more fun with rub-on’s.

I’ve always loved a good rub-on.  Wait.  That doesn’t sound quite right, does it?

But seriously, I’ve been in love with these things since the 70’s.  I think they went out of vogue for a couple of decades, but they came back when the scrapbook craze started to take off.

Two of my favorite brands are Tim Holtz and 7 Gypsies.

I have had hit or miss luck finding these in craft stores.  Hobby Lobby used to have a good selection of the Tim Holtz brand, but they don’t seem to any longer.  Meanwhile, Michael’s currently seems to have a large section devoted to the Tim Holtz line, but a small selection of his rub-on’s themselves.  Ever since my favorite scrapbook store went out of business, I haven’t been able to find the 7 Gypsies brand anywhere except online.

I’ve always been a little bummed that these designs are so small, obviously meant for small paper crafts.  That’s why I was so thrilled when I discovered the Iron Orchid Designs Decor Transfers, which are basically rub-on’s that are sized for furniture.

Adding rub-on’s to vintage pieces, big or small, is a quick and easy way to give them a little extra pizzazz.

You saw me do this a little while back with the vintage graters that I turned into photo holders.

 Today I’ve decided to add some rub-on’s to this …

But first, what is it?  I don’t actually know.  Perhaps one of you does?  Those pieces on the side flip out to become a sort of handle.

Now, before you guess some kind of campfire cooking pot, I know it’s hard to judge size from these photos.  This thing is only about 1.5″ deep and 4.5″ across.  It’s way too small to cook in, it’s even way too shallow to be some sort of campfire coffee cup.

I’m baffled.

But whatever its original purpose, I think it would make a great little container for any number of things.  Hairpins?  Jewelry?  Nuts and bolts?  Spare change?

Or perhaps stamps.

I’ve suggested that with my choice of rub-on’s for one side, but on the other side I went more generic with just some numbers.

I added a little something to the top too.

It’s just a fun way to add some interest to an otherwise plain container.

 So if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, get yourself some rub-on’s and see what you have lying around that needs a little pizzazz.

15 thoughts on “more fun with rub-on’s.

  1. Is it too big to have been used as an inkwell? Whatever it is, it sure is cute! I’ve always loved the rubons too…easy to put a word on top of a photo. I have the same problem though…you just can’t find them anymore. I used the ones that said “adorable” and “love” over my granbabies pictures. Wish someone would start making them again!


  2. Cute! Is it possibly an old version of a sterno can? Interesting. I love seeing items that I’ve never come across! I hope someone recognizes this…


    1. Hmmmm. Possibly sterno, but the lid doesn’t really seal especially well so you wouldn’t think so. But then again, back in the day they weren’t quite as concerned with safety as we are now.


  3. I love your rub on’s on the mysterious cup! so cool.

    I have to agree with you Quandie on the lack of safety back in the day! My little sister rolled right out the back door of our car when we went around a corner about 1960 when she was leaning on the door and knocked the handle open! My mother didn’t even bat an eye. Just stopped and waited for her to run up and get back in. Just thinking about it makes me laugh again. Today we strap the empty car seat in better than the kids were strapped in back then!


      1. Could it have been for melting paraffin which people used to pour on the top of things they were canning?
        I can remember Mother putting it on top of jelly as recently as the 1950s. I think she engineered some double boiler arrangement with the paraffin in a little metal container just sitting in boiling water in the top pot…


  4. I don’t know what it is but I sure like it. I especially like the transfer on the top. Looks like it’s always been there.


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