DIY :: Travel Keepsakes Tin

This weekend two years ago my family, Cody, and I departed for Italy; it was Cody’s birthday and he got to celebrate it in Amsterdam and Italy! I have been cleaning out my office space and found all of the keepsakes that I had from Italy and figured they deserved a proper place. This tin was something I found at my Grandma’s and snagged it thinking it would become useful, you know useful to hoarding tendencies… To be fair I have had this tin less than a month and it has already found a home!




Rough Sandpaper/ Sanding block

Smooth Sandpaper/Sanding block

Paint thinner




Hand pull — I used a rock

Awesome Glue – E6000

Using paint thinner, wet the entire portion of the tin you want the paint removed from. Then using the sandpaper begin the tedious step of scraping the paint off until the tin is showing. Once all of the paint is removed, I used the gentler sandpaper to smooth out the scuffs and marks, giving the tin a slightly more polished look.

Note: This tin took a couple hours so put on a good movie and start sanding.

I wanted to keep the pretty filigree on the sides of the tin, so all I did was take a gold Sharpie and place a small dot in every ending piece of the pattern. Next I used a rock from Italy and glued it to the top to finish off the box.

DIY :: Travel Keepsakes Tin | The little Red Heart DIY :: Travel Keepsakes Tin | The little Red Heart

The possibilities are endless when it comes to storing keepsakes from beautiful trips! I wanted my tin to have beauty, but an understated classic look with a touch of rustic, that is how I would sum up my surroundings in Southern Italy. Everything was beautiful and timeless looking, but nothing was over-the-top, which seems to be the differentiating factor between the North and South of Italy.

DIY :: Travel Keepsakes Tin | The little Red Heart DIY :: Travel Keepsakes Tin | The little Red Heart DIY :: Travel Keepsakes Tin | The little Red Heart

In my tin I have all the wonderful maps we used. That small Patron bottle I cleaned and reused to hold sand from the black sand beach we stayed near on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The almost perfectly round rocks I found on the 8km stretch of coastal beach near the town of Scalea. We spent a good hour or two roaming the coast looking for rocks, climbing on rocks and generally having a picture perfect time. This is the place that I gathered enough rocks to use as place cards for my girlfriend Anna’s bridal shower that my mom and I hosted. And yes, my bag got heavier for the return trip.

Now all you need to do is take your new keepsake box and fill it with your memories or make some new ones!

A dream come true would be living in Maratea, Italy, and Cody and I having a Vespa that we tooled around the coast on, so if you have questions about where we stayed, what we ate, and what we did ask away.

Love. Marisa


3 thoughts on “DIY :: Travel Keepsakes Tin

  1. I loved those rocks 🙂 I have two of them from the shower sitting by my kitchen sink and I think of you as I look at them! (I also hung the beautiful cloth you gave me in a frame in the kitchen!)

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