Thursday, July 30, 2009

diy candles, travel candles maybe for oot bags?

April 8th, 2009
diy project: kate’s tin travel candle

i can’t get enough of these altoids tins! they are so useful. this week, there was a small earthquake in my area and it got me motivated to start getting prepared for emergencies. i covered this tin with pretty paper to make a nice travel candle (mint scented…get it??), but you could make a bunch of these quickly for emergency kits, camping, etc. enjoy! - kate

CLICK HERE for the full project instructions after the jump!


What You’ll Need:

1. altoids tins
2. candle wicks
3. wax (i used microwaveable soy wax from a craft store)
4. mod podge (a glue/sealant available at craft stores. it is non-toxic and inflammable
5. decorative paper
6. pencil
7. scissors
8. paint brush
9. wax coloring or scents (optional)

1. clean the altoids tin thoroughly.
2. trace the top and bottom on your paper and carefully cut out shapes.


3. measure the width of the sides for the top and bottom. for the bottom, measure to the bumps on the front side where the top and bottom connect. (my altoids tin is .25 in and .5 in thick) and cut a long strip in each width.
4. separate the top and bottom of the tin. spread a layer of mod podge around the rim of the bottom tin and wrap the strip around. press down and cut off any excess paper. smooth down the edges with your fingers to wipe off any extra glue.


5. spread mod podge on the flat base of the tin and place the paper over it. smooth out any bumps and snip around the sides to clean the edges.
6. repeat with the top of the tin. you can cover the holes and bumps and then cut them off later.
7. when the papers are all attached, paint a thin layer of mod podge over all of the papered part of the the tins. this smooths the edges and seals the paper to protect it.
8. let dry completely and reattach the two pieces. clean any glue off the inside of the tin with a paper towel and soap.
9. glue the wicks onto the base.
10. heat the wax and pour to directly below the hinges in the back.
11. let the wax dry. trim the wicks.
12. if you want, you can attach a small pack of matches to the inside of the top lid so you always have a light!



Aneta said:
April 8th, 2009 - 10:08 am

I never thought of making anything with altoids tins. This is so simple and genius!

tiffany said:
April 8th, 2009 - 10:11 am

These are adorable! I love Altoids and always hate throwing away the tins. This is a great use — and super handy!

Yoli said:
April 8th, 2009 - 10:15 am

I absolutely love this and I want to try it out. This is just the cutest thing and so useful!

April 8th, 2009 - 10:19 am

I wish we had altoids here in the UK!

…just read that sentence back to myself, and is it just me, or does it sound like some sort of disease?! :D

April 8th, 2009 - 11:14 am

What a fabulous little project! Now I’m going to go searching around my house for other things to put candles in!

Amy said:
April 8th, 2009 - 11:18 am

This makes me want to go buy some altoids!

Blake K said:
April 8th, 2009 - 11:20 am

This is amazing! I love it! About how long did it take? Could a person conceivably make a bunch or are they pretty time intensive?

April 8th, 2009 - 11:25 am

I’ve used these little tins for many things including storing used exacto blades, mini books, etc – but THIS is fantastic! Very inspired and practical. Thanks so much!
Brenda Pinnick

jHill said:
April 8th, 2009 - 11:29 am

i am an altoid-aholic and always feel bad getting rid of the tins. i’m totally going to make these!

Alix said:
April 8th, 2009 - 11:39 am

Doesn’t the tin get very hot, though? Probably need to put it on a protected surface while burning. Cute project!

Tina said:
April 8th, 2009 - 11:41 am

What a fantastic idea ! (And to think I use Altoids tins for tampon storage!)

Honor said:
April 8th, 2009 - 11:43 am

You know, these would be great to put in welcome baskets for out of town guests at a wedding. You could also make a smaller version with used up lip balm tins or smaller mint tins. This is totally cute.

Laura. said:
April 8th, 2009 - 11:43 am

yay! so great, i totally want to make one.

Kristie said:
April 8th, 2009 - 11:45 am

super cute idea! love it! good job kate!

April 8th, 2009 - 11:49 am

very nice. But I’m guessing it wouldn’t burn long enough to be very useful in an emergency kit (?)

jules said:
April 8th, 2009 - 11:56 am

I love altoid tins (so many uses) this is such a great idea!

April 8th, 2009 - 12:17 pm

what a wonderfully fun idea ;) thanks!

juliet b said:
April 8th, 2009 - 12:18 pm

My Material Void: We do! (they’re contagious!) Keep your eyes peeled
at newsagents, they’re usually with the gum, polos & fisherman’s friends ;)

April 8th, 2009 - 1:12 pm

Perfect for wedding favors. I would go nuts with the papers and incorporate colors from the table setting. Just brilliant!

krista said:
April 8th, 2009 - 1:14 pm

so cute! and could i ask where you got the plant in the vase? i’ve been looking for those things everywhere.

Judy Carpenter said:
April 8th, 2009 - 2:03 pm

Hot dog!!! What a great idea. Thanks

April 8th, 2009 - 2:27 pm

what a lovely travel item. this would make cute gift too.

Erin said:
April 8th, 2009 - 2:30 pm

Oh! I already have that kind of wax on hand! What a great idea.

It makes me wish that I had let my husband keep his collection of empty altoids tins from his childhood. (He had something like 97 of them!)

April 8th, 2009 - 2:32 pm

My mom always brings a “travel candle” wherever she goes- says it brings a warmth to even the most sterile hotel room. I think I might just make her a few of these!

Connie said:
April 8th, 2009 - 2:40 pm

What a fabulous idea!!!! If your don’t mind I am going to blog about this on my blog tomorrow…really a great idea!!

jess said:
April 8th, 2009 - 2:49 pm

I love making things out of altoid tins!

I think a great alternative to store bought wax would be the left over wax in a larger candle jar after the wick has burned out. It’s easy enough to melt it in a tin can and then remold.

I’ve also seen emergency survival altoid tins out there as well…but the candle tins are much more cute (o:

Kate said:
April 8th, 2009 - 4:33 pm

Great project idea! Those would make wonderful gifts, too.

Wehaf said:
April 8th, 2009 - 4:45 pm

So sweet! But I do hope you mean that Mod Podge is NONflammable, not INflammable - the latter means it will burn, which seems unsafe in this case.

kate said:
April 8th, 2009 - 5:03 pm

hey everyone!
thanks for the feedback! here are some answers: 1. the flowers are billy bobs (or billy boys), i got them at the sf flower mart, but i think fresh cut florists should have them. they dry nicely and last forever. 2.these tins so super fast, you can finish in less than an hour. 3. i think the wicks would last for at least a couple hours. and jess i love the idea of using old leftover wax! great idea.

kate said:
April 8th, 2009 - 6:14 pm

sorry! that is what i mean… NONflammable! thank you for pointing that out!

Kiki said:
April 8th, 2009 - 7:01 pm

Sweet travel idea, old candy or even a large enough lip gloss tin could work as well!

melissa said:
April 8th, 2009 - 7:49 pm

Another less pretty (actually, ugly!), but really helpful idea is to mix the wax with sawdust. This burns HOT for a long time. Useful as a fire-starter or as a burner under a tin or a candle.

Serina said:
April 9th, 2009 - 12:20 am

So cute! I told my husband he has to start eating Altoids for dinner! I can’t wait to try this. Love the DIY ideas!

Minalucia said:
April 9th, 2009 - 10:59 am

GREAT cake stand and I love the paint samples.

claudia said:
April 9th, 2009 - 12:31 pm

such a great idea! i also use altoid tins for gift cards. i use paper on the inside, as well, and attach any little thing i have in my stash like a little heart or unusual sticker. after i put the gift card inside, i tie a ribbon around the tin. makes such a great little gift.

Alicia said:
April 9th, 2009 - 2:07 pm

This is bringing back memories because in high school I did this to Altoid tins and we sold them to raise money for cancer research!

But, wow, I love this concept of pretty survival gear. I think you’re on to something. My boyfriend is very into survival and we have so much gear all around our apartment. Maybe more people, ladies especially, would be interested in being prepared if it were visually appealing!

Yasmin said:
April 9th, 2009 - 3:03 pm

We do have Altoids in the uk My Material Void. I found ‘em in Waitrose the other day

April 9th, 2009 - 3:11 pm

Great idea. Not only is it cute and pratical, it also reuses would be trash. Thanks for sharing.

April 9th, 2009 - 11:10 pm

Funny that someone commented on wishing they had Altoids in the UK… they were originally produced by Callard & Bowser and made in the UK… I remember buying them as an import from a gourmet store in the late 80s.

Amanda said:
April 10th, 2009 - 2:18 am

I use altoid tins to store those pesky nails, screws, and pushpins that fall to the bottom of my tool box. It’s no fun to get poked when you reach for a tool. This is a much prettier idea :)

Christy said:
April 10th, 2009 - 11:48 am

Love this. Such a great idea!

orlando said:
April 10th, 2009 - 1:01 pm

super cute! at first i thought it was silly and 2 seconds later i loved it

April 10th, 2009 - 6:09 pm

I decorate the tins with paper, paint, jewels and ribbons then use as a gift box for jewelry that I make for friends and family.

Miss B. said:
April 13th, 2009 - 1:59 pm

Loved this project, especially the tips on how to paper the Altoid tin, bril!

Clarity said:
April 14th, 2009 - 4:52 am


Very cool. Where did you get the scented paper from?
I just recently did my own altoid tin recon and posted about it.

lelia said:
April 14th, 2009 - 5:58 pm

how about using CONTACT PAPER or decoupaging layers of crumpled/torn giftbag tissue?!