Alter a tin with silver and gold

Alter a tin with silver and gold


“Silver and gold
Silver and gold
Mean so much more
When I see
Silver And gold decorations
On ev’ry Christmas tree
Silver, silver and gold”

Good ol’ Burl Ives. I still picture him as a claymation snowman strolling through 1970s Christmas specials.

As you guessed by now, silver and gold is the focus of today’s project. Two of my bestest, mostest, funnest and favoritest crafty activities are altering tins and books. As a result, I decided to turn an Altoid tin into a Silver and Gold ornament.


Step 1

Remove lid by slowly bending lid backward to pull hinges away from box and sliding lid off. This is also a good time to remove that leftover mint dust because if anyone takes a picture of it at this stage, it could be embarrassing (cough, cough).


Step 2

Using a pliers and tin snips, bend the hinge tabs on the box outward and snip off as close to the box as possible. (Hint: If you have an old pair of scissors that you don’t care about, you can use these instead of tin snips to get a closer cut). Bend the remaining portion of the tabs back in, so that they are aligned with the box. Save the lid to use for another project.

Step 3

Cover the inside and outside of the tin with white gesso. After it dries, repeat if necessary to cover up any writing that shows through. Let dry. While this step is not necessary for all Altoid tin projects, it is essential for this project because the medium causes the metal to quickly form rust and bleed through the translucent paper. Trust me. It will happen.


Step 4

Use a paper trimmer to cut off the bottom edge  and the side edge closest to the seam of a Metallic Gold Polka Dot Little Bitty Bag and open the bag to form a flat sheet of paper. Repeat this with a Metallic Gold Chevron Little Bitty Bag,  Gray Polka Dot Little Bitty Bag and Gray Honeycomb Middy Bag. On the gold chevron and gray polka dot paper, gently remove the extra strip of paper and adhesive left from where the bottom of the bag was.



Step 5

Trace an outline of the Altoid box base onto the back side of the gold polka dot paper. Following just inside the lines, carefully cut this out and try fitting it inside the tin. Make tiny incremental trims, if necessary, until you have a perfect fit. Remove and set aside.

Step 6

Repeat Step 5 with the gray honeycomb paper, except make sure it fits the outside back of the tin.

Step 7

Measure, and then measure again, the depth of the box. Usually this is 13/16″, but measure to make sure. Cut two to three strips of the gold chevron paper. Make sure that these fit the inside sides of the box.

Step 8

Repeat Step 7 with the gray polka dot paper, adding 1/16 of an inch to the width of your strips. These should fit the outside sides of the tin.

Step 9

Apply matte medium (I used Liquitex) to the inside sides of the tin and the back of the chevron gold strips. Place the strips in the tin. You will want to place the seams in the least obvious spots and make sure to line up the chevron stripes as close as possible. The Bitty Bags wrinkle easily and become quite fragile at this point, so make sure gently smooth the paper in place as you lay it down.

Step 10

Apply matte medium to the base of the tin and the back of the gold polka dot rectangle. Carefully set this base piece into place. Cover both the base and side with a thin coat of matte medium. Let dry.

Step 11

Apply matte medium to the outer sides of the tin and the back of the gray polka dot strips. Place the strips on the tin.


Step 12

Apply matte medium to the outside bottom of the tin and the gray honeycomb rectangle. Place the honeycomb rectangle in place, lining the edges up with the polka dot sides. Cover both the base and side with a thin coat of matte medium. Let dry.

Step 13

Hold the box up to a light so you can see where the holes from the hinges were. Use a small hole punch to make one small punch in each of these spaces.

Step 14

Cut a length of Gold Metallic Divine Twine and tie a large knot in one end. Starting inside the box, thread this through one of the hole punches. Then thread the twine back through the other hole. Leaving enough twine to hang your ornament, make a second knot in the Divine Twine to keep it from moving through the punched hole. Then add a tiny dab of hot glue to the inside of each hole and press the knots into place.

Step 15

Decorate the inside of your tin with your own ephemera. I found the glittery reindeer this season at Target (it was an entire reindeer, but I decapitated him) and I already had the bell, star and rickrack in my stash.  Decorate the outside with tinsel or a tinsel pipe cleaner.


Stuff I used



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