22 Manly Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin

by Brett & Kate McKay on January 30, 2011 · 120 comments

in Manly Skills, Projects

Altoids have been freshening bad breath since the turn of the 19th century. But while they are touted as “Curiously Strong Mints,” perhaps the real curiosity is not the allure of the mints themselves, but the popularity of turning the tin in which they’re packaged into all sorts of truly handy, and just plain fun, creations.

The draw of the transformed Altoids tin, like the draw one feels towards, say, a secret book safe, is hard to put your finger on. Part of it is the satisfying challenge of fitting as much as possible into a small space. Part of it is the delight of being able to carry something cool in your pocket. Of course much of the appeal can be found in the enjoyment of tinkering and working on a diy project. There is also the satisfaction that comes from reusing an ordinary object for something else entirely. Grandpa’s old motto of “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” still resonates.

Any way you slice it, beholding the creative uses for an Altoids tin simply brings a smile to your face. So we searched high and low and put together this list of 22 manly ways to reuse an Altoids tin. You can make some of these things for yourself, or use the list for cheap and unique gift ideas.

First Aid Kit

You never know when a bear is going to claw you in the face while you have him in a half-nelson, so it’s best to keep a first aid kit on hand at all times. This one is small enough to sock away nearly anywhere-a pocket, a backpack, your car, your European man purse-wherever.

Full instructions here.

Electronics Lab

Photo and tin by Nick Ames

For tinkering on the go. According to its creator, Nick Ames, this tin “contains nearly everything to work on small projects, such as a breadboard, components (including several ICs), and a adjustable power supply. The power supply is a simple LM317 circuit, with the 317′s metal tab cut off to make it fit.”

See here for another view of the kit and the details of its contents.

Charcloth Maker

Photo

When you’re making fire the traditional way, such as with flint and steel, you want to make sure to catch your hard earned spark in something that will turn it into a real fire. What you need is an easily combustible piece of tinder. Enter the char cloth. They’re easy to make-just put strips of cotton fabric in an Altoids tin, close the lid tightly, make a hole in the tin, and place it in a fire to cook.

Full instructions here.

Pocket Games Chest

Photo by airship

We’ve all been unexpectedly stuck somewhere-say the airport or inside a tent on a rained out camping trip-and found ourselves bored out of our minds. Sure you could zone out from your companions and play Angry Birds on your iPad, but why not get everyone involved in a good old fashioned game instead? For analog gaming on the go, stash an Altoids games chest in your bag.

For details of this tin’s contents, see here.

Router Plane

When Popular Woodworking Magazine held a contest challenging readers to make tools out of Altoids tins, this design came out on top. It’s a working router plane, a tool used by woodworkers. The tool is especially nice as the thumbscrew and iron are stored within the tin.

Martini on the Go Kit


If Frank Sinatra had been a poor drifter, this is how he would have made his martinis. Ring a ding ding in an Altoids tin.

Full instructions here.

Mini Flashlight

A mini flashlight you can carry in your pocket wherever you go. This idea, thought up by Nick Brenn, is so popular that Edmund Scientific now sells a kit for those who don’t want to be bothered with gathering and buying the necessary parts themselves. For the more enterprising, the full instructions for this diy project can be found here.

Portable BBQ Stove

Perfect for life as a hobo; just throw the mouse you caught in your boxcar on this portable grill. Dinner is served!

Full instructions here.

Tin Valet

Photo and Valet by Dshouppe

Using a valet is an effective way to keep track of the contents of your pockets; at the end of the day, deposit your keys, coins, watch and so on, and you’ll know right where to pick them up the next morning. Dshouppe made this Altoids tin valet for all the young men in her life. She painted the tins, drilled a hole through them, stuck a threaded rod through the holes, and used nuts and washers to hold the tins in place. The tins were lined with a piece of black rubber–the kind you can use to open a jar–cut to the size of the tin’s bottoms. This served to protect the items which would be placed inside them. Finally, a piece of wood was used at the bottom to hold the threaded rod in place.

Survival Kit

Photo from Field and Stream

Turning an Altoids tin into a survival kit is hands down the most popular Altoids project of them all. There are tons of variations out there, with each assembler arguing the merits of including this or that item. For my money, the guys at Field and Stream have put together the best one. Just stick a survival blanket in your pocket and you’re prepared for almost anything that might befall you in the wild.

Covert Dart Gun

Have an annoying co-worker? Soak your dart with a tranquilzer, casually remove this Altoids tin from your pocket, offer him a mint, and then-boom!-shoot em right in the neck. Then steal his sandwich.

Full instructions here.

S’Mores Pocket Snack Kit

Okay, so there’s nothing particuarly manly about s’mores. Who cares? They’re awesomely delicious and one of my favorite things. So this pocket s’mores kit really tickles my fancy. You put the traditional ingredients inside the tin and tote it with you, so you’re ready whenever the urge for a s’mores snack strikes. You can warm the whole thing up into gooey goodness by placing the tin on the mini BBQ grill above, or even break out an Altoids tin that’s expressly made for roasting marshmallows. Now there’s a guy after my own heart:

Pinhole Camera

Photograph by Chris Keeney

The idea behind the pinhole camera is actually quite ancient and can be traced all the way back to the 4th century BC. To make one, you need a light-tight box, and an Altoids tin fits the bill nicely.

Full instructions here.

Fire Starting Kit

A fire starting kit includes the essentials for creating a flame in any condition, such as weatherproof matches, ferrocerium rods, petroleum jelly, cotton balls, a magnifying glass, and tampons. Yes, tampons.

Morse Code Oscillator

Nginuity on the Hack Gadgets forums built a Altoids Can Morse Code Oscillator. Why an Altoids can? According to the creator,  “I actually use these tins a whole lot for project boxes that involve radio frequency, and also things that may need somewhat of a precise Crystal reference, because the metal does a very good job of shielding the circuit from stray RF, which can get kind of nasty when you work with microwave technology (or, more importantly, keeping out all of the 2.4GHz signals in the neighborhood from getting into a tiny High Frequency mixer, etc).” So yeah, I’ll just take his word on it.

Pocket Watercolor Kit

©2006 L. Laughy, Ninth Wave Designs: Used with permission.

Harness your inner Thomas Moran with this watercolor set in a can. Whether you’re sitting on the banks of a lake or staring out the window of a coffeeshop, you never know when inspiration will strike. So carry this tin along with Moleskine’s watercolor notebook, and you’ll be ready to paint a masterpiece wherever you go.

The watercolor kit in the photograph was created using brass strips to divide the half-pans of watercolor. For other ways to make one, see here and here.

Alcohol Stove

Alcohol stoves are a favorite among minimalist backpackers and vagabonds of all varieties as they’re simple, lightweight, clean burning, and best of all, cheap and easy to make yourself from things like, well, an Altoids can . You can build one with a built-in pot rest, or use it as the fuel source for an Esbit stove, as is shown in the photograph.

Full instructions here.

Emergency Candle

Here is a great way to recycle the remnants of candles you, or perhaps more likely, your lady friend, have lying around the house. The tin holds a candle along with matches and strikers. The candle can be used in an emergency, such as when your car gets caught in the snow; lighting a multi-wick candle in your car can keep you from freezing for several hours.

Full instructions here.

Urban Survival Kit

Photograph and tin by Scott Taylor

City dwellers have a different set of needs from those heading out into the wilderness. The Urban Survival Kit includes items for problems more annoying than life threatening. Obviously, you can exercise your creativity here in filling the tin with things you personally need to survive the urban jungle.

Details on the contents of this tin can be seen here.

Pocket Tackle Box

Huck Finn fished with just a stick and a string. So while having a full-sized tackle box is nice, it’s certainly not necessary. Especially if you’re going backpacking and want to try your hand at catching your own dinner along the way.

Full instructions here.

Fireball Shooter


It’s an Altoids tin. That shoots fireballs. What more do I need to say?

Have any more ideas on how to reuse an Altoids tin? Share your suggestions in the comments!

{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John E. Ferguson January 30, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I know I’ve said this before, but the Art of Manliness is hands down the best website on the internet. From your more serious posts to more fun stuff like this, everything you post is freakin cool and super interesting. It’s awesome and I thank you.

2 Sean Grogan January 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I’m really surprised you missed this one, its a 9v USB charger (for iPod, BlackBerry, etc.)

made one myself, quite handy:
http://www.instructables.com/id/MintyBoost!—Small-battery-powered-USB-charger/

3 Brett McKay January 30, 2011 at 8:07 pm

@Sean-

We saw that one, along with a bunch of other tech-related ideas, but decided to focus on more “classic” uses.

4 Smooth Jazz January 30, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Altoids tin fireball shooter. Talk about an awesome self defense weapon. They won’t know what hit ‘em.

5 Steven January 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I’ve reused an Altoids tin as a travel sewing kit. The travel sewing kits you find in stores always come in a flimsy plastic case that is easily broken and have colors of thread that one may never have a need for. You can buy a pack of smaller spools of thread that sometimes come with some needles and a threader. Some of the colors you may never need, but all one really needs is a spool of white thread, tan thread, black thread and maybe brown thread. I also put some spare buttons in one of those tiny ziptop bags just in case I lose a button.

6 Steven E January 30, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I made an SAS Survival Tin out of mine.

7 Russell Smith January 30, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Great ideas here. I also use my Altoids Gum tin to carry my iPhone ear buds. Just fold ‘em up into the tin, and you have a handy and neat way to carry the ear buds.

8 Allison January 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm

If a man pull out a S’Mores Pocket Snack Kit on a date I would seriously consider marrying him on the spot. I loved this post.

9 Elliot R. January 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Ok, the fireball shooter is legit. These tins have a ridiculous amount of uses… Although I’m surprised using it as a shop receptacle for parts of a smallish nature was not mentioned.

10 Dylan January 30, 2011 at 10:07 pm
11 Chris Nelson January 30, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I don’t know how manly it is, but for years I carried my digital camera around in an Altoids tin…apparently it was so common the company even started marketing the camera as such.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0301/03010801pentaxoptios.asp

12 Sean January 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Amazing article. I had no idea. Must say that as I was reading through this post I was waiting for my favorite use to pop up but it didn’t. So I felt compelled to share my favorite recycled use of an Altoid tin – guitar pick storage.
@thetrustnovel

13 Jesse January 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm

The coolest Altoid tin contraption I’ve seen was one used to make a photo spectrometer for measure chemical composition… but i’m also a chemistry nerd.

14 Tim @ growrichsimply.com January 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I emphatically agree with the first comment — this is definitely one of my favorite blogs on the net today. I’m motivated to go out and buy some Altoids so I can give some of these a go.

15 Michael January 30, 2011 at 11:27 pm

How about a blade bank for used safety razor blades?

16 Caleb January 31, 2011 at 12:05 am

@sean
amen brother, im right there with you. cant believe that didnt make the list. EVERYONE i know who plays guitar uses one to store their picks and other small accessories they dont want getting lost in their music cases.

I also used one for cut down pencils, erasers, razor blades and charcoal stick when i took some art classes in college…way better than carrying it all around in one of those tackle boxes like everyone else.

17 darksim905 January 31, 2011 at 12:08 am

Wah? No love for using a Altoids tin to copy keys discretely?

18 Hal Hockersmith January 31, 2011 at 12:25 am

AoM you rock. I just found 3 empty tins and one with some in it (bonus!) and was wondering how I might use them. Question asked, answer provided. FirstAid kit looks like a good start.

19 Vince January 31, 2011 at 3:28 am

I made a CMoy pocket amplifier to fit in an altoids tin when I was in college off of a tutorial I found on the internet. It was a pretty neat little gadget that worked really well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CMoy

20 Albert L. January 31, 2011 at 3:55 am

The dart one was the best one I saw, hands-down.

21 Real Optimist January 31, 2011 at 5:40 am

Here are some ways I’ve used an Altoids tin. In some cases if you don’t want the rattling sound of stuff bouncing around inside, just tape some foam or put a folded piece of paper towel in there to muffle the noise and hold contents more snuggly.

1. Storage case for my phone headsets, bluetooth but esp. wired ones.
2. Store toothpicks in there for use in my car or at the office.
3. Container for all of my flash cards (e.g. SD, CF, xD, etc.)
4. Storage for “tobacco” and rolling papers.
5. Store extra batteries for digital cameras and mini-camcorders.
6. Store foam ear plugs for travel.
7. Miniature time capsule, containing photos and small artifacts.
8. Traveling flea circus.
9. Hold your deceased pet’s ashes.
10. Store more delicious Altoids mints. :-)

22 Marlo January 31, 2011 at 7:03 am

My ex used to carry his condoms in one. Asking me if I wanted a mint never failed to crack me up!

23 Jason Stambaugh January 31, 2011 at 7:35 am

I eat a ton of Altoids and have so many tins that I just simply throw them away. Thank you though for giving me some ideas for ways to repurpose my beloved brand’s tins. The most creative thing I have done to date is stuff some receipts or business cards in them. Curiously awesome post!

24 Eric January 31, 2011 at 7:50 am

Sweet! I don’t think they have created a brand of gum I can carry in my pocket. All of them just heat up during a normal day of walking and make for pretty disgusting gum you can’t share. I use the mini altoid tins to store the gum and voilá.

25 Jerry January 31, 2011 at 7:54 am

And I thought I was ingenious using my tins for a pocket tackle box or to carry my visiting cards.

26 ke4sky January 31, 2011 at 8:34 am

An Altoids tin makes a good emergency cash stash. Packed carefully it will hold five pennies, two nickels, five dimes, four quarters, five-$1, four-$5, two-$10 and ten-$20 bills. Seal with Scotch Super 88 electrical tape and sew into a pocket of your overcoat or survival vest. A planning concept for emergency cash I have used for many years is “enough for a tank of gas, a hot meal and a motel room on the way home” after an EMAC deployment. When I was a GI in 1970 you could to that for $50, but today you need closer to $250, hence $245.65 when you add this it up. If you get marooned away from home when power is off, and the ATM doesn’t work a little “mad money” makes things less crazy and adds some comfort and security.

27 Colin January 31, 2011 at 8:59 am

I use them as resonators and bridges in the manufacture of guitars… (guitarsthatsmoke.tripod.com).

28 Jordan January 31, 2011 at 9:27 am

I use an altoits tin to save all my collar stays and cuff links, one to collect all my quarters for the laundry. I also use an Altoits Minis tin for pills and vitamins when I travel. I wish they still made them with a flat surfaced cover, you could really have fun customizing them that way.

29 Nathan January 31, 2011 at 9:33 am

Travel container for shaving soap (or a denser cream that won’t spill). Just grate it in to the tin (for hard soaps), press firmly, and go.

I like the ideas regarding guitar playing, and cufflinks/collar stays.

30 Jared January 31, 2011 at 10:12 am

Not highly-creative, but with a small piece of paper-towelling in the bottom, these tins make excellent storage for musical instrument reeds. The toweling wicks away moisture to prevent mildewing, the tin keeps them from getting broken. I found the Altoids gum tins perfectly sized to hold bagpipe chanter reeds. Storing them in the my polypenco chanter often led to a brownish gunk on the hemp, that I’d rather not think about putting near my mouth.

31 Craig January 31, 2011 at 10:23 am

I second guitar pick storage b/c they’ll disappear otherwise. I like the Tin Valet catch all, that is a fun idea. I could see tins being used in a garage as well to store smaller nuts/bolts and things of that nature.

32 JG January 31, 2011 at 10:33 am

In the past I have used Altoids tins as oil lamps when the power goes out. Punch a hole in the top, roll up a piece of cloth and stick in in a hole, put some oil in the tin (I used olive since that’s all I had on hand. I’d suggest something cheaper if you make this in advance.) and light the cloth. Works like a charm and puts off a good light. Only takes a couple of minutes to make and you can do it in the pitch dark. It does have flaws (oil will drip out if you leave it with the wick in, it’s kind of smokey, etc.) but they are small compared to no light during a black out at night.

33 James Dennard January 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

These are great ideas. Up to now, I’ve been using them mostly to store used double edge blades. Looks like I’ll be hanging on to more of my empty altoid tins.

34 Ben January 31, 2011 at 10:55 am

As Vince before – I have a CMoy headphone amp in an Altoids tin. Works great!

35 TimothyPilgrim January 31, 2011 at 11:15 am

Great post! Lots of good commenter info too.

@Jesse: Have you got a link for that spectrophotometer? I use such techniques at in my lab as well and I’d love to see that.

@Vince: I’ve got a CMoy headphone amp too and it does work well. I use it on motorcycle trips because the big volume knob is easy to adjust wearing gloves.

@Jordan: Good idea, but I already have a leather wallet for my brass collar stays.

36 Connor January 31, 2011 at 11:19 am

I love aom, its in my favorites toolbar and is probably my most visited site next to email and facebook, but this article was very disappointing. No need for an article about how to use an Altoids tin.

37 Ty January 31, 2011 at 11:51 am

This was one of the most inspiring DIY articles I have read in a while. Thank you so much! I now know how I will be using some of my spare time this week.

38 My Affair with Michael Bastian January 31, 2011 at 11:54 am

Pocket Watercolor Kit, HELLO!

39 Matt January 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Haha!

“Then steal his sandwich.”

That is just pure, unadulterated awesome.

40 Bob January 31, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Check out Ampoids on facebook or at http://www.ampoids.com. Made by my exceedingly clever friend Chris. It’s a mini-guitar amp with a 1/4″ jack or a little speaker for iPods with an 1/8″ jack.

41 Drew January 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm

wow this opens up so many ideas i never knew i had. one can be a night out survival kit. complete with, mints, comb, thread and needle, lint brush, a bottle of your favorite alcohol with collapsable cup, matches and cologne. okay maybe two bottle of favorite alcohol.

42 red velvet January 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm

People still eat altoids?

43 Jacqueline Alkula January 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I’ve found a number of them around North Carolina and Missouri being used as
containers for GeoCaching. Small, easy to hide and some what water resistant.
Just big enough to hold the log book and a writing instrument.
JackieA0818

44 Tyler Williams January 31, 2011 at 3:28 pm

We made the pin hole camera a few weeks ago, worked like a charm.
Thanks for all of the other ideas!
-Tyler

45 Chris January 31, 2011 at 4:06 pm

These are fun and all, but please don’t test the idea of getting stuck in the wilderness with nothing but your Altoid survival kit. I think you’ll probably end up as bear food.

I do think the game kit is kind of cute, but, again, if you’re worried about getting stuck somewhere, maybe a book of crosswords or a deck of playing cards should be in your pack anyway.

And ALWAYS carry a pen.

46 Ryan Tyler January 31, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I know this article is great because I couldn’t choose a favorite way to reuse the tin.

Excellent throughout.
Ryan

47 Bill G January 31, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Love this post – very imaginative.

Martini on the Go Kit – great, if you’re MacGyver with a drinking problem. LOL

48 Faisal January 31, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Weightlifting chalk.

49 Al Toid January 31, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Use for a mini diorama for when you’re really, REALLY bored!

50 John M. January 31, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I use mine to not only store my guitar picks but the small Allen wrenches I use on my guitars.

51 Beowulf87 January 31, 2011 at 9:28 pm

GREAT post!

52 Steve C January 31, 2011 at 10:42 pm

This is easily one of the most enjoyable posts I’ve read on AoM. Pure manly fun in a tin! The manly uses for the humble Altoids tin are probably endless. Which goes to show that all men are engineers at heart, one way or another. Damn! It’s great to be a man. Thanks, Brett for a light-hearted way to end the day.

The wood plane was awesome. Liked the water color kit, too.

53 iDUDE February 1, 2011 at 12:28 am

WinterGREEN tins are great for the Medicinal Green storage hands down….

54 Austin W February 1, 2011 at 1:46 am

link/instructions for the last use?

55 Menger February 1, 2011 at 8:58 am

I’ve found it makes a handy cigarette tin, too.

56 Symphony Sid February 1, 2011 at 10:31 am

Steampunk artist Jake von Slatt makes art objects out of Altoid tins.

http://steampunkworkshop.com/altoid-etch.shtml

57 anonymous February 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

My faith in (hu)manly ingenuity has been replenished for another day. Thanks.

58 Evan Sylvia February 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I used to use the keychain altoids strips tins as guitar pick holders.

59 Brian Nafarrete February 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I certainly never thought to use the Altoids tin can in such ways. The only thing I use it for is for holding business cards. Very creative of me, haha.

60 Farm Boy February 1, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I have dropped a “cow magnet” (very strong plastic coated magnet to catch wire and other bits of metal in the first chamber of the cow’s stomach that they might ingest) in an empty tin and use it to hold screw, nuts, pins, etc in various places. Tool box, tractor, fridge are just a few of the places that I have them stashed.

61 Sam February 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I’m not sure if it would count under the survival kit option, but I was thinking that a good use of the recycled altoid can would be a small tacklebox, with a few dividers set inside it. However, if you’re into muzzleloading as I am, they also make an excellent container for round ball and patches. (Not for hunting though, unless deer in your area are somehow attracted to the sound of maracas!)

62 Lauren February 1, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Mt friend Kurtis makes pocket amps out of Altoids tins.
http://www.bomtronics.com/music-2/altoids-pocket-guitar-amp

63 El February 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm

In high school, my friend’s boyfriend made her a pair of iPod speakers out of two Altoids tins!

64 Mark February 1, 2011 at 8:18 pm
65 Braden Purcell February 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I use my Altoids tin as a USB charger that runs off of 4AA batteries. It’s called a MintyBoost. Check Out the Link for more info and pics: http://web.me.com/ygo2slow/Team_Low_Tech_/Blog/Entries/2010/11/23_MintyBoost_V3_Review.html

66 Braden Purcell February 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Just to clarify, I use the MintyBoost to charge my iPhone 4 while traveling. It runs off of 4AA batteries. I use rechargeable batteries, however in a pinch you can use any brand AA. This was a great post. I have a Cmoy Headphone amp housed in an Altoids tin, and a survival kit. The Urban Survival Kit is nice. Mine has a hole in the lid to use as a signal. I can’t wait to make the martini one and go “Bond” on my next outing!

67 David Shamblin February 1, 2011 at 11:08 pm

At Christmas, my family agreed that we were all too broke to buy things for eachother. So I decided to make gifts out of Altoid tins. For my grandma and grandpa, I took the sound making thing out of a musical card and rigged it in the tin. On the bottom inside, I put a piece of paper to cover the electronics up, and had springs holding up cutout bodies with pictures of my grandparents’ faces on them. On the inside of the lid was a green piece of paper with red cutout letters that said “Merry Christmas from (my picture).” So the effect was them opening it, with their faces bobbling around to jingle bell rock. For my uncle (who’s a pastor) I wrote the Christmas story from the Bible and put it in the bottom accordion style. Inside the lid was a picture of him with his wife and kid. The outside was spray painted gold, with a black silhouette of the three magi with the star on top of the lid. In the middle of the star, I had put an LED (with switch on the back, batteries, and everything else inside under the picture inside). If you have the time, these things really go over big with people who appreciate something unique.

68 Raimundo February 2, 2011 at 6:14 am

I use it mainly to carry .22 ammo when going out to my hunting/plinking grounds.You can put an awful number of rounds in it.
Cheers, Raimundo

69 Cordelia at Catholic Phoenix February 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

I enjoyed this post. It reminds me of delightful Boyscout badge projects. I think one of those videos was made by my nephews. Just kidding. Visiting my sister’s house where my nephews are always making videos and spending hours behind closed doors makes me wonder what the heck they could be doing that’s so important–maybe an altoids invention project? :)

70 Sweden February 2, 2011 at 11:33 am

Haha superb article, very fun to read.
You could make money from having Altoids ads on this page because I really feel like buying a few and start experimenting to build my own vallet :)!

71 Steve from St Louis February 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm

battery powered guitar amp, for practice on the go…even more weird is playing a cigar box guitar with an amp jack to the minty amp.

72 Batsuuri Gantulga February 4, 2011 at 11:07 am

This is really interesting post. Actually useful!!! Really loved the Hobo Grill one, but it’s a real shame that I can’t find any Altoids around here…

73 Noah February 5, 2011 at 2:31 am

How bout a mini television inside of an Altoids tin? Dont really know how it would work, but im sure someone could figure it out.

74 Sherbert February 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I put my earphones in them. Keeps them from getting damaged.

75 jayberry February 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

@Sam : put some cotton balls in it to make it stop from rattling

76 Jim February 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I need me one of them martini kits!

77 Lance February 7, 2011 at 8:20 am

I used to have a Pentax S4 point and shoot camera that was actually advertised to fit inside an Altoids tin. While in college it always attracted attention when people would think that I was about to pull out a mint, only to pull out my camera.

78 BR Jones February 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

If your a ham radio operator, build an 80M, 40M, 30M or 20M HF radio transmitter housed in a tin and QRP the world. Check out http://www.smallwonderlabs.com/

Not my website but I have some cool pics of HF radios in Altoid cans…

73′s

79 Dolly February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

My very creative daughter-in-law made me a beautiful traveling Buddhist shrine out of an Altoids tin. It’s perfect for the little Buddha statue I like to bring with me when I go somewhere. It even has a photo of His Holiness to complete its perfection.

80 Sarah Saldana February 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Great Blog! Fascinating read and very insightful and innovative!

81 J.B. Jones February 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

I’m told an empty tin is excellent as a cannibas and paraphernalia kit. A bud or two, a “one hit” pipe, small butane lighter, and a pipe cleaner. I don’t know, I’ve just heard, I’ll have you understand. Don’t have a picture

82 Jesse February 9, 2011 at 12:57 am

http://bookcracker.com/projects/ – about half way down there is “Racing mint tin.”

I built this a number of years ago. It had 3 wheels and was powered by a CDROM drive motor, and used two cdroms for the other wheels.

83 Kurt February 9, 2011 at 8:12 am

How about a pocket guitar amp?

http://www.etsy.com/shop/hesslerk

84 bill February 9, 2011 at 10:29 am
85 Cheech February 10, 2011 at 12:34 am

how come “hide your weed in it” isnt at the top of this list?

86 Melody Martin February 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm

You have left out all the womanly uses for these, for example lipstick holder, Emergency sewing kit, Bobby pin keeper, emergency repair kit (safety pins matches. a lighter ) A cell phone keeper (if your going boating put cell phone in the box and then run Vaseline around the rim put it in a partly inflated baggie (if it goes over board you can easily recover it and still use it) even if the bag leaks a little the phone will stay dry. use to keep nail glue and some emergency nails if you use them. I could go on all day but let it suffice I feel that excluding women in this post was W R O N G !!~

87 delukze February 11, 2011 at 1:29 am

some pretty cool stuff, ima try to make me that flashlight!!!
fireball shooter could be dangerous, imagine someone trying to take that in an airport.

88 Christine February 11, 2011 at 10:15 am

found you at Thrift Core. I have to admit, my favorite is the pocket candle. Maybe because I am a lady?

89 am filipkowski February 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I have a tin (not Altoids, but the same size) that I converted into a FlashDrive-SuperDrive.
I took a USB hub and 4 flash drives stripped them all of their decorative housings, then connected the flash drives to the hub and stuck everything in the tin. I cut a tidy little slot for the connector from the USB hub to hang out.
It was a nice way to keep all my flash drives handy and in one place while at the same time finding a nice use for 1 and 2 gig drives that otherwise would be lost or sitting in a change bowl somewhere.

90 Jan February 11, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I have one that is used as a travel sewing kit. Another contains all my little left-over nails and screws from projects. Yah, love those tins!

91 Joey February 12, 2011 at 2:54 am

Dear Melody,
I want to say this respectfully, but I can’t promise to be perfect. This site is called “The Art of Manliness”. This article, keeping in line with the premise that people are coming here for articles about manliness, is titled “22 Manly Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin”. The article isn’t titled, “22 Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin”. It is ridiculous to wonder why the feminine uses of an Altoids Tin aren’t listed, and it is certainly not “wrong”. I believe that you may be a feminist, checking out a site directed at males not for entertainment, but to find ammunition for your cause. Not everything has to be unisex! Men can certainly focus on masculinity, and shouldn’t be preached to by a woman who wants to feminize everything! Please stick to other sites if you don’t understand the reason for this site.

92 Drew February 13, 2011 at 5:58 am

That list was purely awesome. I’d try all of those if I had an Altoids tin sitting around. Having a mini stove in your pocket would definitely have its advantages!

@Melody: I must say that I agree with Joey. This site is all about *manliness,* not feminism. I have nothing against females doing manly things, but I believe this site was created to bring back the dead art of manliness. To males. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. :)

93 Tryclyde February 13, 2011 at 7:12 am

Hey Melody, what’s the name of this website again?? Do you also go to Italian restaurants and complain that there’s no Chinese food on the menu?

94 marq February 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Has anyone found a way to make new mints to refill the tin.

95 Gronkie February 15, 2011 at 12:12 am

I carry my MP3 player and a pair of ear buds in an Altoid tin everywhere I go. I keep some music and a few audio books on the player, and if I get stuck somewhere then I know I won’t be bored. I use a 4G Sansa Clip because it is only $40 and works as good as any iPod. I also bust out the ear buds when I want to watch a movie or TV show that I’ve stored on my Blackberry. Oh yeah, I also keep a card of my favorite allergy pills in case of an emergency.

96 Glenn Mark Cassel AMH1(AW) USN Ret. February 17, 2011 at 1:46 am

Mechanics uses are for small parts and consumable items such as cotter keys. I used several of them while on the assembly line at an aircraft plant. And when I was working the ballast trains for several years.

97 fiery unicorns of death and warfare February 19, 2011 at 9:22 am

This isnt very manly, but you can also grow plants in an altoids tin. They have to be very, very small plants though. If you dont have a green thumb, you could also make a zen garden out of leftover tins with some sand and pebbles. i LOVE these ideas!! its a shame i dont even like altoids that much :-( i can always take them from my altoid loving friends!

98 cody February 19, 2011 at 10:26 am

I use an Altoids sized tin to keep my bore brushes. It fits a 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and a few rifle brushes no problem.

99 robyn February 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm

um.

this is probably one of the most amazing entries you have come up with. speechless and baffled.

100 dolarpeso February 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I used to keep weed in one and would hide it in a tree hole in my back yard. It was awesome. Never got busted with it that way.

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