diy project: kate’s tin travel frame

here come the last of the altoids tins diy projects, just in time for mother’s day! my mom is a bit of a globetrotter for work, and she has definitely honed her skills at packing lightly. but i hope i can add one more thing to her travel kit with this mini tin travel frame. the nice part is the storage for extra photos inside, so she can switch it up over the course of her travels. i also want to take this opportunity to apologize to my sister for unsolicited publication of this kid picture! enjoy, and happy mother’s day in advance! – kate

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!


What You’ll Need:
1. altoids tin
2. decorative paper
3. exacto knife
4. ruler
5. mod podge
6. paintbrush
7. velcro sticker tab
8. cardboard box (like a pasta box or cereal box)
9. hot glue
10. stamps or pretty pens


1. take the tin apart and trace the tin top and bottom on the paper and cut them out.
2. measure two strips that are .25″ thick and .5″ thick for the sides and cut those out with an exacto blade and ruler.
3. cover top of tin with mod podge and place paper around the sides. cut extra and seal with mod podge.
4. paint the top (of the top) of the tin and put paper over it. seal the whole top of the tin with mod podge, which dries clear and seals the paper.
5. follow the same instructions with the bottom of the tin. let both sides dry completely and reattach the top and bottom together.
6. trace the shape for the frame stand on the recycled cardboard and cut out two copies of the shape. glue the two pieces together.
7. cover the cardboard shape with the decorative paper and glue to seal.
8. bend the cardboard stand to score it for future bends. glue the top of it to the back of the altoids tin at an angle.
9. stick a velcro dot at the bottom of the stand and the velcro mate where the stand meets the tin. this keeps the stand safe when it is in luggage, etc.
10. cut another set of templates of the top and bottom on a pretty paper and stick them to the interior of the tins. write or stamp a message on the inside roof of the tin.
11. prepare the photos and back them with a paper. store them in the tin and add a magnet.



  1. Michelle says:

    I agree, this is so sweet! Simple, and such a great gift!

  2. Ella says:

    I simply adore this darling diy gift. But I LOVE the ceramic anatomical heart, any chance you know where to buy one?

    1. grace says:


      i think it’s from the gang at ‘something’s hiding in here’


  3. Jessica says:

    I love the frame idea, but more importantly, where is that heart with the dart from? I love that piece! :)

  4. EvY says:

    I’m with Jessica. Where is that darling heart from?

  5. Jennifer says:

    My husband travels and this will be a great way for him to take his family along with him. My favorite Altoids Tin idea yet! Thanks!

  6. Andrea D says:

    Is the heart ceramic? It looks like a thick foam to me.

    I found this the other day on Etsy – reminded me of it, kinda sorta.

  7. kate says:

    hey all!
    grace is correct, it’s a plaster heart from ‘something’s hiding in here’. check out there etsy site for lots of cool stuff!

  8. Andrea D says:

    Is the heart ceramic? It looks like a thick foam to me.

    I found this the other day on Etsy – reminded me of it, kinda sorta.
    Sorry, should have mentioned great post! Waiting on the next post!

  9. Anne Healey says:

    Speaking of cool heart items on etsy (it looks like s.h.i.h sold out of the plaster hearts) I found this cool new but old timey looking wax anatomical heart offered on etsy:

  10. Adrienne says:

    So great! I have a million wallet-sized studio shots of my nieces and nephews and couldn’t think of a way to display/store them. This is perfect!
    (The Altoid tin DIY series was fantastic by the way. Thanks for all the great ideas!)

  11. Kate's mother says:

    Thank you, dear! What a thoughtful gift. Can’t wait til Sunday. Love, Mom


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