Vintage Advertising Tins as Colorful Decor

Vintage Advertising Tins as Colorful Decor

It's true that they don't make things like they used to! Vintage tin containers are a perfect example of everyday items from the past that are now objects of beauty and creative design.

I have always been drawn to vintage tins for their interesting colors, bold typography, and practical use. I have quite the collection going myself, and continue to find lovely vintage tins to offer in my online shop.

If you're new to the vintage decor world, vintage advertising tins would make a fantastic first collection! With so many options out there, you can build a collection custom fit to your personal taste and style

Vintage Tin History

In the late 1700's, manufacturers began using thin metal tin to build containers for a variety of products. As the retail industry continued to grow and goods were being more mass produced, reliable packaging was needed. 

Tin material was stable, easy to fashion, and would keep products fresh and free from contamination on store shelves. Be decorating with the tins with colorful paper labels or later lithographic designs, these product containers also served as advertising, before the days of widespread print commercials.

Tobacco companies were some of the first manufacturers to use tin containers, but soon they were being used to store candy, spices, coffee and tea, medicine and ointments, and motor oil.

As time went on and people began storing food for longer periods of time at home after purchase, kitchen tin storage containers were produced to meet that need. These tin containers ranged from plain to highly decorative, as home decor styles evolved over time. 

 Dating Vintage Tins

Finding an accurate date for vintage advertising tins can be a bit difficult. The timeline for these items is not particularly precise, but here are a few general things to consider.

  • Product labels that are stenciled is pre-1875
  • Tins with designs printed by lithography appear first ~1890
  • The © symbol begins to appear on designs after 1955
  • UPC codes (barcodes) appear on tins after 1975

How to Decorate with Vintage Tins

With their vibrant coloring and often amazing patina, vintage tins make an excellent decor addition to any cottage, farmhouse, or vintage style decor scheme.

A larger tin is perfect for when you want to add height or fill in an open space up high. I used this black bread tin to decorate the top of my china hutch, and arranged a collection of ironstone pitchers around it.

On my kitchen mantle, I displayed this vintage toffee tin standing up, so the scene on the lid acts as piece of art.

A few other ideas for vintage tins include:

  • Display with the lid hinged open and fill with books, platters, greenery, or other items
  • Fill in empty spots in kitchen open shelving with decorative storage tins or other food tins
  • Use as pretty storage option for buttons, ribbon, sewing notions, etc.
  • Stack several together in the corner of your kitchen counter to fill the empty space with a pop of color
  • Use tins with seasonal colors for holiday vignettes

However you decide to display your vintage tins, you can be sure that they will add extra charm to your space.

We have a rotating collection of vintage tins available in the online shop, perhaps you will find the perfect addition to your collection!

Here's to the vintage hunt . . . XOXO Melanie :)



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