Steampunk Polymer Clay Tin – Tutorial

I’m planning to put more tutorials up on the blog this year and thought this would be a fun one to start with. I’m going to show how I cover a small tin in polymer clay, and here I used a Altoids tin (I found some in the supermarket and now I can’t find them anywhere!) but you can use any small tin you have. Some other things you will need:

  • Polymer Clay (I used Fimo)
  • Small Tin
  • Blade
  • dotting and clay tools
  • stamps
  • Rolling pin
  • Shape cutters
  • Some embellishments – I like metal
  • Black Spray paint
  • Perfect Pearls
  • Liquid Sculpey (optional)
  • Varnish

DSCN2186Step One 

I decided to spray paint the inside and bottom of my tin, although I may not have done enough coats as this later scratched off. You can also line your tin with paper or cover the entire tin with clay. I wanted to concentDSCN2200rate on the top and sides of the tin, and thought it might get a bit tricky if I did the whole thing in clay.


Step Two

Next I conditioned my clay and rolled it through my pasta machine on the lowest setting to get a thing sheet. I used a dark blue for my tin and wanted to try a Steampunk style. I placed the tin upside down on the sheet of clay and measured around it about a centimeter to cover the whole lid. I then cut the excess at the corners and flattened the clay on top using a rolling pin. Then the fun part of smoothing and squishing begins!

This canDSCN2201 be a little tricky and I used some tools to help smooth the edges, then the blade to cut down excess clay. Take your time with this bit.

For the sides of the tin I rolled out a sheet of clay with my pasta machine and did a rough estimate of the thickness around the tin. I then cut strips and placed them carefully onto the tin, smoothing any joins and using the blade at an angle to remove excess clay.

DSCN2203Once you are happy with the coverage, it is time for the fun to begin!

Step Three

This is where you can be free to decorate your tin however you like. I used a clear stamp on the lid for texture, then started adding gold strips to make it feel like metalwork. I added a metal skull charm and cut out shapes from black clay with gold leaf. Whatever style you are thinking of, experiment and trying new things.


Step FourDSCN2211

When I had finished my embellishing, it was time to add my favourite Perfect Pearls! I wanted to have a metallic shimmery look and mixed mine up across the whole tin. Depending on your theme, you can try different shimmery powders for different effects. Next, it is ready to bake!

This is my desk where all my crafting happens! (I need more space!)



And this is my baked tin! Kind of pirate-eque. Next you want to varnish your tine to seal it and protect it.


leave to dry, then you are all finished! You can keep trinkets in your new tin or make it a sweet gift for someone. There are so many things you can do with this, adding in more mixed media elements and even decorating the inside. Hope this was useful and fun!



3 thoughts on “Steampunk Polymer Clay Tin – Tutorial

  1. This looks very nice and quite good fun, I used to smoke little cigarillos (filthy habit, I know) and had loads of little tins like this laying about. Now I regret chucking them all out, when I could have made a couple into a very fancy tin to keep me smokes in and impress my chums!

    I do have a quick question though, did you bake the tin with the lid open or closed?

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