Secrets of altering Altoid tins

I’ve been doing quite a few photo projects lately, but mostly with digital items. I did my family photo card this year with a Photoshop layout similar to the ones on purplestork.com, for example. The digital environment is fun, but I still enjoy the paper arts as well, scrapbooking, stamping, and card making, and I generally love altered ordinary items.

This post shows my first attempt at altering Altoid tins. I’m putting miniature scrapbooks inside of the Altoid tins for some friends and family members this year. Hopefully they’re not reading this blog post before they get their gift!

Photo collage of altered Altoid tins

For me, the secrets are in getting the dimensions of the rectangles for the top, bottom, and insides of the tin. I say it’s 2.25″ by 3.5″ but you have an extra eighth of an inch to work with on the longer side.

I cut paper rectangles 2 1/8th inch by 3 1/2 inch, and then used a corner rounder I bought for $8 at Michael’s. A 3 7/8th inch long side also works if you want to cover more but you have to glue precisely.

For some of the tins, I cut a 1/2 inch by 12 inch strip of paper to cover the side, although you could use 11 inch paper length and still get all the way around the tin. Ribbon also works well, so I used that for some of the circumferences of the tins.

With my foam brush I put a thin layer of Mod Podge on the tin and put the paper rectangles on, then smoothed out any air bubbles. I didn’t need to do anything to the tin itself except for wash it out, no sanding required.

I bought the tins from an Austinite on Craiglist – over 30 tins for $3. I had all the supplies in my growing scrapbooking and stamping collection except for that corner rounder.

And if all those supplies are not around your house but you want to get your hands on some altered Altoid tins, pop over to Etsy.com. Those designs blow mine out of the water!

4 Comments

  • Cat
    December 19, 2007 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I have a request for your next blog entry. It should be titled: “How to organize your life so there’s time to work, raise kids, volunteer, keep ahead of industry trends, blog, and make awesome little art projects for Christmas, too.”

    I bet you even manage to brush your hair and teeth everyday, too.

    Happy Holidays!

  • December 19, 2007 - 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Hee hee. Well, I’m not sure how it do it, I guess it’s called “multitasking!” In my case, drying my hair is quite optional, ha ha.

    I come from multitasking genes – my mom made over a hundred quilts for project Linus last year! (She’s at http://quilterjan.blogspot.com, by the way.)

    Plus my awesome husband puts up with me reading, blogging, and crafting after the kids go to bed. :)

  • January 3, 2008 - 3:34 pm | Permalink
  • gardeningqueen
    December 28, 2009 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

    thank you for the detail measurements and the close up pic of the inside (nice paper). I want to do one of these and appreciate the help.

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