The Altoids tin is one of the most iconic packages. For those who enjoy fresh breath, these "curiously strong" mints are a must-have, and it's easy to start racking up what feels like endless numbers of tins. What, exactly, are we supposed to do with them all?

1. Flash/jump drive holder

Just trim down the original packaging that comes with your flash drive so that it fits inside the tin. The packaging insulates and protects the drive, and because the tin is large and noticeable, the drive is less likely to get lost (or confused with someone else's!).

2. First aid kit

Carry a few basic essentials in a tin that will easily fit into a pocket or a bag. Think bandages, sterilizing wipes, some ibuprofen, and any other necessities. If you have medications you need to take, keep those in there too so you always have a few spare tablets around in case of emergency.

3. Glasses, electronics, and other small items repair kit

Keep some tiny screwdrivers, fuses, and other tools in an Altoids tin for quick repairs. For a classic use, turn an Altoids tin into a sewing kit with spare buttons, thread, safety pins, and so forth.

4. Survival kit

Customize it with what you need: maybe that's cash, a bus pass, and chapstick — or perhaps it's twine, a compass, and a lighter. Here's an example of an Altoids survival kit you might fancy.

5. Organizer

Got lots of small bits and parts? You need Altoids tins and a labelmaker. Round up all those rubber bands, tacks, screws, and more, and get them divvied up into tins for easy storage. You'll have a much easier time finding what you need when you need it, and your junk drawer won't be as intimidating.

6. ChargerAltoids charger

For those of us who run down our batteries all too quickly, a portable charger is a great back-up. This solar-powered Altoids tin project costs less than $20 and you can even get all the necessities shipped directly to your door.

7. Garden in a tin

Succulents and other tiny plants can thrive in unusual places, including Altoids tins. Give them some sandy soil to grow in and they'll be happy as clams. Your little garden will make a great gift, or you can keep it around to admire.

8. Business card holder

Altoids tins are convenient for transporting and displaying business cards, immensely useful if you spend any time on the go, at conventions, and attending events. Decorate your tin however you like, and make an impression with your offer of a "mint."

9. Makeup kit

Want to be able to touch up your makeup on the go? Stash the eyeshadow, eyeliner, foundation, and whatever else you need in an Altoids tin. You can even collect multiple tins for an assortment of looks.

10. Solar-powered emergency radio

For just $3, you can ensure you'll never miss out on important radio broadcasts during an emergency.

Katie Marks wrote this story for It has been republished with permission here.

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Photo credit: JMarler/Flickr

10 curious uses for Altoids tins
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