Saturday, May 1, 2010

Learn Your Lesson- Altering an Altoid Tin with a Collage

First of all let me say that my tutorial ended up being something different than I'd planned.  I'd wanted to do a tut on Flag Books like this:
but, alas, I did not have time.  However, if any of you would like for me to do a write in a future post; I'd be happy to do so- just let me know!

For my tutorial, I'm going to show you how to make an altered tin.  I LOVE these; have a bowl full on my desk holding various odds and ends; paper clips, x-acto blades, erasers etc.  Anyway, I think it's an attractive way to store small desk items.  I only wish they were big enough for business cards 'cause I'd be carrying one in my purse too!
But I make an altered tin:
Altoid Tin
One Sheet Cardstock
Modge Podge
Gesso or othe Primer
Acrylic Paint
Clear Varnish
Step 1. Choose the Image for your collage
I use Microsoft Digital Image but Photoshop will have the same options for altering the values of your image.
Step 2. Altering your image for the collage
Once you've chosen your image, you will need to "Save a copy as" and apply the "diffuse glow" filter (or whatever the equivelent is in your program) to change the darks/lights of your image- here I wanted the difference to be very subtle, so the original colors would show through.  I suggest playing with different filters until you get a contrast you like.  Once you have a combination you're happy with, print 3 in ACEO format size- 2 the same and 1different.  You should have two different images for the collage and one image for the interior of the tin.
Note: you could actually print a whole sheet of different filters and play your collage before modge podging it if you like.

Step 4. Ripping and Glueing and Collaging....oh my!
Note: If your prints are not waterproof, spray them with spray fix or something to cure them BEFORE tearing so the modge podge will not smear the images!
Once you've chosen your two images for your collage trim them out leaving a small border.  Begin tearing one of the images into strips and number each one so you don't get confused as to which piece goes where. 
This sounds like a no brainer, but I've NOT numbered enough to know that it can cause a real headache!
Now you're ready to lay out your collage- this is where the fun begins! Place the strips alternating between both images so it creates contrast. Once you have a composition you like, modge podge it into place.
Step 3. Priming your tin
I use gesso, but really any primer would do. The important thing is to take your time and mask it off carefully with tape where the lid will overlap the bottom so your paint won't get scraped off!
For the example, I only primed and painted the top, bu it looks best when both are painted!

Step 4. Painting your tin
Choose a color to complement your image and paint over the primer.  Sometimes it will take more than one coat.
Step 5. Trim and Attach your Collage 
Trace the outside of the tine onto a piece of cardstock and cut it out to create a template.  Trace this over your collage.  Cut it out out and glue it onto the top of your tin wiping off any excess glue.  I usually cover the tin with plastic wrap and place a heavy book on top to avoid any bubbles or ripples.
Note: sometimes it's more attractive to have the image be slightly smaller than the top- in this case, just trim it out a bit more! 
Step 6. The inside Image
, Trace your template onto your remaining image, cut out and glue into the inside of your tin.
Step 7. Finish your tin with a protective sealant- I like Windsor & Newton's Satin Varnish, but you may use anything you like!

And VOILA, you are done!
Here's what mine looks like:


WrightStuff said...

Oooh, can't wait to be trying this one out...

Small Footprints said...

What a great idea ... and so pretty! I have to say, though ... I'd have a seriously hard time ripping up one of your images! :)

Thank you for the "lesson"!

Magpie said...

So pretty! And fun to do. There's no limit to the different designs you could come up with.

Thanks for sharing this, Steph! I'd love to try it.

artangel said...

This is a wonderful tutorial - what a gorgeous way to re-cycle a tin!

Marlene said...

I love recycling things and this is a fabulous idea.

Katsui Jewelry said...

Really neat idea! I love playing with Altoid tins!


P.S. My daughter and I are relatively new bloggers...come by if you would like. It really is not all about jewelry! We like too many arts and crafts!

IM GIRL said...

Super idea for making these little tins new and beautiful! I am going to give this a try.
Have a lovely day!

priti.lisa said...

I like this idea a lot! I have some round candy tins I couldn't bear to toss...oh no I will never be able to throw anything away again :D
I would love to see the flag book come to life some time too You are so creative!

Tammy said...

Fun idea! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Plumrose Lane said...

This was wonderful Stephanie, I love it! I haven't ever tried to make one of these so I'll have to give it a whirl.

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Hello from the Philippines! Love this project! I'm going to try your tearing technique!
:^) patsy

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Lovely tutorial. I wasn't sure about what to expect, but I appreciate knowing about it. I am featuring the Inspiration Avenue blog as my blog of the day today (May 2) because of you. Thanks so much for being such an inspiration.

Healing Woman said...

Stephanie this was a beautiful tutorial. The tin turned out great. I plan to save up those small tins in the future and use your information to re-create.

Chris said...

Stephanie, I love this! I am a fiend for small containers and I never thought to customize an altoid tin. Brilliant!

Mod Podge Amy said...

Awesome job!