DIY Crafts: Ten Ways to Repurpose an Altoids Tin

DIY Crafts for Altoids Tins

Altoids tins are icons of upcycling. Even folks who aren’t into DIY crafts often reuse these handy containers for things like storing change or organizing small knick knacks. With a little bit of crafty love, you can turn that humble Altoids container into all sorts of fun creations!

10 DIY Crafts for Old Altoids Tins

1. To Go Candle

If you’ve got a bunch of old candles that have seen better days, you can recycle that old wax into a new one! Just get a couple of new tealight-sized wicks, place them in your Altoids tin, and melt and pour the remaining wax right in. Green Upgrader shows you more on recycling old candles.

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by akanekal]

2. Make a Spice Box


Spice boxes are part of the Jewish ritual of Havdalah. If you’re not Jewish, you could also fill your decorated tin with herbs like lavender for home made potpourri or with hand-mixed chai tea!

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by wiredwitch]

3. Steampunk Altoid Tin


There are so many ways to turn that tin into a piece of art, and I just love this steampunk version!

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by telltaleheart]

4. Portable Games Chest

games case

Decorate the outside with a gaming-related collage, toss in some dice, cards, poker chips, and a mini notebook, and you’ve got games to go!

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by airship]

5. Make a Mini Toolbox

altoid tool box

Over at Shoplet, they walk you through how to transform Altoid tins into cute, miniature tool boxes. What a great gift for a fellow crafter or handy fella in your life!

[Image Credit: Photo via Shoplet]

6. More Altered Art

circus tin

Don’t you love this whimsical Flying Circus DYI crafts piece? You can learn more about how Karen Burene makes these over at How Stuff Works.

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by chaoticartworks]

7. Magnet Box

magnet box

Marble magnets are another ubiquitous DIY crafts project. How fun would it be to package your magnets in a sweet, customized Altoids tin?

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by sarabbit]

8. Recycled Advent Calendar

advent calendar

I know, it’s a little early to be thinking about Christmas, but this was too cute to pass up! Find the deets over at Sassy Crafter.

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Sassy Crafter]

9. Miniature Zen Garden

zen garden

Some clay, simple stones, and a couple of leaves transform an Altoids tin into a portable bit of Zen!

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by cheshirekat]

10. Paperclip iPod Stand

iPhone stand

With a couple of dremel holes and some crafty paperclip folding, turn your reclaimed Altoids tin into a nifty stand for your iPhone.

Do you guys have any fun Altoids DIY crafts projects? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by englishinvader]

21 thoughts on “DIY Crafts: Ten Ways to Repurpose an Altoids Tin”

  1. I use a re-purposed Altoids tin in my purse as a mini-first aid kit.
    I’ve also made a kit for my son to carry with him when he goes on Scout outings.

    It keeps bandages, disinfectant wipes, tweezers, and small doses of things like ibuprofen and allergy medications conveniently contained. πŸ™‚

  2. Loved the mini toolbox! Will definitely try that. I recycle altoid tins all the time.

    I either remove the paint with nail polish remover, or I spray paint them and decoupage a name on the lid and make “survival” kits for stocking stuffers with things in them like: safety pins, a mini sewing kit, travel size ibuprofen. You can basically empty out your catchall drawer full of misc items and organize it all into 2-3 tins and give them away.

    As a joke, I made containers for the men last year with their names on it and gave them a list of suggestions as to what they could use them for. Some of the suggestions were very funny.

    Thanks for the post, I enjoyed it!

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  4. We use them in scouts to make first response first aid kits. They are a perfect size for bandaids, an few antiseptic wipes, some gauze, etc. And they fit nicely in packs or the pockets on scout uniforms.

  5. Love it!! How clever. I make handcrafted jewelry and use the tins as gift boxes. Simply cover in some pretty paper, line with cotten and you have the perfect little gift box!

  6. I use them at my vanity for jewelry and for powders such as eye shadows. For jewelry, I put a little sticker on the outside that says “silver hoops” or “bracelets”, etc. I found that it helps to put in a small piece of shelf liner in the bottom (the webby kind that keeps things from sliding around). I stack them in an old wooden soda crate that has been painted and put on the wall.

    For the eye shadows, I was able to pop some of my favorites out of the original containers and stick them down in the altoid tin. This makes all of the colors immediately accessible and keeps the powdery dust in one area rather than all over my vanity top.

    I’ll post a picture of it on my blog! I’ve used it for years and forgot how unique is! It’s a creative result from the last big economic downturn (1980’s).

  7. These tins make a neat little first aid kit for travel. Add a few band aids, antibiotic ointment, cotton puffs, tweezers, cuticle scissors…

  8. I use old altoid tins to hold crayons and I keep these in my car with a coloring book to keep my son busy on long car rides. The tins will hold around 8 crayons each.

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  10. I have been looking for something to hold my earphones when I throw them in my gym bag. Altoid tins would be perfect. I could keep extra ear pieces in there too, in case I loose one. Maybe a few bandaids too. Now….I need to find a tin.

  11. I use an Altoid tin for my retainer… it is the perfect size! I keep tissues in another and when I need to store my retainer.. I have a tissue to wrap it in an the empty to store it.. no one is the wiser.

  12. I use one in the Pencil Caddy by the phone … I keep misc. office supplies … paperclips, box clips, rubber bands and one to wrap around the tin so it doesn’t get opened and spill out .. when the need for a writing utensil causes chaos in the caddy … I also keep a few small sewing pins and a small eraser … it changes as things get left there and they fit and what goes out and into use again. I also keep the small 1/4 post its or tabs.
    I use them in the car for the small 1/2 size colored pencils or half size thin markets in my daughters travel fabric/nylon pop up bin that holds her car games, write & store clip board which the paper store inside with an insert for utensles and a clipboard clasp on the outside to keep it in place … I use a rubber band on all my tins that get tossed a bit as they get loose and pop open….
    I too have thought about gluing papers with “labels” of what is inside. I likethe mini first aid kit idea … and sewing kit to go.
    In addition to pick me up kits as gifts … a neat idea is to make it a Prayer box … decorated to the individual you are giving it to … there is no rubber banding … when they come out of the box … they have been HEARD … and it is portable for use anytime.
    We have used them on walks when we run out of kill jars and need to keep our BUGS and Insects in tact. They make great “maracas” with beans or beads or buttons or rice … (all make different sounds when shaken … Best to GLUE contents in side as they are definitely meant to be bumped around …
    I love these tins and have been up-cycling them and other “containers” since I was a teen and first discovered Altoids. AND for whatevr reason when I don’t upcycle mine and simply recycle with the rest in the tub .. I feel sad like I am wasting. Not in a hoarders type anxiety or guilt … more a “you’re going to need a tin (I use them all over) and you won’t have one – I like this topic…. makes me feel creative!

  13. I painted my tin and glued foam “A B C” on the top. Then filled it with a foam alphabet. When my grandson and I would sit in the chair I would get the tin out and pull a letter out. I would ask him what letter it was and also what color it was.

  14. I simply LOVE altoids tins. There are so many possibilities! One time I made a BBQ in a tin with a coat hanger grill, some sticks, and matches. I haven’t cooked on it yet, so I hope it tastes okay!
    You should also try:
    1. Nature museum- you make little dividers from cardboard, put them in the box, decorate, and collect stuff from nature to store in the separate.
    2. First Aid Kit
    3. Religious Shrine
    $. And many more!

  15. I saw the coolest mini stove on You Tube. It was made from an Altoids tin.
    YET, the details were terrific. You could use fuel tablets or cotton to start a small VERY small wood fire under the hardware cloth grate. Use your metal cup or small pot to boil water or cook an egg, etc. I can’t wait to finish my tin so I can make my first one!!! I know what to make for every outdoors person on my Christmas and Holiday list!

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