OK. I promised I would explain how to make the wonderfully sturdy salt container into something that can be reused over and over again either as a gift box or as a storage canister. The first step is to measure about and inch to an inch-and-a-quarter down from the top of the container and make a line around the container along that measurement. Then, using a craft knife or box cutter, carefully cut along that line until the top of the container separates from the bottom.
I removed the little metal spout from the top of my new lid and filled the resulting hole (this is not completed in the picture to the left) with a piece of thin cardboard like that found on cereal and pasta boxes or even in dress shirts. I used a another larger piece of this cardboard to form an inner collar for the lid to slide onto and that would serve to hold the lid in place. To do this, I measured the height of the container (with the lid removed) and added a half-inch to that measurement. My plan was to insert the inner collar into the container with the printing to the outside so that it would be hidden against the walls of the container and the interior would be the plain brown of the cardboard. Then I thought about the fact that I would be able to see the printing on the portion that extended above the top of the container to engage the lid. To keep that from showing, I had to add another couple of inches to the height measurement of the collar so that I could fold the cardboard back on itself as shown in the picture. I allowed it to extend out from the container in the photo so that what I am describing would be clear. When the cardboard in pushed down into the container, the printing on the cereal box is no longer visible. To make the width the correct measurement, I rolled the piece up enough to fit snugly inside the container and marked where the two pieces would just come together. Then I cut off any of the excess cardboard and pushed the collar into place.
Because the construction on the bottom and top of the salt container, I had to add another layer of cardboard around the brown sections so that the decorative paper I planned to cover it with would hide the seam on a flat surface. A measurement or two, a couple of cuts and some glue, and the container was ready for decorating!
My need at the time that I made this was for a gift box of an unusual shape that would disguise a gift that I did not want my teens to be able to guess at. They have gotten pretty good at guessing by now, and a different shaped box was nice in tricking their eyes! However, these boxes are very sturdy (they should be with three layers of cardboard!), and would make excellent shatter-proof storage for children’s arts and crafts supplies. The lid is easy for their hands to manipulate and if they drop it, the container can’t really break into pieces that will cut or harm them. I think that allowing the children who will be using the canisters to help decorate them would be a great craft project that you could use to encourage their creativity and an opportunity to spend time together!