Over the years, I have eaten a lot of Altoid mints. I also have an affinity for small metal containers and I never throw them out. As a result, I had a drawer full of empty tins that need to be repurposed. I was inspired by a blogger who made an advent calendar from similar tins to try making my own.
I used several different materials to cover the tins, including used Christmas cards, fabric, an old transit map, pages from a book, images from magazines, chocolate bar wrappers, wrapping and scrapbook paper, and the insides of security envelopes.
I used several coats of modpodge to adhere the paper or fabric to the tins and then used a spray varnish to protect the boxes. I also decorated the insides of the tins and included a quote. There are several, very good tutorials on the internet that explain how to cover Altoid tins. I used this one >> Altoid Tin Tutorial.
The quotes that I included in several of the tins were printed out on my home printer. I don’t recommend this method as the modge podge can make the ink run.
The year that I sent the calendar to my eldest, he was coming to visit for Christmas, so I did not make a tin for the 23rd or the 24th. I will make these tins this year as well as a replacement for the 5th of December, which is also missing.
If you aren’t keen on messing around with paper and glue, there are many other DIY advent calendars that can be made inexpensively or for free using recycled materials. Here are a few I found.
A really good round up with many, many ideas can be found here:
I did this one year for a couple of my favorite kids. The books all came from second hand stores and garage and library sales:
If you are trying to focus less on material things, try an activity oriented advent calendar:
The easy part is making the calendar. Finding and making gifts that fit into the tins and that suit the receiver is more of a challenge. I’m glad I have the better part of a year to get ready! I’ll let you know what I include in each tin.
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