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Altoid Tins: Survival Kits List, Craft Projects, and More
Tip: No matter what type of project you are doing with your empty Altoid tins, make sure that you wash and dry them thoroughly before using them. This is especially important for any endeavor that involves food, other consumable items (i.e. pills), or electronics.
Once you have finished with a tin or two of Altoid mints, you can use the empty tin for a wide variety of purposes. If you want to keep it simple, use it as a storage tin for any number of different small objects. For those of you who are crafty, consider turning it into a survival kit or a piece of art or re-purpose it into something new, such as a candle holder. Those who are feeling especially ambitious may want to attempt an electronics project with a tin.
- Purse survival kit. There are always a few things that are handy to keep with you in your purse just in case. Instead of letting them sift to the bottom of your bag, why not store them all in a tin? This kid includes Band Aids, wet wipes, a hair tie, pain reliever, cough drops, a pencil, a sewing kit, and some spare change. Of course you can customize this any way that you like.
- Electronics survival kit. For those who work with electronics on a regular basis, either professionally or as a hobby, it's handy to package many of your go to supplies in a little pocket tin. The post details all of the items that this particular kit includes. Switch or add items to fit the work that you do.
- Toolbox/hardware survival kit. You can fit a surprising number of small hardware parts in an Altoid tin. For a true survival kit, it's ideal to have a variety of parts in your tin, but you can also use a handful of tins to sort different small parts.
- Outdoor survival kit. Field and Stream writer John D. McCann has a terrific guide for creating an outdoor survival kit that fits right in your pocket. It includes detailed information about each item that he includes with instructions for creating some of the components and brand names and other specifics for purchasing additional components. He breaks down all of the components into different categories so that it is easy to understand how each item can be used.
- Urban survival kit. Be fully prepared for any night on the town adventure with this kit. You never know when you'll get into a scrap (literally) and need a Band Aid or (figuratively) and need some extra cash.
You can customize some of these survival kit ideas for Altoid tins!
Altoids Tin Survival Kit
- Card holder. An Altoid tin is a perfect size to hold credit cards and other similar sized cards. In this tutorial, the author also uses the holder for other small purse items. The décor is completely optional.
- Pillbox. An Altoid tin may be a better sized container for a particular purse or tote than a pill bottle, particularly a larger bottle or a collection of bottles. Store an emergency stash of pills or create your own weekly pill box out of your tin. You may want to make sure that it's labeled properly so that no one assumes that you're carrying around some new type of mint.
- Point and shoot camera case. This will not be applicable to all point and shoot cameras, but some people have found that their camera models fit perfectly in Altoid tins. Consider gluing some type of padding to the inside of the lid to ensure that your lens does not get damaged while you're moving the case.
- Hearing aid batteries case. An Altoid tin is exactly the right size for small packages of hearing aid batteries as well as other small batteries.
- Virtually any small object that will fit in there. Consider guitar picks, rubber bands, ear bud headphones, hair pins, tacks, and other office supplies. A coat of spray paint and a label will complete your storage case.
- Mini toolbox. This is one of the most creative Altoid tin crafts that I have ever found. I'm clearly not the only one who thinks so because it is all over Pinterest. Brenda shows us how to transform two tins into a little toolbox with spray paint and some basic hardware. It will surely wow Dad or Grandpa for any occasion, but it's so darn cute that you may end up keeping it for yourself.
- Message board. Transform a few tins into a message board with some paint and basic craft and hardware supplies. This is perfect for smaller notes and items that you would keep near a door, such as keys and spare change.
- Magnet packaging. If you sell or are gifting magnets, Altoid tins are a great option for packaging. For those who are selling magnets, consider creating a logo or other branding for the lid. A business card will fit inside nicely.
- Magnet. A tin can also make a great magnet in and of itself, decoration or not.
- Art/décor/shrine. An Altoid tin is an ideal size for a small piece of art. Some people choose to turn this piece of art into a shrine, such as a shrine for a saint or a shrine dedicated to a particular passion. Check out Bird/Space Shrine, Circus Wagon Altered Tin, and Iconic Prayer Shrines.
- Mini scrapbook. An Altoid tin will be provide a great outer scrapbook structure for those who don't want to make one out of chip board or who are simply looking for something different. This isn't a full tutorial, but the concept is pretty self explanatory if you follow the author's ribbon suggestion.
- Advent calendar. If you are collecting tins on your own instead of purchasing them, it may take a while to save up enough to make an advent calendar, but it will be well worth it. This is an original piece for any Christmas collection that will be treasured for many years. Check out another great advent calendar example right here.
- Planter. Small herbs and tiny succulent cuts will thrive in this type of tin. This post includes a number of additional suggestions for small, recycled planters.
- Mini dollhouse or dollhouse bed. These tins are a good size for a number of dolls or small stuffed animals. Turn a tin into a little bed or create a tiny dollhouse for even smaller dolls or animals.
- Candle holder. Fill your tin with the candle of your choice. The author uses microwaveable soy wax. The tin has plenty of charm on its own as a candle holder, but of course you can decorate it any way that you like, too.
- Beauty product tin. Similar to the candle holder idea, you can fill up your empty tin with virtually any kind of beauty product such as lip balm or hand cream. This post includes a simple recipe for a lemon butter lip and skin balm.
- Travel game holder. Are you looking for a new activity to amuse your kids during your next car or airplane trip? Put together chess, tic tac toe, checkers, and backgammon with these printable boards and simple instructions. The printable also includes a blank rectangle in case you want to design another travel board game for a tin.
Make a Photo Album Out of an Altoid Tin - Part 1
One of the best ways to learn how to build a small electronic that fits right in an Altoid tin is to watch a video tutorial. Many of these links do include great video instructions. Search YouTube for additional tutorials. I've included a couple other technology related ideas here as well.
- MP3 case. Many MP3 players will fit snugly in the rectangle tins. If there is spare room, build in some extra padding (i.e. foam, quilt batting). Consider padding the inside of the lid as well as this person did.
- iPod dock. If you've upgraded to a new iPod but aren't ready to invest in a new dock, consider constructing one yourself using an Altoid tin. This process will vary a little bit depending on the current model(s) that you're using, but this link will give you a good idea where to start. Check out this user's photo stream for additional photos of the dock.
- Portable amp. In the age of digital music, the portable amp has taken on a whole new life. You can build your own amp that fits right in a little tin.
The possibilities here are endless. These two guys have rounded up a plethora of great ideas, including a lot of electronics.
- 22 Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin | The Art of Manliness
Learn how to make a charcloth maker, mini flashlight, portable BBQ, pinhole camera, and much more.
- Curiously Hackable: 8 Awesome Altoids Tin Hacks - Tested
Strobe light, USB battery pack, miniature speakers, LED flashlight, and more.
"MintyBoom" Altoids Tin Project - Amplified Speakers
If you don't eat Altoids or know anyone who eats them, you can purchase empty tins online.
More recycled craft resources from the author.
- Ways to Reuse Empty Pill Bottles: Crafts, Ideas, and More
This article is about ways to reuse empty pill bottles. It includes basic ways to reuse and recycle them as well as craft projects with pill bottles. There are lots of photos, links, and other resources.
- Junk Mail Crafts: How to Make Unique Projects With Recycled Paper
This article is about junk mail crafts. There are a wide variety of unique projects to make with recycled paper including stationery products, wall art, jewelry, and home décor. There are lots of photos and resources.
- Repurposed Garden Planters: Recycling Ideas for Indoor and Outdoor Gardens
This article is about re-purposed garden planters. It includes a wide variety of ideas for both indoor and outdoor gardens. There are ideas for both items to use as is and items to craft into planters.