DIY: Swiss Tin (or First Aid Kit), an upcycled Altoids Tin


Last week as I was cleaning up and organizing a file drawer my husband mainly uses, I came across some loose Franc coins that he had thrown into the drawer after a recent trip to Switzerland. (What a mess!) As I was cleaning through another drawer amongst a jumble of other coins and tokens in a change purse, I discovered some additional Swiss Francs (which I had put away years ago because I only gave them a quick glance and mistakenly thought they were out-of-circulation French francs).

Originally, I thought to make a felt change purse to hold the coins. However, I have a stash of empty Altoids tins I had been saving and had recently been looking at various projects reusing Altoid tins.

Making the Tin

You can easily design a cross yourself using a ruler, but I downloaded a vector image which are freely available online (I actually used a Red Cross logo). I scaled the image to measure 1.5″, eliminated the fill and set it to the thinnest stoke. I printed the cross out and created a negative template by cutting out the cross shape from the paper.

Create a tin top template by inverting the tin onto a scrap paper, tracing, and cutting it out. Use the template to cut out a piece on red felt. Center the cross template on the top felt piece, mark it, and then cut the cross shape out.


Cut out a rectangle of white felt measuring 2″ x 3 3/8″. Using the tin top template as a guide, cut the corners of the rectangle. Glue the white and red felt together with fabric glue. Hand sew along the cross edge.

Sand down the top of the tin container with rough sandpaper and glue the finished felt piece to the top of the tin. Carefully glue and press down along the outside edge. Tip: Use a wooden coffee stirrer to spread the glue carefully along the edge.


Unfortunately, the newer Altoid tins are stamped on top so that the letters are also visible on the interior. A quick easy solution to covering it up is to cut out an insert on cardstock paper, again using the top tin template. For the bottom interior, cut out another piece of red felt using the tin template. Both pieces fit flush to the interior so adhesives are not necessary, but I used some double-sided tape to secure it in place.


Now on our next visit to Switzerland, we can just grab the whole tin and go. If we no longer have the need to store Swiss francs, we can use it as a mini first aid kit.

Here are some suggestions on what to fill your first aid kit with: here, here and here.

The drawer – nice and tidy.

DIY Sewing Bobbin Clips / Bands

I took this quick simple solution from Schlosser Designs to keep those unruly thread ends on bobbins in place.

It only takes a few minutes and costs less than a dollar.
You need:

  • clear tubing
  • X-acto knife (or scissors)


I used 1/2″ OD (outer diameter) x 3/8″ ID (inner diameter) clear tubing which I bought from the local hardware store. Using an X-acto blade, I cut *5/16″ wide rings of tubing and then sliced through the tubing ring. (*You can adjust for your bobbin by measuring the width between spool ends.)



The clear tubing ring can then be slipped over the bobbin and voilá – unruly thread ends tamed!


As a bonus, one can label the bobbin with its corresponding thread color number to eliminate any confusion and make it easy to match the spool of thread with the right bobbin.