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January 2001
Covering an Altoid® Hinged Box
by Desiree McCrorey

I've had such fun covering Altoid® mint boxes. My love and fascination for covering them is so great, it may equal my love for covering light switch plates!

One common question I've been asked is how to make the clay stick to the metal surface of the box. Perhaps you need to develop a strong dislike to strong mints. ;-)

Actually, I think it helps. When I started covering these boxes, I didn't handle the boxes that much because I didn't eat the mints. After tearing off the shrink-wrap, I immediately dumped out all the mints and washed the empty boxes in hot soapy water to remove the powdery residue. Then I carefully dried the boxes and immediately covered them with clay.

If you have Altoid® boxes that have been frequently handled (picked up, opened, closed, etc.), they're likely covered in just enough hand oils, powdery residue, dust and dirt to make it difficult for the clay to stick well. I'll bet if you clean the boxes and your hands before covering the boxes, you'll have no trouble making the clay stick.

The other critical aspects to assuring the clay sticks to the box surface is to make the cover fit like a glove and remove any trapped air. I think it also helps to use clay that is as soft as Premo®. Softer clay tends to stick better to itself and anything else it touches.

Here are the steps to cover a standard sized Altoid® mints hinged lid box.

Supply list:



1) Cut a couple of sheets of waxed paper that are approximately 6" X 6" each. Precision isn't important, though. Set aside.

2) Covering the Altoid box bottom:

Altoid Tin
          by Desiree McCrorey

3) Covering the Altoid box top:

Altoid Tin
          by Desiree McCrorey

          Tin by Desiree McCrorey

Altoid Tin by Desiree McCrorey4) Covering the lower sides of the Altoid box:

5) Covering the Altoid sides of the upper half:

6) Adding rope trim:

Altoid Tin by Desiree McCrorey7) Adding ball feet:

8) Decorating:

9) Hinge work:

Altoid Tin by Desiree McCrorey

10) Baking:

Altoid Tin by Desiree McCrorey11) Sanding and Varnishing:

          Tin by Desiree McCrorey

Congratulations on a fine job. You be done!


Editor's Note: Desiree's website, Desired Creations, is like a candy store. You will find delicious and delightful projects and tutorials. She is well-known as the pasta machine Queen who bravely showed us all how to dismantle and reassemble our machines many years ago. Desiree is a talented and generous artist whose body of work lives in the annals of polymer clay. I hope you enjoy your visit.

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