Craft, Unlimited Ideas

Tin Series – Travel Crafting Case

Tin cases (or Altoid Cases) can be repurposed for many things, this series is all about finding new ways to use them!

Total Project Time: 2 hour

I love exploring the potential for organization and tins really do provide a great starting point. I was recently traveling when I felt a sharp pain after sticking my hand into my bag. As I pulled my hand out, I found my hand profusely bleeding as my fingers had grazed over the crafting scissors that I carry on me. And I thought – there has got to be a better solution for this! So why not make a traveling crafting kit? This way I can bring all the supplies I need while keeping myself safe!

Check out the Craft section of MCG for more unlimited ideas.


For this project there were a lot of odds and ends that I collected to create the finished product:

  • Fabric Pieces (This was about three piece that were approximately 4 in. by 6 in.)
  • Polyester Filling (Just a handful)
  • Sturdy & Thin Sheet of Cardboard
  • Embroidery Thread (3 colors)
  • Adhesive Magnetic Strips
  • Hot Glue (A lot of Hot glue)

Some suggestions for what should go into your crafting kit include:

  • Travel Scissors (must be less than 4 inches from the pivot point to pass TSA)
  • Sewing Needles
  • Thread / Embroidery Thread
  • Measuring Tape
  • Safety Pins
  • Sewing Pins


While the process is straight forward the piece took more time than I anticipated because all of the parts felt a little small and fiddly. I decided to start on the outside because it seemed like the more difficult aspect to tackle. I wanted to create a pin cushion on the outside of the tin. When I’m crafting on the road, I often find myself holding the needle in my mouth or looking around in panic because I never remember where I put it down. A pin cushion is perfect as a needle or pin holder so having on accessible on the outside seemed like the right way to go.

But figuring out how to adhere a pin cushion to the top of the tin proved to be a difficult challenge. What I ended up doing was hot gluing the tucked in fabric edge to the edge around the lid of the tin. I started with hot gluing the front edge and then moved onto both shorter sides before tackling the last long edge. Before sealing the final edge, I shoved a handful of polyester filling into the top to give the top that pin cushion quality. For the final edge, I did something a little different, I folded in the ends of the fabric and then folded over the top edge. I think this gives a cleaner and nicer finish.

Even though I made a finished edge on the piece, I still thought it could look a little nicer. So I decided to make a braided cord out of the embroidery thread to line the edges of the fabric on the top of the tin. Because I used a starry fabric, I thought a tri-color cord out of white and grays would fit the tin very nicely. The lack of color in the cord created a pretty contrast to the starry fabric. I’m a sucker for this kind of thing 😊.

The inside was much less of a challenge. For the inside of the lid, I wanted to have an area that could securely hold needles and other sharp objects. Originally, I was thinking about doing something with felt that needle would pierce through. Then I saw some adhesive magnets staring me in the face. They were perfect. I decided to just adhere them into the top of the lid and cover them in fabric (held in place by hot glue).

I made a slight mistake in this step of not thinking about how the magnets would affect the closure of the tin. Luckily, the tin still closes but it is a tight fit and can sometimes pop open if not closed hard enough. I definitely learned how important it is to check the edges of the container and where everything closes.

To finish off the whole thing, I wanted to make an insert for the main section of the case to keep everything from rolling around freely. This wasn’t really necessary but it’s a nice finishing touch. I made the divider out cardboard because upcycling material is always the way to go! Once again, hot glue was my best friend in setting the cardboard together as well as attaching the fabric to the cardboard divider. And it snuggly fit into the case so there was no need to adhere the divider to the tin!


It’s Okay to Restart

When making the top lid, there were several methods I used before trying out the one show above. The first few tries, I attempted different methods that ended badly puckered or with strange edgings as the hot glue gun made the shape unappealing. It’s important to remember that mistakes are going to happen, especially when doing something new. And there isn’t any harm in starting over. Sometimes starting from scratch is much better than attempting to salvage a project that’s already gone sideways. Don’t put limits on yourself if they aren’t needed, life should be enjoyable!!!

Quick Recipe


  • Using a hot glue gun, attach the piece of the right side of the fabric to the long side of the tin with the edge facing the top of the tin.
  • Fold over fabric to cover the top with the desired look.
  • Fold over side edges and attach to the sides of the tin with hot glue.
  • Fill compartment between tin top and fabric with polyester filling.
  • Use hold glue to seal fabric over the top of the tin.
  • Braid a cord from the embroidery thread.
  • Attach cord to the edge of the fabric on the tin top.
  • Attach adhesive magnets to the inside top of the tin.
  • Use hot glue gun to cover the magnets with a piece of fabric.
  • Just cardboard into desired insert shape (use hot glue to attach pieces).
  • Cover cardboard insert with fabric as desired.

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