Heave DIY: Pins & Tins


Each week in Heave DIY, Seetha Sankaranarayan journeys into the depths of her junk drawer to refashion old items into on-trend accessories, with minimal tools required.

As you enter your apartment after a long, exhausting day at work, you toss your keys on the kitchen counter and your phone on the couch. You kick off your pants and throw them in the direction of the hamper, letting your wallet and all the spare change in your back pocket scatter across the floor. While you’re surveying the area with a cold beer in one hand and the television remote in the other, wondering where you left that damn bottle opener, your phone rings. You completely forgot about your plans to buy dinner for the cutie whose hair you set on fire a few weeks ago. If you can’t pull yourself together and get to the restaurant in five minutes, you’ll never see her again. Where is your wallet?

If this scenario sounds familiar, consider keeping your essentials in a catchall bowl, which you can make with the following materials:

-a small terra cotta pot
-empty tea light tins
-spray paint
-heavy duty glue

Time: 1 hour + drying time

1) Rinse the terra cotta pot and its base of any soil remnants and let them dry completely. Remove the metal wick holders from the tea light containers. Don’t worry about wax residue.

2) Turn the tea light holders, the pot and its base upside down on a sheet of newspaper. Lay out the clothespins. Coat the objects with a layer of spray paint. Be sure to flip the clothespins to cover all sides. Let them dry for at least 30 minutes.

3) Apply glue to the outer rim of the bottom of the terra cotta pot. Flip the base right side up. Center the pot above the base and then press it down firmly. Use a dampened paper towel to wipe away any excess glue. Avoid lifting the pot by the upper rim for the next 24 hours, until the two pieces dry together.

4) Apply a spot of glue to the rim of the pot. Pinch open a clothespin and apply glue to the inside. Clip a tea light holder to the rim of the pot. Repeat to attach two adjacent tea light holders, gluing them to each other and to the pot. Use unpainted clothespins to clamp the tea light holders together until the glue dries.

5) Clip on a couple more painted clothespins. You need not glue them. Let the entire unit dry.

Now, you’re probably wondering what all these pins and tins are for. The tea light containers are perfect for separating spare change and light pieces of jewelry. Hang your keys and wristwatch from the clothespins. Anything and everything else–your wallet, phone, lighter, pens–can go in the pot itself.


If the pot has a wide enough base, you can skip the tea light holders completely and toss smaller items there. Feeling creative? Swap spray paint for acrylic paint and a paintbrush to freehand designs on the terra cotta and clothespins. Simplify this project by only painting the clothespins, or by not painting anything at all.