DIY: All-Purpose Card Holder From An Altoids Tin

I always have trouble tossing empty Altoids cases, because they make the perfect mini containers for so many little things. And when I realized they were the ideal size for holding credit cards and business cards, the DIY light bulb went off flashing in my head. I now use my upcycled Altoids tin to carry all my essentials including my ID, credit card, cash, lipstick and sticks of gum...yup, they all fit! You can use these little cases for just about anything including gift cards, office supplies, first aids kits, and my personal favorite, a mouse tin house. So get creative and fill it up with all your mini treasures!

With a little bit of paint and handmade love, it's so easy to turn these plain tins into adorable embellished containers. Plus, it's super easy to make and you may even have most of the materials on hand. Follow the steps below to create your very own.

• Altoids tin (other tin cases will work as well)
• 2 colors of spray paint
Glossy decoupage medium (Mod Podge)
• Foam brush
• Table salt
• Masking tape
E6000 glue or tacky glue
2 brass paper fasteners
• Scissors (not pictured)
• Small paper plate to create decoupage mixture (not pictured)

• Spray paint Altoids case inside and out. Let dry.
• Since the Altoids logo is embossed on the front cover, we can add a textured layer on top to hide it. In a small plate, pour Mod Podge and sprinkle some salt into the mixture. Add enough salt so that you can see it throughout the mixture, but not so much that it turns clumpy. Brush it on the front and back cover.
• Once dry, use masking tape to cover the sides of the case. With your second spray paint color, spray over the front and back covers. Let dry and remove the masking tape.
• To create a "kiss clasp" appearance that you see on most coin purses, cut off the legs of the paper fasteners and glue the round heads on the front cover of the case.

Now, fill it with all your teeny treasures and enjoy! Follow along on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with my new DIY projects each week.


  1. Perfect! The faux clasps really kick it up a notch! Love it thanks!

  2. I agree about the faux clasp! This is a really great idea that I have just the little tin to try it on! Thx :)

  3. O boy, that is a super idea. I am going to start making this.353

  4. This is such a great idea. I love how you even added a faux clasp.

  5. Anonymous7/25/2012

    I'm going to make this for my mom for her birthday, she's gonna love it!

  6. Anonymous7/27/2012

    I'm sure that glitter would work just as well as the salt.

  7. Wow, this is so cute!!

  8. Wonderful idea! Love it!

    Kisses from Hong Kong,

  9. lucinda8/01/2012

    Love the idea of the texture to hide embossing logo.

  10. Anonymous8/07/2012

    what kiind of adhesive did you use to glue on the clasp?

  11. I used E6000 glue for the clasp. ~Natalie

  12. Awesome idea! Pretty cool how many uses the humble old Altoids tin has. I am already seeing emergency nail kits, sewing kits, portable makeup palettes....

    1. I agree-I am too seeing lots of uses; don't forget first aid kit, How often does someone need a li' band aid ? or nail glue? or a pin? or need something cut (stork scissors)...etc

  13. I love how it turned out!
    You definetely have a talent for style :)


  14. That is genius! I love how it can fit more than just cards!

  15. Adorei! Beijos visitem meu blog beijos

  16. Anonymous6/11/2013

    I have been wanting a card holder, better than the one I have. I am very creative also, I sew and knit. Thanks for creating this!!

  17. Anonymous8/30/2013

    I was going to try this, but my cards don't fit. The tin is just a bit too small. Has the size of the tins changed?

    1. Hi There! I don't believe the size has changed. You may need to tilt the card then slide it in. Hope you got it working!


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