Today I am sharing a project that has been rolling around in my brain for a while: what to do with those empty Altoids tins! If you are a mint-lover (or tiny-compartment-lover, or both like me) this DIY is for you.
Altoids tin (emptied, washed, and dried)
Craft foam (sold almost anywhere, 1 sheet is more than enough for this project)
Hot glue gun and glue
One of the reasons this DIY is so long in coming is that I knew, when I decorated the tin with washi tape, I wanted to do something so you would not see the embossed letters of “Altoids” through the tape. Several ideas were raised and rejected, until finally craft foam entered the picture. Available by the sheet in several colors this thin, flexible foam seemed like the perfect choice.
I also knew, due to my severe aversion to wrapping washi tape around anything, that I was not going to try and cover the ENTIRE tin in washi tape. I just wanted to make it cuter than it currently was. I knew I was going to cover the top of the Altoids tin but the red lid edges would still be visible. The matchy-matchy part of me was triggered, so I had to pick some washi tapes that would coordinate (or at least not clash) with that bold red color.
Now I felt ready to begin.
I was decorating two tins this go around, so I placed both upside down on my foam and traced around the lid gently with a pencil. Try and makes these and parallel to the edge of the foam as possible, otherwise your finished piece will end up being a little off-kilter (see finished photos of the red/teal tin for an example of what I mean.)
As you can see from the tracing on the right, I initially traced around the widest lip of the lid, then realized my mistake. I made a second pass with my pencil angled under that lip, resulting in the more accurate, smaller, inside tracing. The correct result was then easy to duplicate with the left tracing.
Next I plotted what the measurements would be to create a rectangle just larger than each tracing (mine ended up being 4 ½” x 3” and that was plenty of margin). I flipped my foam sheet over and, directly on the reverse of where my two tracing were, lightly marked those rectangles.
Each rectangle became my “taping area.” I knew I wanted to lay out all my washi over a larger area than I needed and then trim to fit so I would end up with nice, even edges.
Next, I cut the rectangles off of the foam sheet and apart from each other using my paper cutter.
Then, one at a time, I flipped each rectangle over and cut using along the straight edges I had traced initially. I found the paper cuter worked well for this task because it quickly gave me the straight edges I was looking for, but hand-held scissors could certainly work too.
To finish the cutting I did take my hand-held scissors and carefully cut the rounded corners. Repeated the whole process with my remaining rectangle.
Then (if you know my washi blogs you already know what is coming next) I gave each piece a quick coat of Modge Podge, just to keep everything down for the long run.
Once that was dry I had my tins and toppers all ready to go, they just needed to be attached.
Using some quick (and not very precise) hot glue, I secured each topper to an Altoids tin. The results were pleasing!
I now had two cute tins ready to be re-purposed. You could hold/store all kinds of goodies in each of these tins, such as:
Next time I round up a few more mint tins I’ll definitely do this again! One quandary: I chose white foam to give me the best look on transparent washi tapes (like the black/white one). But maybe I’ll use red foam next time to blend better with the exposed red lid edges? Hmmm. Decisions, decisions!
Tag me on Instagram @WashiTapeWarrior and let me see your adorable Altoids tin makeovers!
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