How to Make an Altoids Tin Sewing Kit

DH, apparently, has an Altoids habit. I had no idea until he came home and started to work remotely. I asked him to save me a couple of tins and suddenly I had 8 to work with. I wanted to make small sewing kits for the guild officers. I looked for tutorials. The one I liked was DIY Felt Magnet. It turned out, however, that I mostly fumbled along on my own during Craft Nights.

One key was letting everything dry thoroughly after I glued it.

Finished Altoids Sewing Kits
Finished Altoids Sewing Kits

Supply List:

  • Altoids tins – you can use different tins by adjusting the size of the various pieces.
  • cardboard (I used a cereal box)
  •  a few colors of felt**
    • a small band 3/8 inch by 2 1/4 inches
    • rectangle 2 inches x 2 inches
  • stuffing – use wool roving** if you want a really good pincushion or just regular poly Fiberfill** if you won’t use the pincushion that often
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • sewing machine thread** which matches your contrasting felt or is a neutral color
  • quilting** or other relatively thick thread
  • Aleene’s glue** – I am sure other glues, like school glue, will work. I found the Aleene’s to be really great. It stuck fast.
  • 3/4 inch bias tape maker**
  • fabric
    • strip 1-1/2 inches wide x 12 inches long
    • rectangle 5.5″ x 8″
  • wax paper**
  • WonderClips**
  • Perl cotton**
  • Hand embroidery needle**

Lining

I wanted to cover all the advertising and nutritional information with fabric. I used felt so I wouldn’t have to worry about the raw edges.

First, I made a cardboard template.  To make the template, I traced around the bottom of the Altoids tin. Then I cut out the template and made sure it fit in the following places:

  • bottom
  • inside bottom
  • inside top

I wanted full coverage in all of those places.

Next, I cut out pieces of felt for the inside top, the inside bottom and the bottom. Set aside the pieces for the inside top and 

Put down some waxed paper to protect your work surface. On the waxed paper, I glued the other two pieces to the the inside bottom and the bottom.

Set the tin aside and let the pieces dry thoroughly.

Trim

Cut a strip of fabric 1-1/2 inches wide x 12 inches long. Use your bias tape maker to make some trim. This piece does not have to be on the bias.

Set aside.

WonderClip Band and Needle Holder

Check to be sure your other pieces are glued securely to the tin and the glue is dry.

Inside of Altoids Sewing Kit
Inside of Altoids Sewing Kit

You will need the piece you cut from the template and set aside.

Third, I cut two pieces of contrasting colored felt (if you want these pieces to show). I cut a small band 3/8 inch by 2 1/4 inches (or the width of your tin) and a rectangle 2 inches x 2 inches.

Fourth, sew the band 1/2 inch up from the bottom of your set aside piece.

Fifth, center your 2×2 rectangle 3/8 inch down from the top and sew the rectangle to your set aside piece. Sew very close to the top edge of the felt rectangle. You may have to adjust it, so you don’t cover the WonderClip band.

Next, put down some waxed paper to protect your work surface. Glue your section with the WonderClip band and needle holder to the inside top of your tin.

Set the tin aside and let it dry thoroughly.

Pincushion

Seventh, take your 5.5″ x 8″ fabric rectangle and baste by hand with large stitches a shape that approximates the shape of the Altoids tin top (rectangle with round corners). 

Next, tighten the basting to the approximate shape of the top of the tin.

Side view of Altoids tin Sewing Kit
Side view of Altoids tin Sewing Kit

Ninth, stuff the fabric with wool roving or Fiber Fill, keeping it in the shape of the top of the tin, but puffy.

Tenth, fold the excess fabric on the bottom so the wool roving stays inside. You may need to trim the fabric if it overlaps too much. Make sure the shape fits the top of the Altoids tin.

Next, put down some waxed paper to protect your work surface. Apply glue to the top of the tin and apply the pincushion. Adjust the shape to fit as needed. Press and hold for a few moments so it stays in place.

Set the tin aside and let it dry thoroughly.

Applying Trim

Check to be sure your pincushion is glued securely to the top of the tin and the glue is dry.

Put down some waxed paper to protect your work surface.

Dot glue on one short end of the tin along the bottom of the lid only.  Press the bottom of the trim piece on the glue. Secure to the pincushion with a pin.

Set the tin aside and let it dry thoroughly.

After the end is dry, dot glue around the rest of the bottom of the tin and press the trim to the glue. Pull tight as you press.

End of Altoids tin
End of Altoids tin

Overlap the end and cut the end of the trim strip so you have piece of the top of the trim that you can fold under to cover the raw edge of the beginning of the strip. Pin in place to allow the glue to dry.

Set the tin aside and let the glue dry thoroughly.

Finishing

Side view of Altoids tin Sewing Kit
Side view of Altoids tin Sewing Kit

Take your Perl Cotton and stitch along the edge of your trim. Use a basic running stitch or some kind of fancy stitch, if you want. Start away from the hem of the trim. Stitch all the way around, catching the pincushion fabric in the stitch as you sew.  You may need to tuck bits of the pincushion under the trim. Finish near the hemmed section and bury the thread as you would in a quilt.

If this is a gift, put a pin and a WonderClip into the tin to show your recipient how the features work.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

6 thoughts on “How to Make an Altoids Tin Sewing Kit”

  1. Besides roving and fiberfill, I like buying one 100% wool sweater, in any size, from the thrift store. I then wash it several times in hot water, shrinking and felting the sweater. I cut chunks as needed for various projects, including pin cushions. I can also use the lint from the lint trap after drying the sweater. That is super fluffy and takes a lot to fill some things.
    Wonderful tutorial!
    You think your husband has a problem? I recently sold 250 tins to a fellow crafter!!! I still have fifty of my own. hahahaha

    1. LOL!!! 250 tins? WOW!

      I like your idea of felt. At the moment I am too lazy to go find a wool sweater..I do think your idea is great and I do like certain dryer lint for certain projects. However, you can use whatever filling works for you for the pincushion. I can imagine making a felted wool pincushion (no fabric) and gluing it to the top. That would be great

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