Mixed Media Altered Altoids Tins using Tim Holtz Alcohol inks

Mixed Media Altered Altoids Tins using Tim Holt z Alcohol inks (and other products).

I love trying new projects, and altering Altoids Tins is a whole new exciting activity for me. I love projects that there is no right or wrong, anything goes, the skies the limit – well lets just stick with you can be as creative as you let yourself be altering tins.

Some of the stuff you will need (but not limited to):

Inside the Altered Tins

First, I painted the inside of three Altoids tins with Craft Smart acrylic paint that I bought at Michael’s.  Add Gesso to the paint as you streak it on the tins.  The Gesso prevents the paint from drying to quick and I love how it glides on.  I highly recommend this technique with any acrylic paint project that you are going to use Gesso on anyway.

The colors of paints I used to get the patina effect are:

  • Grass Green
  • Brown
  • Ocean Breeze

While the paint was still wet I added Tim Holtz alcohol inks to the inside to see the effect. I used sailboat blue and Citrus before I dried it with the hair dryer.

It was so much fun that I added Watermelon and Wild Plum then some alcohol blending solution.  It dries with a matte finish which I didn’t care for so I varnished the inside with glossy varnish.

My new favorite varnish is the Liquitex varnish I get at Michaels – Love it!


(do used your coupon on this one. I love it so much, I have it in Matte and glossy finish.

The Tops of the Altered Tins

After the insides were done, I painted the outsides using the same method and colors as the insides with the colors blending together to create the patina effect. Then I put clear Gesso on the outsides with a sponge brush.

After the Gesso is dry, designing the layout of the tops is next.  You can only be as creative as you let yourself be. Have fun, look around your house for interesting items. Old jewelry is the best. Old ear rings that have lots of dangling pieces worked out well.  I used the rabbit in the hat on the small tin from a pair of old ear rings.

When the layout of the tops are done, I often will take a picture so I can refer back to the layout if it is complicated, or if I just need to look back to see the design.  Sometime the individual pieces can simple be lifted up and glued back down.

I used Liquid Adhesive that I bought at the 99 cent store and it worked fine. It was the consistency of white glue.  Sponge Gesso on top of everything again and let dry.

Tip.  I love using a spray can top for applying gesso or varnish to my projects.  The sponge brush can be pushed up and down between the inter circle and the inside of the lid to put product on the sponge. But, you can  twist it to take some of the product off the sponge.  The sponge will stand up in the lid and not fall over, and it’s just handy thing to use – a spray can lid/top– go figure.

After the Gesso is dry the fun begins. Add alcohol inks randomly on your tin until you’re happy.


I used Sailboat blue, Stream and Butterscotch then the Alcohol Blending Solution. When I was happy (and I love to be happy), I highlighted areas with the Distress Paint in Antique Bronze until I was happy – again.

The Backs of the Altered Tins

I was really just playing around with the different products to see what would happen. On the first one, I painted the Antique Bronze in random streaks, then I painted on some of the Cranberry ink to the back, then I dropped sailboat blue and Cranberry directly from the bottle onto the rim of the tin. The tin was on its side so the ink could drip down after the Blending Solution was added. Wow – what fun.

On the second big tin, I started with painting water on the back of the upright tin. Then I added drops of Sailboat Blue, Butterscotch and Watermelon before adding the blending solution. That’s when the magic begins.

Stop by again and see where SeeJsjourney goes next.

Life is a journey we make together.

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4 thoughts on “Mixed Media Altered Altoids Tins using Tim Holtz Alcohol inks”

  1. Lynn

    I can’t close my tin boxes after painting them any suggestions???

  2. Take a piece of sandpaper and sand the hinges a little. If you get too much paint on the tin lip, it might also have trouble closing. Try the sandpaper trick were ever the problem areas are. If you have any Goof Off might
    try that after sanding the hinges. Hope that helps. Let me know if it works, and I would like to see what you created.

  3. Anonymous

    Do you sell these masterpieces?

  4. I do sell the tins; I made a fresh batch recently. They always turn out differently, the ones I have on hand are more pink and brown more copper color. If you email me at seejsdesigns@gmail.com I can send you pictures of the ones on hand. But I can always do custom orders.

    Best wishes,

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