Do you have Altoid tins and want to recycle them into something new? Here is a fun and easy project to make with them that also recycles old calendars!
This project uses decoupage to adhere photos from recycled calendars to the top of the Altoid's tins.
Once these are made, they can be used to hold small items. They would make cute party favors with little trinkets inside. We gave ours to a senior center with little activities and candy for senior citizens day.
If you are interested in other decoupage projects, visit our page by clicking the link.
Keep reading this post for a free written and photo tutorial or view our video tutorial by clicking the link to YouTube below.
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WHAT YOU NEED for this altoids tin project
- Empty and Cleaned Altoid Tins
- Old Calendars or Scrapbooking paper
- Mod Podge
- White or other color spray paint
- Tissue Paper
- Freezer Paper
- Paper Plate
- Foam Brush
- Plastic Disposable Gloves (to protect hands from spray paint)
- Pen or Pencil
- Items to fill the tins
Find links to purchase these items at the end of this tutorial.
INSTRUCTIONS for Altoids tin crafts
STEP 1: Spray Paint Altoids Tins
Before painting, rinse and clean the inside of the tins to remove any residue from the Altoids. Let them dry completely.
Spray paint the Altoids tins to give them a clean look and cover up the original markings on the tins.
Spray paint the tins outdoors in a cardboard box. Spray paint produces fumes so it's recommended to use it outdoors or in a well-ventilated place. The cardboard box helped keep the spray paint contained.
Wear plastic disposable gloves to protect your hands from getting spray paint on them. Spray paint is an aerosol so it can easily float and get onto clothes and other items nearby, so be sure to be far away from things you don't want to paint.
Open the tins and place them with the outside of the tins facing up in the box. Hold the spray paint can 6" - 8" above the tins and spray evenly with the paint.
Pick up each tin and carefully spray the areas that were missed initially. All of the outside surfaces should be painted completely and evenly.
Multiple coats of spray paint may also be necessary to completely cover the writing and color on the tins.
Let the spray paint completely dry before using the tins.
STEP 2: Calendars To Use
While waiting for the spray paint to dry, start working with your calendars.
I have saved old calendars for many years to use in craft projects. The vivid photos in calendars make them perfect for a variety of crafts. We also receive many calendars from charities, so this can be another source for calendar photos.
If you do not have any calendars, old greeting cards or scrapbooking paper can also be used for this project.
Since the Altoids tins are small, the large photos in the calendars will not work. But, if you look on the back of most calendars, there will be small images showing the photos that are in the calendar. These are the perfect size for the Altoids tins!
Sometimes, there are also smaller photos inside on the calendar pages that are a good size for the Altoids tins.
On the calendar below, it has some pretty designs to the left/right of the month too!
Also, portions of larger photos can also be used. So, there are many places on the calendars to check for photos.
STEP 3: Cut Out a Template
To make it easier to cut out the photos from the calendars, first make a template. I made my template from a portion of the calendar.
On a portion of the calendar that will not be used, place the Altoid tin with the top facing down. With a pen or pencil, trace around the Altoid tin.
Cut just inside the traced line to make the template.
Check the size of the template and trim it down so that it's a bit smaller than the top of the Atoids tin.
The template fits and is a bit smaller than the Altoids tin top.
Step 4: Cut Out Calendar Photos & Tissue Paper
Use the template to trace and cut out photos from the calendar. On the quilt calendar, the pretty quilt photo next to the month names will look nice on the top of the tin.
Place the template centered over the photo and trace around the template with a pen or pencil. Cut just inside of the traced line so the line will not show.
Some photos are smaller than the Altoid tins. For these, just cut around the photo itself.
For the smaller photos, use the template to cut two layers of tissue paper to place underneath the photo. The tissue paper is optional, but it does cover up the rest of the top of the box.
I like to use two layers of tissue paper.
The tissue paper will be placed underneath the photo and cover the whole top of the Altoid tin.
Below are some samples of photos cut out from the calendars. Some of the photos are smaller and have different colors of tissue paper behind them.
Step 5: Decoupage the tissue paper and photos to the Altoids tins
Pour a small amount of Mod Podge onto a disposable paper plate. Use a piece of freezer paper with the shiny side up to protect the work surface from the decoupage. This works well since the tins won't stick much and will peel off.
Use a foam brush or other paintbrush to apply a layer of Mod Podge to the top of the tin. This will glue the photo to the tin.
Place the photo centered on the top of the tin. Apply more Mod Podge over the entire photo and edges.
Do not let the Mod Podge drip over the sides of the tin. Use the brush to clean up any drips.
Leave the Mod Podge dry. Don't worry, the decoupage dries clear so it will look nice!
For the tins with tissue paper and a photo, start by applying a layer of Mod Podge to the top of the tin. Then, place both layers of tissue paper centered on top of the tin.
The two layers of tissue paper are so thin, they can be placed down at the same time. Apply Mod Podge over the two layers of tissue paper.
Place the photo centered on the tin on top of the tissue paper. The Mod Podge applied to the tissue paper will glue it down.
Apply more decoupage over the photo.
Let them dry. After they have dried, check to see if the photo is lifting up a bit on the edges.
If it is lifting up, carefully press it down and apply more Mod Podge in layers over the top until it's nice and smooth.
After the decoupage dries, it will be clear!
Below are some of the finished tins. They look nice!
What can you put in Altoids tins?
Since the tins are so small at 2" x 3-1/2", it can be a challenge to find things to fill the tins with. We went to the dollar store and browsed around to find some interesting items to add to the Altoid tins.
Some ideas of items to place into Altoid tins are:
- Small Stamp Pad, Paper and Stamps
- Crayons and Paper
- Small Watercolor Pastels & Paper
- Mini Post-it Notes & Pen
- Small Light Up Keychain
We have some links at the end of this post to the items above that should work inside the Altoid tins.
For the paper, we bought a pad of Artist's paper (or any type of paper would work) and used a paper cutter to cut it into 1-1/2" x 3" size. We included several sheets of paper with crayons, pastels and stamp pads.
Add a Note for Senior Citizens Day!
Since our tins were being gifted to a senior center for Senior Citizens day, we wanted to add a little note inside. So, we printed some inspirational sayings on labels and put them inside the top of the box so the messages would be seen when the box is opened.
Some inspirational sayings are:
- May your day be filled with all kinds of bright sunny things. Happy Senior Citizens’ Day!
- Sending lots of hugs your way. Happy Senior Citizens’ Day!
- Today we’re celebrating you! Happy Senior Citizens’ Day!
- Wishing you a day filled with sunshine. Happy Senior Citizens’ Day!
- Wishing you a love-filled day. Happy Senior Citizens’ Day!
Our Altoid Tin Craft is ready to be gifted to a senior center for Senior Citizens Day!
We hope you enjoyed this craft to reuse and recycle Altoid tins and calendars.
Let us know what you think in the YouTube comments section!
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
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