Join 3,551 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Curiously useful things, courtesy of a breath mint
July 14, 2011 5:52 AM   Subscribe

22 Manly Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin
posted by Brandon Blatcher (58 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Headphone amplifier.
posted by Nomyte at 5:57 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's too bad I can't make any of these things...
posted by nosila at 6:02 AM on July 14, 2011


Some of them just involve putting a few items in the tin, nosila.

Really cute ideas. I love seeing what people can do with a set design challenge.
posted by orange swan at 6:05 AM on July 14, 2011


23: Chew Altoid after Altoid until your total consumption of peppermint oil, oversize jaw muscles, and steely gaze make your opponent begin to worry; also known as "what to do when you're second-chairing a trial that doesn't require you to do much".
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:09 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cool ideas, too bad it's couched in sexism.
posted by agregoli at 6:09 AM on July 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


Great, now I can sew up a really bad bicep gash like Rambo in First Blood.
posted by bwg at 6:10 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cool ideas, too bad it's couched in sexism.

Well, I can now tell my mother she's manlier than the readers of that website, having made a first aid kit in an altoids tin probably twenty years ago. Oh wait... everyone's thought of that one already.
posted by hoyland at 6:13 AM on July 14, 2011


Is there a second page to this article? Nowhere on this list do I see anything like prostate stimulator, a condom installer or a penis warmer. Because all of those things are distinctly manly devices. The objects listed are simply utilitarian reuses of Altoid tins.

Oh I understand now. It's because men are the ones charged with the task of actually solving problems, and anything related to getting things done is inherently manly.

This website sucks.
posted by triceryclops at 6:14 AM on July 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was saddened recently to learn that Altoids no longer came in tins. Then I was happyened again when I learned that I must have dreamt that.

On preview: Wow, some people are getting really worked up over the use of the word "manly" on "artofmanliness.com".
posted by DU at 6:17 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


The "manly" bit is gross but the ideas are super cool. I hadn't gotten any more imaginative than first aid kit, so yay.
posted by gaspode at 6:17 AM on July 14, 2011


Previously
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:18 AM on July 14, 2011


You can put your weed in there.
posted by Adam_S at 6:20 AM on July 14, 2011 [18 favorites]


I don't think there is anything wrong with producing "gendered" content. This site doesn't pull it off very well though.
posted by hermitosis at 6:24 AM on July 14, 2011


I have something of an "urban survival kit" in my altoids tin: spare contact lenses, contact lens case, bandaids, advil. It lives in my backpack, so I keep the knife, multitool, and flashlight in another pocket. I should really throw some duct tape in there too.

(I also hate the concept of "manliness." It's not only sexist but defines some men as more "ideal" men than others for superficial reasons.)
posted by callmejay at 6:27 AM on July 14, 2011


Manly water filtration and composting please.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:28 AM on July 14, 2011


Ahh - the Altoid's tin, the bassoonist's best friend. Punch some holes in it, a little bit of paper towel at the bottom to pull moisture, and BAM! Instead of paying $40 for a nice, wooden, whatever reed box, you create one and have mintier breath.

I always buy a bunch in the summer at CostCo, eat them over the time, and by the time I start teaching lessons again in the fall, I've got enough for my middle school students who've invariably destroyed/lost theirs somehow.
posted by SNWidget at 6:36 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think your average low-wage TSA grunt's first reaction upon seeing the Survival Kit (should one be careless enough not to put it in one's checked luggage) would be "IED!"

(I think the whole "manly = being handy with tools is exclusively male" thing is presented with a distinct undertone of irony. I say that as the son of a woman who was a programmer back in the punchcard era and who was far handier than my dad when it came to household construction & repairs and such.)
posted by Philofacts at 6:37 AM on July 14, 2011


Real men reuse Fisherman's Friend tins.
posted by kipmanley at 6:38 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I really like the idea of the martini kit. Of course, I'd have to want to eat the Altoids so I could get the tin.
posted by Kitteh at 6:43 AM on July 14, 2011


Can't get Altoids where I live. *sulks* I guess I'll never be a real man. *sulks* Not just because of the lack of tins, but all the sulking doesn't help.
posted by Elmore at 6:50 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Headphone amplifier.

I know a guitarist in Izmir, Turkey who made a 4-channel mixer in a tea tin, as well as a distortion box and a sustainer, I believe both in an Earl Grey tin. (His motto: "Where technology meets bergamot essence...") Unfortunately, the pix he posted (back in 2005) aren't online anymore.

posted by Philofacts at 6:52 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, because First Aid kits are so manly.
posted by phunniemee at 6:52 AM on July 14, 2011


Protip for all the gender warriors that have shown up in this thread: A site that puts a couple of old engravings and a stylized handlebar mustache in its banner probably takes the whole "manliness" thing way less seriously than you do.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:58 AM on July 14, 2011 [32 favorites]


In the process of decluttering my 95 year old mother-in-law's place, I opened well over 200 Altoid tins, full of buttons, pins, nails, hooks, bolts, washers, grommets, herbs, (hopefully not weed), rivets, teeth, mismatched earrings, fish hooks, lures and safety pins. It boggles my mind just thinking about this little old lady hunting for the right size nail.
posted by francesca too at 7:02 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


What do you do when the hottie sitting next to you looks in distress? Offer up a band-aid, an antacid, ibuprofen, a stick of Orbit gum, or a cold medicine caplet. Lip balm is handy too. The Fruit smoothie variety of Blistex comes in a 0.1 oz tube which is just the right size for your tin .

No roofies, lube, condom? Be prepared!
posted by cogneuro at 7:05 AM on July 14, 2011


Less manly than boyish. "Cool! A metal box! I can... keep cool stuff in it! Right, mom?"

A real man fashions his project out of the right box for the right job. With his penis.
posted by pracowity at 7:10 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'll have to inform poor Mr. BlueJae that the battery-powered USB charger he made from an Altoid tin is simply not manly enough to make the list of Manly Altoid Thingies.
posted by BlueJae at 7:12 AM on July 14, 2011


I look at The Art of Manliness occasionally, and it's definitely clear that they take the manliness thing as a little tongue in cheek. I mean, for fucks sake, one of their example is a "mini-grill for hobos to cook mice"; this isn't serious business. There are times they take it more seriously(if you read any of their dating advice for example) and there are times they think that the "manly" option is something everyone should be doing (fishing).

It's also true that there are plenty of people here who would be pissed off about any positive gendered reference to men, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that all they see is the word "manly" and they reach for their keyboards to wage the righteous war against the patriarchy.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:15 AM on July 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


After having used an Altoids tin as a pillbox and had Altoid-tasting pills for a long time afterwards, I'd be very careful about putting food products in the tin and planning to eat them afterwards (e.g., s'mores kit).

Despite the use of Altoids as a sexual aid, I'd feel the same way about any use that was likely to put Altoids dust in contact with sensitive flesh. While it may be great for the recipient when planned, I can imagine it being unpleasant to get Altoid-enhanced love by surprise.
posted by immlass at 7:29 AM on July 14, 2011


So relieved to see that not paginating lists like this is apparently an ideal of manliness.
posted by rollick at 7:38 AM on July 14, 2011


S'mores are manly?
posted by contessa at 7:47 AM on July 14, 2011


Sure, it's using fire to make something.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:49 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It lives in my backpack, so I keep the knife, multitool, and flashlight in another pocket. I should really throw some duct tape in there too.

Things I learned while visiting the same towns as Jerry Garcia: Wrap the gaffer's tape around a bic lighter and then you'll always have a bit of tape and no bastard is going to accidentally hold onto your lighter...
posted by mikelieman at 7:58 AM on July 14, 2011


5.56mm ammo fits nicely in the tin for emergencies.
posted by JJ86 at 8:16 AM on July 14, 2011


I am well aware that my knitting supply kit isn't very manly. But having row counters, stitch markers, scrap yarn, sewing needles, a few buttons, a needle gauge and a pair of tiny scissors makes everything so much easier...

And the Altoids tin means that the scissors don't poke through things.

But I'm totally making more now from all the various tins I have around the house.
posted by Katemonkey at 8:25 AM on July 14, 2011


Altoids smalls played heavily in the act of quitting smoking a few years ago, and as a result I ended up with a huge Jenga-style tower of the empty tins on my desk.

Eventually I got sick of it and bagged them up, but I still have several dozen of the things sitting in a bag awaiting some clever, yet to be determined, project.

Unfortunately, the way my mind works, all the ideas I come up with invariably involve using them as explosives, fire-starters, or other mechanisms of medium-sized destruction, and I just don't want those kinds temptations in my life. So they sit, in a bag, in a drawer, in my desk... lurking.

Waiting for me to be tempted again.
posted by quin at 8:28 AM on July 14, 2011


It lives in my backpack, so I keep the knife, multitool, and flashlight in another pocket. I should really throw some duct tape in there too.

Things I learned while visiting the same towns as Jerry Garcia: Wrap the gaffer's tape around a bic lighter and then you'll always have a bit of tape and no bastard is going to accidentally hold onto your lighter...


I saw somewhere a clever idea to rewrap some duct tape around a drinking straw and then cut the ends off it so you've got a compact roll for your tin, backpack, etc. It has definitely been useful to have in my backpack for my daily commute, and takes up very little room.
posted by hankscorpio83 at 8:38 AM on July 14, 2011


Needs more illicit substance paraphernalia applications.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:45 AM on July 14, 2011


Tongue in cheek or not, its stupid and disappointing that a site for cool creations has to be couched as "manly" because the world has ordained that men are the ones who create inventions. For all who ridicule those who find this disappointing and annoying: you don't get to dictate how sexist things make women feel. Its not like I'm weeping or hysterical over this- just that its idiotic to frame creations as "manly" when they have nothing specically male about them.
posted by agregoli at 8:46 AM on July 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Alternatively, I just keep a couple of rolls of electric tape around. I find it just as useful as duct-tape, and it takes up hardly any space at all in drawers, backpacks, glove-boxes, etc.

Of course, my life demands that I keep equipment and supplies that can be safely used in a salt-water fish tank at a moments notice, so that sort of colors my opinions on what is useful to have right at-hand.
posted by quin at 8:47 AM on July 14, 2011


I submit sperm samples in Altoids tins.

I don't see anything inherently manly about these other uses.
posted by orme at 8:55 AM on July 14, 2011


At first I planned on snarking about how this post is fundamentally indistinguishable from those articles in Hints from Heloise when you knew she was really scraping at the bottom of the barrel and would publish the letter from some crazy old woman who was really excited to tell you about the twelve different things you could store in an old pickle jar.

However, it seems the thread is pretty critically active..

This is why Heloise has a newspaper column and I never will.
posted by 7segment at 9:08 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


i'm surprised from the look of that website, that no one thought to make a use as 'backup mustache holder'
posted by fuzzypantalones at 9:09 AM on July 14, 2011


Condoms fit in there quite well, how's that for manly?
posted by Skwirl at 9:37 AM on July 14, 2011


Okay, I'll bite: mikelieman, what was it that was inherant to traveling with Jerry Garcia that lead you to learn about duct tape and a lighter?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:57 AM on July 14, 2011


Yes, the MintyBoost is a pretty obvious oversight, but wasn't that originally designed by Limor Fried, AKA Ladyada? Maybe not appropriate to give that a shoutout.

They could've at least included the solar powered theremin, though.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:58 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funny that know one has mentioned using the tin to make a shiv to snuff that snitch in cellblock D.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:14 AM on July 14, 2011


Know one? I sure hope the Aryan Brotherhood's Grand Imperial Cycloptic Grammarian is not online today!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:16 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay, I'll bite: mikelieman, what was it that was inherant to traveling with Jerry Garcia that lead you to learn about duct tape and a lighter?

I used to tape (record) shows, so there was always a cry from someone "Who has a bit of gaff tape?!" Having a bit on a lighter would make it trivial to reach into my pocket, and toss it over to the guy who needed it. Additionally, everyone knew that lighter was MINE, because I'm the only dipshit who has 10 feet of black gaffer's tape on wrapped around it....
posted by mikelieman at 10:54 AM on July 14, 2011


Jesus Christ dude quick fucking showing me that Altoids tin and shoot some goddamn fireballs! I mean seriously like a full minute of just fondling a normal-looking tin QUIT WASTING MY TIME.

That is awesome and there is no way I wouldn't burn down my apartment if I had one.
posted by graventy at 11:14 AM on July 14, 2011


They failed to mention 'Container for your own home-made beeswax moustache pommade, along with mirror set in lid to verify hirsute magnificence.' Because that's what I did with mine.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:34 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Feh. Mints are for girls.
posted by Decani at 12:32 PM on July 14, 2011


I use them as coin purses. They work well because you can actually see what coins you have. But it's noisy and I get strange looks. I'm willing to live with being thought of as "eccentric" by strangers in order to reuse them though.
posted by katyggls at 12:36 PM on July 14, 2011


contessa: "S'mores are manly?"

It's the molten marshmallow. Extreme snacking!
posted by Splunge at 12:45 PM on July 14, 2011


I made my optical theremin out of an Altoids case. (Outside | Inside | Sample)

It's similar to the one in ernielundquist's comment, but different.

The website I found the plans on seems to have vanished, but this looks like the same thing.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:34 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


katyggls, I keep coins in a old tobacco tin in my car. I also use one to store pins in. Time was, cigarettes, crayons, tape and other goods were attractively packaged for sale in tins.
posted by mlis at 7:02 PM on July 14, 2011


Yes, I have a Scotch Tape tin full of pins.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:30 AM on July 15, 2011


I used to tape (record) shows, so there was always a cry from someone "Who has a bit of gaff tape?!" Having a bit on a lighter would make it trivial to reach into my pocket, and toss it over to the guy who needed it.

*blinks* Well done, sir. (I was a stage manager for years and run with techies and electricians.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:18 AM on July 15, 2011


« Older Greenpeace activists, following through on Greenpe...  |  A cappella "Du Hast"... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments