Curiously Recycling
May 23, 2007 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Things you can do with empty Altoids tins. People are spending a lot of time coming up with uses for Altoids tins. You don't have to buy the mints. Pinhole camera. Photos taken with that camera. Key for practicing Morse Code. Another one. Religious shrines. Postage assistant. Miniature luggage and furniture. Quilted. Etched and plated. Ipod speakers. Ipod case. Previously mentioned on MeFi: Ipod battery pack; survival kit. Of course, you could stash your drugs in one - but maybe you shouldn't.
posted by Kirth Gerson (31 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
How odd - I could have sworn that I'd read something like this before, but it doesn't appear to have been here. Something about making a ukelele out of an altoids tin? Hmm... brain must be going...

Interesting, nontheless!
posted by Chunder at 7:15 AM on May 23, 2007

You know you're into DIY when you eat through a altoids more because you want to build something with the tin than because you like the mints.

(I've done an altoids mic, a small amplifier and a transformer for use with piezo elements).
posted by drezdn at 7:17 AM on May 23, 2007

I've seen one guy on the bus that uses one for his wallet.
posted by fallenposters at 7:24 AM on May 23, 2007

Seen em used as ashtrays in bars that had to comply with the California smoking ban.
posted by chlorus at 7:26 AM on May 23, 2007

Those pinhole photos are great.
posted by JBennett at 7:36 AM on May 23, 2007

Perfect case for a Pentax Optio S4i camera.
posted by ericb at 7:41 AM on May 23, 2007

I mislabeled that first Morse code link as being for building a practice paddle-box. In fact, it's for building a working code-sender that you connect to a transmitter. The second one builds a beeper that you connect a keyer to, to practice sending code. I guess you could connect them together.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:49 AM on May 23, 2007

You put your weed in there.
posted by ninjew at 7:54 AM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, also, USB drive using a mini Altoids tin.
posted by ninjew at 7:59 AM on May 23, 2007

We put change in ours and shake them like maracas.
Loved the post.
posted by msali at 8:22 AM on May 23, 2007

I have a regular customer who uses an Altoid tin as a wallet. It's really cool... unless you're the cashier who has to wait for her to unfold all the bills to see what they are and then dig in a separate container for exact change.

Oh, and she wears orange lipstick.

Maybe the Altoid tin isn't the problem here.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:28 AM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Also: Is the Barbie necessary for camera construction? I am not in possession of a Barbie doll at this juncture being that I am more than twelve years old. Please advise.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:29 AM on May 23, 2007

grapefruitmoon, you should build your own Barbie. From Altoids tins.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:41 AM on May 23, 2007

The current issue of Make has an Altoids-tin-based "Vibrobot."
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:46 AM on May 23, 2007

Ooh, with video!
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:52 AM on May 23, 2007

Don't forget about minty.
posted by casconed at 8:58 AM on May 23, 2007

It makes a great case for the cmoy headphone amp.
posted by caddis at 9:21 AM on May 23, 2007

I have a mighty tower of the Altoids Smalls tins sitting on my desk. It's (counts...) 29 tall.

Periodically, it gets bumped and makes a hell of a racket.

I should probably find a better use for them.
posted by quin at 9:34 AM on May 23, 2007

I have an automatic cat food dispenser. In my old apartment, the only outlet I could plug it into had the lamp on it, and was wired to the light switch on the wall. Out of habit, I kept hitting the switch to turn off the lights, thus unintentionally starving the cats until the next time I turned on the lights.

I fixed the problem by ripping the bottom out of an Altoids tin and duct-taping it to the wall over the switch. It was a perfect fit.
posted by vorfeed at 9:43 AM on May 23, 2007

This Altoids tin, it vibrates?
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:16 AM on May 23, 2007

OK, class, this is how to assemble a proper MeFi post. Just perfect.
posted by imperium at 10:20 AM on May 23, 2007

I did make the speakers out of an Altoid tin. And I will say I got them to work. They suck mightily, but I enjoyed doing it. =)
posted by indiebass at 3:29 PM on May 23, 2007

Second the don't hide your weed in there statement. My cop buddy says he loves finding Altoids tins because it's almost a guarantee that there will be drugs inside.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:19 PM on May 23, 2007

I confess to throwing away Altoids that I hate the taste of (spearmint and licorice) merely to get at the tin. Spearmint reminds me of toothpaste, and licorice is definitely an acquired taste for Americans (it isn't familiar).
posted by bad grammar at 6:55 PM on May 23, 2007

My cop buddy says he loves finding Altoids tins because it's almost a guarantee that there will be drugs inside.

Unless there's, you know, Altoids in there. Looking around my desk I see one Altoids gum tin, two Altoids licorice tins (I'm convinced that a taste for licorice is genetic, like being able to roll your tongue or having attached earlobes - but that's a discussion for another day) and one Devil Girl Hot Kisses tin. All of which contain...candy.

I keep my drugs in the medicine cabinet with the mouthwash.
posted by djeo at 7:00 PM on May 23, 2007

If you want to have some fun, keep some oregano in an Altoids tin on the passenger seat, maybe roll one while your ticket is being written, that and string of bunch of soap bars wired together around your chest before you go through airport security (who posted this recently, it was brilliant). "Hi Jack, how's the weather in Havana?"
posted by caddis at 7:40 PM on May 23, 2007

Djeo, yes, but cops often pull people over for fitting a profile that makes them statistically more likely than John Q Public of having non-Altoids substances in Altoids tins.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:23 PM on May 23, 2007

These are part of a recognized method for weatherproofing cheap temperature loggers for burial underground.

mark the logger. put the logger in a ziplock bag, put the bag and some rice in the tin, seal the lid with petroleum jelly, (mark the tin) and wrap the whole thing in duct tape (mark that, too). now you can leave the thing out in some nasty weather, or bury it underground.

circular tins give a better seal, tho.
posted by eustatic at 9:32 PM on May 23, 2007

BrotherCaine, yeah, I know. I was that target demographic throughout my teens and early twenties. I was pulled over at least once a month and often once a week. I was never caught with drugs in the car but that was mainly because I was smart enough to know that I would inevitably be speaking with Office (not-so)Friendly in the near future.

Now I'm older, with shorter hair and a boring car, and the cops think I'm invisible unless I do something really dumb. But I still have several tins in the center console and sooner or later Officer Fiendly is going to hassle me about them. When he asks me if I have drugs in the car I'll have to answer yes. I don't know if he'll think it's funny though when he finds benadryl and imodium.
posted by djeo at 7:43 AM on May 24, 2007

Loved your post, made my day. Thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 7:12 PM on May 24, 2007

Djeo, I'm glad you were smart about it. I had friends in college who weren't.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:35 AM on May 25, 2007

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