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Altiod Tin Project with Recycled Calendars and Decoupage

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.Altoid Tin Decoupage Tutorial - fb

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. 



COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to watch the whole video tutorial, click the link Altiod Tin Project with Recycled Calendars and Decoupage to watch in Youtube.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

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
  • Scissors
  • 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.

Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Supplies

INSTRUCTIONS for Altoids tin crafts

Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Tins Completed

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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Spray paint tins

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.

Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Calendars

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!

Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Sample Picture 2

Sometimes, there are also smaller photos inside on the calendar pages that are a good size for the Altoids tins.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Sample Picture 1

On the calendar below, it has some pretty designs to the left/right of the month too!Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Sample Picture 3

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.

Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Trace Tin

Cut just inside the traced line to make the template.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Cut Out 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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Showing Template

The template fits and is a bit smaller than the Altoids tin top.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Template On Tin

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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Place Template Over Photo

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. Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Trace Around Template

Some photos are smaller than the Altoid tins.  For these, just cut around the photo itself.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Smaller Photo

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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Cut Tissue Paper

The tissue paper will be placed underneath the photo and cover the whole top of the Altoid tin.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Photo Glued On 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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Sample Photos

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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Paint Mod Podge on 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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Mod Podge Across Photo

Leave the Mod Podge dry.  Don't worry, the decoupage dries clear so it will look nice!Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Wait to Dry

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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Mod Podge over 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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Glue Photo

Apply more decoupage over the photo.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage mod podge over sunflower photo

Let them dry.  After they have dried, check to see if the photo is lifting up a bit on the edges.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Glue over photos

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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Apply More Layers 

After the decoupage dries, it will be clear! Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Finished Tin

Below are some of the finished tins.  They look nice!Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Tins Drying

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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Tins Showing Inside Contents

Some ideas of items to place into Altoid tins are:

  • Candies
  • 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.Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Tins Complete

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!Altoid Tin Calendar Decoupage Tins in Decorative Basket

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!

QUESTIONS?

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.

Some other fun craft projects you may be interested in are:

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

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Altoid Tin Craft Tutorial - pin


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