It all Started with the above tins that my Friend sent me.
You see, many years ago I turned tiny tins into nicely decorated pills boxes for all my girlfriends. I used to make small Christmas gifts for most of my friends every year. I guess she thought I could do something with her collection.
I had recently moved right into the inner city of Chicago. Along with the Skyscrapers, great views, museums and awesome restaurants there are also people down on their luck. I had not been in a living situation in a long time were I saw people who were homeless, out of work and/or sick asking for money in my neighborhood, every day, every where I walk. My heart was breaking for them.
I came up with the idea to use the tins to decorate and insert some money and small things for these people, my TINS of LOVE! Then I realized they were way too small for what I wanted to do.
I was saving Toilet Paper Rolls for Art projects. When I realized the tins were too small, I looked at a roll one day and thought this size would be better, my TUBES of LOVE!
The plan was to start handing them out right before Christmas and throughout the winter for as long as I had supplies.
I had already been collecting 1 dollar bills and quarters to put in my TUBES of LOVE. I told a few friends and family about my plan. My Mother Inlaw, who collects a lot of stuff, sent me a box of stuff to stuff in my TUBES of LOVE! I also bought big multi-packs of gum.
After Halloween, I collected leftover single wrapped candy from my neighbors and bought bags on sale for the TUBES of LOVE, for a bit of fun.
I made a list of all Shelters, Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens and Warming Centers in Chicago for each one of my TUBES of LOVE.
On the Sheet of Paper, I wrote a Note.
I thought of items besides the money and candy, and thought soap and aspirin could be helpful. I had some hotel soaps and shampoos. The little bars of soap were too big, so I started to cut them down to a size that would fit, wrapped them in clear cellophane and labeled them.
I also divided a large bottle of acetaminophen into packs of 6-8 pills each too.
I had to cut the sheets of info down to fit better inside the tubes.
The plan was to roll it all up and then stuff it in the TP Roll/Tube! Yes, All of the below would fit into One TUBE!
I started with rolling the items up in a dollar bill.
Then I would roll that up with candy on each end in the folded in inforamtion Sheet.
It all Fit Perfectly!
But just so stuff would not fall out when it was opened, I put a small piece of tape at both ends.
After I stuffed around 30 Tubes, I then decorated each TUBE of LOVE.
Just Basic Decorating, as I was going to Wrap them as well.
First Round of TUBES of LOVE Ready to be Wrapped!
Fun and Light-Hearted. Literally, there are little hearts on them!
Stuffed with Love!
Part of the Idea for TUBES of LOVE is Recycle / Upcycle. So along with all the other items I saved, I also saved paper bags. I cut the bags up to lay out flat. I painted it all
I had 2 sessions of fun using paint and markers.
I wrapped them “candy” style using string at each end. The First Batch was Done!
They were all handed out before we left town to have Christmas with out family. During the time away I got my nephew and nieces involved with making more TUBES of LOVE! We also handed some out in Sacramento, CA, where they live. The rest I brought back to Chicago with me. Below is two of the TUBES of LOVE my twin nieces Stuffed, Wrapped and Decorated.
I received 3 boxes of supplies from friends and family! I was overwhelmed and very happy. After exploration of these boxes, I realized many of the items were over-sized for the TUBES of LOVE.
So I went bigger, Bigger TINS, that is! It all started with tiny tins and now I was back to tins, but bigger and better! I went to the Salvation Army Outlet Store here in Chicago. I bought Tins, and Socks as I learned they were highly needed. The women checking me out, actually gave me a better deal on the items after she heard about my TINS of LOVE project.
So Much More Love Stuffing! The tins I used would vary in size, but I do not want to go too big as I need carry them as I give them out.
I still decorated the TINS of LOVE like I did for the TUBES of LOVE, but since many of the TINS were already nicely decorated, I now do less decorating and more stuffing!
At Top of the Above Photo, on the right and left, you will see TUBS of LOVE. Yes, I have expanded to using Plastic Tubs/Containers/Jars as well. Happy to recycle/upcycle as much as I can!
The TINS of LOVE above are my current batch. I am down to just a few more as I handed some out the other day.
I have supplies to make more, but I need more containers! I will do another batch of TUBES of LOVE before I get more TINS/TUBS. I am going to Cleveland soon and will see if I can give away some of the TUBES of LOVE there.
I will hand them out for the rest of Winter or until my supplies run out.
If you have any questions on how you can do this as well, please comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Or if you want to donate any stuffing items to my TUBES/TINS/TUBS of LOVE Project, please comment as well and leave your email address for private communications.
By Education, I am a Recreational Therapist. I have worked with Youth a lot in this position and my favorite activities were art related, if I could include a lesson that made the project even better. I would love to do this project with more Children. I can volunteer with programs within Chicago if you would like me to lead this project at your program!
Thank you and I hope you Enjoyed this project of mine!