4 Creative Ways to Upcycle Altoids Tins

Not only are they a curiously strong way to freshen your breath, but Altoids also come in cute, little metal tins that almost seem too good to toss or even recycle. If you are a fan of the tiny, fiery mints, you have probably looked for ways to reuse the metal containers once they are empty.

Perhaps you have one with a stash of paperclips and rubber bands in your desk drawer. Maybe you have another one in your purse filled with Band-Aids, ibuprofen and other first aid kid necessities. You might use them to store hair elastics, sewing supplies, change or any other small items you need to keep contained. After you’ve run out of practical uses, you might wonder if there’s anything else you can do with these efficient little tins...

We scoured the internet and found a handful of amazing DIYs that can turn those tins into something delightful. These ideas are wonderful even if you don’t consider yourself especially crafty, because they are small scale and begin with something you may have otherwise trashed anyway. Pick out your favorite Pinterest-worthy project and give it a go:

Wee Mouse Tin House

What could be cuter than a wee little mouse with its own tiny teddy bear? How about a little bitty tin house for the mousie and its bear?

Artist and pattern designer Larissa Holland came up with the adorable idea of stitching together soft little rodents, squishy little bears and tiny little pillows and blankets, all of which fit perfectly into Altoids tins. She sells an entire set of sewing patterns for mouse, bear and bedding at her Etsy store, mmmcrafts.

If sewing is not in your skillset, you might opt to replicate this idea with a miniature stuffed animal. You could cut a blanket out of felt and even make a pint-sized pillow by hot gluing another piece of felt together on three sides, stuffing it with cotton and gluing the end closed.

Miniature Kitchen Set

Any fan of Pinterest has probably seen at least one of the abundant play kitchen ideas. Maybe you wanted to turn an old entertainment center into a kid-sized kitchenette, but were not sure you could handle the size of the project or didn’t know where you would put it when it was finished.

If so, you will love this charming little alternative. Artist Joel Henriques turned an empty Altoids tin into a minuscule cooktop and shares the project on his blog, Made by Joel. The play food and utensils stash neatly inside the tin. You can cut your kiddo’s favorite foods out of felt, paint or draw on the stovetop, and hunt down a few dollhouse utensils for the perfect finishing touch.

DIY Lego Travel Watercolor Kit

This idea lets your young artist create masterpieces on the go. Jad Montenegro used an empty Altoids box and a handful of Lego pieces to put together a portable paint palette.

Turned upside down and fit into the tin Tetris-style, the Lego bricks become containers for various shades of paint. She spray-painted the tin to make it appear more polished, placed a divider on top of the paints and even tucked in a few supplies, such as a pencil, an eraser and some brushes.

Small Space Garden

Apartment inhabitants, cubicle dwellers and would-be gardeners who are short on time will all love this Altoids upcycle. Kate Pruitt from Design Sponge turned empty tins into a Zen garden perfect for your desk, kitchen windowsill or any other small space that could use a boost.

After removing the tops from the tins, she covered them in contact paper with a woodgrain design. She filled one with sand, added some stones and made a tiny wooden rake. In the second, she styled moss and dried flowers with the help of some floral foam. If you prefer something living, you could start with a layer of pebbles for drainage, add soil and plant little succulents.

Storybook Dioramas

Think about your most favorite childhood book and how you carried it inside of you for days, months, maybe years after you first read it. Claire Read is a mixed media artist who uses her unique talents to turn this feeling into something more tangible.

Using vintage objects, textiles and found items such as matchboxes, old clocks and empty tins to create whimsical, beautiful objects she calls “storyboxes.” While she doesn’t share tutorials or explicit instructions, browsing her Instagram profile can inspire you to create your own little storybox, such as this Charlotte’s Web tin.

The next time you consider chucking an empty Altoids box, think again. Perhaps you can make something meaningful, beautiful or useful from the tiny metal tin!

What are some of your favorite upcycling crafts? Share your fun DIYs with us!

Tags : art and crafts   

Alissa Hamadey
SO CUTE!!!!!!
Stacie Engels
I love everything, especially the mini kitchen and the mice
Lindsey Velasco
These are so adorable!