Artist and blog editor Kate Pruitt knew she'd struck the mother lode when she happened upon a pile of old Altoids tins at a secondhand store near her home in Oakland, Calif. As an editor at the blog Design*Sponge, Pruitt must create four projects each month, all based on the same source material. In the past, she's made vintage wine clips using earring hoops and note boards from old canvas landscape paintings. When she laid eyes on the pile of Altoids tins, however, she didn't know she was entering the world of tinnovation -- finding unique uses for old Altoids tins. Like many other tinnovators, she simply saw that the classic tins had some latent use that only needed to be discovered with a little fiddling and a lot of imagination.
Pruitt says she bought the whole lot and went home to see what she could come up with. In short order, she had several ideas in mind. With four Altoids tins projects under her belt, she says, "I like to consider myself a tinnovator" [source: Pruitt].
Pruitt's first brush with Altoids tinnovation took place in April 2009. With Mother's Day on her mind, Pruitt says that she naturally thought of finding a way to use an Altoids tin to display all those family photos that moms tend to like so much. The compact metal design of the tin inspired Pruitt to create a picture frame and accompanying album. "I think what made me interested is that you can stick magnets to the metal and hold photos in place," she says. Because of its small size, the Altoids tin also makes a very portable personal photo album as well.
Head to the next page to learn how to make Kate Pruitt's Altoids tin picture frame and photo album.