In the September 2007 issue of The Monthly Muse, I did a set of Altoids tin ornaments that required drilling to add hanging loops and dangles. Here’s a version that uses ribbons and beaded trims instead, and requires no drilling.

To make your own ornaments, you’ll need:

  • Altoids tins, in your choice of colors, cleaned and dried.
  • Tin-Sized sheets from Ten Two Studios. I used the Rossetti, Victorian Madonnas and Angels sheets for these samples.
  • Matte medium and a sponge.
  • Glitter glue, if desired.
  • Beaded trims to match your tins and images. I found mine in the home decor section of my favorite craft store. These trims are expensive, but you only need a few inches for each tin.
  • E6000
  • Masking tape.
  • 1/4″ ribbons.

Choose images to match your tins, and cut them from the collage sheets. Apply a light coat of matte medium to both the top of the tin and the back of the image.

Working quickly, while both were still wet, press the image onto the top of the tin, smoothing it from center to outer edges.

While the medium is still wet, trim away any excess image that’s hanging over the edges of the tin.

Right after trimming, while the medium is still damp, apply another coat over the top of the image, paying particular attention to the outer edges. Set the tin aside to dry completely.

If you wish, apply a bit of glitter glue around the outer edges of the tin, and let it dry.

Line the beaded trim up with the bottom of the tin, and figure out how much of it you’ll use. Apply a small piece of masking tape on the base of the trim to mark where it will be cut.

Cut through the tape, and leave it in place to hold the anchoring threads of the trim in place.

Apply E6000 to the ribbon or twill, and press the piece onto the bottom of the tin, lining up the unbeaded edge with the back, so the beads hang in front. Let it dry completely.

Wrap a piece of ribbon around the outer edge of the tin, and tie a bow at the center top. Apply a few dabs of E6000 to the bottom and sides to hold the ribbon in place.

If you wish, add a hanging loop by knotting another piece of ribbon or cord around the center of the bow. Alternately, a wire ornament hanger can be hooked into the bow’s center.

Fill your ornament with whatever you desire! Conveniently, Altoids tins are the perfect size to hold most gift cards. They can also be treated as pocket shrines, and filled with tokens and little bottles that are meaningful to you. You can also just leave the candies in the tin, or refill them with your own—but be careful to wash the tins well before you do this, because the oils used to make Altoids are very strong, and tend to flavor everything they touch.


  1. Do you have to use a laser printer. Can these be printed on card stock? What mattte medium do u use and can modge podge be used?

    1. Yes, you have to use a laser printer, unless you want the wet medium to smear your inkjet prints. Yes, they can be printed on cardstock, or any other stock you choose. Matte medium is matte medium, so whatever brand you want to use is fine. Mod Podge is designed for use on porous surfaces, not tin, and it always remains just a little sticky in my opinion, so I never use it.

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