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