Packaging Categories - "BRI"ef: 102

-Friday, October 3, 2014

Categories in the container and packaging industry are general terms used to describe a package. Bottles, jars, cans, jugs, pails, drums, and tubes are just a few. They are very broad terms which do not provide much information; but in understanding basic packaging categories, you can begin to narrow the search on the specific item you want for your product.  At Packaging Options Direct, our product line is mostly comprised bottles, and jars; with a few others mixed in.

In this second “BRI”ef, I want to provide you with a better understanding of the basic categories used for packaging. If you need to reference our first “BRI”ef  “Introduction to Packaging”, click here.


Glass and Plastic BottlesBottles come in a variety of materials. Aluminum, glass and plastic are the most common, and each type of material has its own sub-type. We’ll get into material types later. Typically speaking, bottles have narrow mouths; which means the opening of the bottle is roughly one half the diameter of the container or smaller.  Bottles are primarily used to store liquids of various viscosities like beer, shampoo, and even ketchup. Bottles can come in an endless number of shapes, and sizes; and take a wide range of closures and finishes.



Glass and Plastic JarsJars usually have a wide mouth; meaning the mouth opening of the jar is roughly half the diameter of the body of the jar, or larger. Jars are most commonly found in glass and plastic and, like bottles, can come in a variety of shapes though the most common are straight sided or economy style canning jars (commonly referred to as Mason jars). Jars usually have continuous thread or lug finishes; and though they are typically cylindrical, they can come in other shapes.



Glass JugJugs are more oblong, are usually thicker near the middle than the top, and will always have handles. Jugs are usually a half- gallon or larger and come in glass or plastic. The normal finishes on Jugs are a continuous thread finish, though they have also been known to come with smooth finishes for use with corks or as those seen on large water jugs (like Sparkletts). Liquid storage is the most common use for jugs.



Plastic PailCans, like bottles and jars, come in a variety of materials and have just as many uses and styles. Paint cans are the most common, however they can come with screw cap finishes, in oblong and cone shapes or can even be square. Pails and drums are types of cans. Pails, also commonly known as buckets, often come in plastic or steel. They are deep, cylindrical containers that are normally made of metal, plastic or wood. Pails are often known to come with handles and have tight fitting lids with gaskets that provide an airtight seal. Pails are good for storing liquid and solid items. When people think of small versions of pails or buckets, you often think of tubs.  Drums are made of steel, stainless steel, plastic, composite or fiber. They come in open, closed or tight heads, and can be round or square, lined or unlined, seamed or unseamed.



Plastic TubeTubes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. The two main characteristics of tubes are those that have one end that is crimped and others that stand on their caps. Tubes have a large variety of applications and are often used in toiletries, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, household products and more. For more information on cans, pails, drums or tubes, you can contact our parent company TricorBraun.


Now that you have an idea of the general categories that you containers fall under, we can start to look at sub-categories, finishes, closures and so much more. Join me next time as we continue our journey through the world of packaging, and as always, I am happy to help any time you have questions.

Feel free to email us or call us at (855) 754-3728 if you should ever need assistance with choosing the correct product for your specific needs. Should you have any questions about this blog or ideas for future posts, please email me at and type BLOG TOPIC in the subject line.

10 Creative Uses for Tins

-Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Metal tins are extremely versatile and should not just be stacked up in your storage cabinets or tossed out with the trash.

Whether you are using tin containers to store small mints and candies or whether you are using tin cans to create beautiful shades of paint, you should know that you could use these containers for much more than their everyday purposes. There are various craft projects using tin containers that you can tackle right in the comfort of your own home.

The one thing you need to remember when working with tin containers is that you need to be careful and stay safe.

Metal containers can be extremely sharp so it is important to use special can openers and cutters that don’t leave a sharp edge on the container. Also make sure to invest a good sturdy pair of gloves so that the raw edges of the tin containers don’t cut you.

Tin Can Pencil Holders

Different Ways to Use Tin Cans

1. Wine rack

Organize your wine bottles in a tin can wine rack!

This project is easy, functional and fabulous. All you have to do is to remove both ends of the cans, paint them any color you please and then arrange and stack them before you glue them.

2. Organizing Caddy

One of the most common uses for tin cans and tin containers is to use them to organize drawers, desks and other areas.

You can use tin containers (like the ones from Altoids), to organize your desk drawers. Put away erasers, paper clips, rubber bands, beads, tape, binder rings and anything else that’s lying around your desk drawer.

You can also use tin cans to organize your arts and crafts supplies.

Group together pencils, paintbrushes, rulers, scissors and other objects in various tin cans and organize them on your desk so you know exactly where everything is located. In order to make these aesthetically pleasing you can decorate the tin containers by painting them, covering them with fabric and more.

3. Décor

DIY arts and crafts using repurposed items is all the rage nowadays and tin containers are among the most versatile objects to use. Using tin cans as part of wedding décor can significantly save money as well as add a unique and rustic touch to the special event.

Tin cans can be used as hanging lanterns, centerpieces, hanging vases and much more.

There are also other ways to use tin containers as décor – you can make custom lamp shades, make your own scented candles and create holiday décor such as Jack O’ Lanterns or door wreaths.

4. Baking

Who would have thought that you could actually use tin containers as bake ware?

Tin cans can be used as cookie cutters or baking pans for mini cakes. Tin cans are also sturdy enough to be repurposed into miniature cake stands where you can display small cakes and cupcakes. All you have to do is glue a painted can to the bottom of a matching plate with strong glue.

5. Mini First Aid / Survival Kit

It’s always important to be prepared for emergency situations and a small tin container is just big enough to hold some of the most important first aid and survival items that you might need.

A tin container can hold cash, loose change, Band-Aids, small batteries, Ibuprofen, a small box cutter, Chapstick and various other small items that are normally found in first aid and survival kits.

6. Closet Organizer

In the same way that you can use tin cans to organize your wines, pens, pencils and your desk you can also use them to organize your scarf collection in your closet.

Assemble this project in the same way you put together the wine rack by gluing a couple of tin cans together to create little cubbies for your scarves.

7. Hanging Bird Feeder

Add a cute bird feeder to the tree outside your home by cutting out both sides of a tin can, painting it and tying it to a branch with some rope.

Add some bird feed and watch your tree become one of the most popular gathering spots hungry birds.

8. Piggy Bank

Make your own piggy bank out of a tin container where you can save up all your pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

9. Mini Grill

Who would have thought that tins could be so resourceful?

If you cut strips into the can and fold them back you can put some tin foil over the hole and add some charcoal inside. Place a cooling rack over the charcoal and you’ve got yourself an instant mini grill.

10. Plant Markers

Keep your garden organized by cutting out strips from a tin can and using them as plant markers.

Write out the names of each plant on a piece of paper and then trace the lettering onto the tin strips. Trim the edges so that you can stick the strips into the ground.

Need More Ideas?

As you can see there are numerous craft ideas to help you repurpose your tin containers.

If you are interested in these DIY projects then check out our wide range of metal tins and cans for all of your crafting needs.

Should you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact our team at Packaging Options Direct and one of our experts will be more than happy to assist you with all of your packaging needs.