How-To: Recycled Mint Tins with Washi Tape and Mod Podge



Recycle mint tins with washi tape and mod podge to make little sewing kits or earbud storage.


I love a good upcycling craft, I love little storage containers, and I also love Washi Tape. This, my friends, is therefore my “Trifecta” of crafting- a project that recycles mint tins- like the ones for Altoids- into happy little storage tins- great for earbud storage!

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To make them, you’ll need:

First, if you like, you can scuff up the tin with the sandpaper and give it a base coat of spray paint. You can also use some needle-nose pliers and separate the top from the bottom of the tin- but frankly, I’m WAY too lazy for that. I just put a quick coat of Gesso on the top of my tin and let it dry for 10 minutes. You’re going to decoupage the Washi Tape down anyway, but a coat of Gesso/white paint will keep the colors on the tin from showing through the translucent tape.

After your paint has dried, lay down your Washi Tape. I used this cool chevron from Queen & Co because you can match up the pattern!

Trim away the excess with a craft knife. For the corners, you’ll need to make little snips like darts so that it folds down smoothly. Burnish it all down with your fingernail.

Trim excess away with a craft knife.

As you can see from the photo above, I also ran a strip of tape around the base of the tin, just below where the top snaps in place.

Next, add a coat of Mod Podge all over- it’ll keep the Washi Tape from peeling up.

I used matte formula for this step.

Now you can add some paper embellishments or chipboard- the Mod Podge will act like the glue. For this one, I used a chipboard element that has a negative space- which I then filled with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. LOVE that sparkle!

The new Silver Mod Podge Dimensional Magic formula has silver glitter mixed in.

In my other tins, I added some Mod Podge Dimensional Magic on top for a super-glossy top coat. I like that look, too.

I use these little tins in my studio to hold jewelry findings, UTEE, little punched embellishments, and office supplies. But you could also…

  • make little sewing kits
  • prevent tangled earbuds
  • gather first aid supplies for your purse or backpack
  • keep your business cards in them
  • use it as a place to park your jewelry while traveling
  • create gift boxes for earrings, gift cards, or other small presents

…I could go on all day! I hope you’ll make a few- it’s so much fun!


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Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.


  1. says

    Jenny, Wow! Never thought about using Washi tape to cover those little tins (which I have gobbs of!!). Thanks.

  2. jengd says

    THANK YOU for this one! I have LOADS of tins that I’ve saved over years and my mother has given me. I was supposed to make a bunch of paper covered ones for her last year for her church’s Christmas bazaar but getting the papers just the right size is a complete pain and I never got around to doing it. This is such a great and easy way to cover the tins. I think she’ll get those tins this year.

  3. says

    What a great idea! I have been saving some tins that I was going to cover with paper but I just love the Washi tape idea!

  4. says

    I love this! I knew there was a reason I was saving all of my Altoids tins. I’m glad I was able to meet you last night at the Stitch Cleveland Etsy event.

  5. Cassie says

    Hey there. I want to make some of my own with chipboard letters, but do not know how large it should be. How tall was the letter?

  6. says

    Not sure- maybe 1.5 inches? Really, there’s no formula. Just pick a size that a) you like and b) fits on the top of the tin!

  7. Linda says

    Hi, Jenny. I’m THRILLED to find your DIY how-to! DH uses these tins to store camera stuff and I for knitting and sewing notions, so, no mix ups allowed. Lol. I’ve been searching for a nearly indestructible way to decorate them to identify what’s inside and personalize for the user (girly vs manly).

    – Will the Mod Podge hold non-paper objects in place, like plastic stitch markers, or small metal gears, for example?
    – Also, is the Mod Podge waterproof or water resistant? Will it hold up if used near a sink or out in the weather? Or, does it get sticky, like a glue would?
    – Where do you buy your Washi tape?

    Thanks so much! 😀

  8. says

    Linda- happy to help.
    YES, Mod Podge will hold LIGHTWEIGHT, low-profile items in place. The items you mentioned should all be fine.
    NO, Mod Podge is NOT water proof OR resistant. It will cloud up and peel off when exposed to water. If you are going to use it outside or near the sink, you might consider a) spray painting the tin before you begin with a rust-preventative spray paint (Rustoleum) and then b) using a 2-part epoxy for your topcoat (which would also hold on small, low-profile items and be impervious to water.)
    Hope that helps!

    Oh…and washi tape? I got some cute rolls on Etsy. :)

  9. Linda says

    Thanks so much, Jenny. I’ve got a few of the Altoids Smalls tins set aside and ordered some cool scrapbooking papers, some Washi tape and the Mod Podge on the way. I’ll look into the epoxy sealer. Can’t wait to play. 😀


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