I work in a doctors office and due to the intense cold of this polar vortex they decided to close the office for a day, which essentially gave me an adult snow day! So I decided to try out a new craft that I had seen on Pinterest a few times, turning Altoids tins into tiny displays. Mostly I had seen Christmas displays but I was thinking there has to be more options. I also have a few nieces and a nephew that love to play with tiny things so that got my creative juices flowing.
I started the process earlier in the week by demanding my husband not throw away his tins and bring them back to me so I could craft them into an amazing tiny kingdom. He offered me an eyeroll and a big sigh but did as I ask, so I had both a blue and a red tin to work with. This was prefect as at this very moment my niece Kenley is going through a red phase and my nephew James is in his blue phase. I washed the two containers and sat down to decide what to do with them. Kenley is super into animals right now and I had left over safari animals from a previous craft so that seemed like a solid idea for her. James was a little harder because I could not settle on an idea so I let Hobby Lobby help me there I really wanted to do a space theme but I didn’t have much luck with tiny plastic figures, but they did have a bunch of ocean animals and his room is decorated in sharks so I thought that is what we will do. I collected various bits and baubles to go with the project; such as beads, felt, chenille stems, netting, and of course my hot glue gun.
First I had to paint the tins, but how to do this in a polar vortex? Because normally I would just take them out on my deck and give them a coat or two of spray paint but that’s not happening since any amount of time outside longer then five minutes could cause your eyeballs to begin to freeze, take a moment to let that sink in. I mean it was stupid cold outside so that option was out. So I looked in my treasure chest of craft supplies and found acrylic white paint, and just like that I was painting tins. It took a couple of coats and it was thicker then spray paint would have been, but I just made swirling brush strokes to create texture. After it dried I needed to decide how to pain the now white spaces, as my trip in the treasure chest did not turn up and other colors other than white. I thought surely I must have something I could use, then it hit me I could use nail polish of which I have a ridiculous amount of colors. The funky thing about using nail polish on acrylic paint is that if you don’t spread it around fast enough it will actually take off the acrylic paint. So I had to use a dabbing method which again added to the texture of the tin.
Once I was happy with the outside and it was dry I went inside and created backgrounds with fun scraps of scrapbook paper and created felt clouds, a beaded sun, and a felt paper tree completed the safari for Kenley. The other tin was again paper for the background secured using mod podge and them added some chenille stem coral and place a few ocean friends and James’ sea world is complete. I added the letter on the top, so there would be no confusion as to whose tin is whose, this auntie knows what’s up! Just for kicks I added the rhinos and whales to give the impression the tins are being carried, also it allows the tine to lean back a little when opened.