I recently chatted with a friend I havent talked to in several years. We used to scrapbook together, in fact I introduced her to that whole scene. While she’s still an active scrapbooker, I have since focused my interests elsewhere (though rather sporadically). I told her I miss scrapbooking but haven’t been very motivated to drag out all the old supplies and face those dusty, partially completed scrapbooks I enthusiastically started oh-so long ago.
My friend suggested I make her a birthday card. That might get me motivated; rekindle my interest in an old favorite hobby. I immediately thought that would be a good idea ( I sometimes work best with dead lines) and I remembered the growing stash of Altoids tins I’ve been saving. I’ve always wanted to make a little scrapbook or card or book of some sort out of an Altoids tin.
After our conversation, I got right to work. My friend told me she likes earth tones and butterflies. EASY – I thought. I love earth tones and butterflies too, but even after sifting through all my existing papers and searching through collections of internet images, nothing seemed to spark my interest.
A trip to the local craft store was sure to give me a good push down the road to creative wonderland. As I strolled through the aisles, I came across this paper pack and a familiar feeling of excitement came over me… I couldn’t get home fast enough to start cutting and creating.
I love working with paper from these coordinating packs, because all the colors and patterns work perfectly together and you can cut out parts of the patterns to make simple embellishments that also coordinate perfectly.
Before starting on the tin, I wanted to research what glues would work best and check for any tips that might be helpful so of course I Googled “Altoids tin crafts”.
I was led to this helpful tutorial by Kristin Batsel (aka rackycoo)) at crafters.org. I also decided to follow the link to Kristin’s blog, Junk & Stuff, was I ever WOWED. You should check it out. She doesn’t just create fantastic altered Altoids tins, she is also an award-winning crafter (a true artist) and her blog is full of crafty inspiration.
Anyway, I’m not great at step by step written instructions, but here is the general idea ; (for more in-depth instruction go to Kristin’s tutorial at crafters.org.)
First, I drilled small holes where I wanted to add a handle. In the second photo below you can see two small holes just above the dots I made to mark my spot (the first time).
I cut the required shape (I prefer scissors over the exacto knife) then measured and cut the small strips needed for the edges (I used a paper-cutter to ensure absolutely straight lines)
After cutting the card stock, to touch up the edges and camouflage the white edge I used the edge of a felt tip craft marker with a coordinating color from the design.
I glued every thing in place using tacky glue. In the above photo it’s glopped on, but I spread it out evenly over the surface of the tin. After the paper was applied, I added the beaded wire handle (pierced it through the paper that covered my pre drilled holes).
I used felt to line the inside edge of the tin, I thought this would work better to cover the wire than card stock.
And viol´a: Finished.
The next step is really up to you. You could simply line the inside with paper or fabric and be done with it. Since this was a very special card for an old friend on a landmark birthday, I decided to go all out and have some fun. I stuck to basic old-fashioned scrap-book skills.
For the inside I cut two strips of 12 x 12 card stock the width of the tin, then folded accordion style to ensure the folded strip would fit neatly inside. I had to glue two strips together at their end segments because it needed it to be extra long for what I had in mind. But you could keep it short or opt not to do it at all.
I embellished each segment and on the end segment (the first one you see when you open the tin I ran a bit of ribbon through an eyelet so the “card” could be easily pulled open.
In order for the folded card stock to fit, I had to trim the corners.
I used a corner rounder on bottom edge of the last segment, but folded the inside segments together and nipped off the corners, you can see the effect above. This helps everything fit neatly into the tin when it is all folded up.
That’s really about it, here is a small peek inside:
This project was so much fun and I now have a TON of ideas for more. Unfortunately, I have saved only a few tins and I can’t get everyone to eat them fast enough – So, if you happen to have any great dish ideas that call for mass quantities of Altoids in the recipe – send them my way!
As a side note: After I completed this project I came across a post from Pillows A- la-Mode in my reader list and found this great idea for tins. It’s just so cute, I had to share…
What are some of your ideas for Altoids tins? Show me your creation, I’d love to see it!