AltoidsI’ve joined an “altered mint tin” swap over at Crafster.org. Altering tins is a pretty common practice in both the geek and crafty/artsy world. Geeks make tools and the rest of us make pretties, spookies, and oddities.

Anyway, I’ve been working on my tin for swapping and even though I know what image I want to use as the background, I cut out the picture three times before decided I HAD to have a template. I searched online, but only found templates that were wayyyy off in dimension or templates that could be purchased.

As I didn’t want to buy anything, I plopped three Altoids tins on my work bench, got out my calipers and went to measuring. Which is when I discovered that I had three tins and three sets of dimensions. The tins varied by as much as 1/10″ — which is a big variation when you’re trying to cut paper to fit perfectly.

Which is all to say, when you use the templates I’m about to offer, first use them on cheap printer paper and verify that they are adequate for your tins. For some tins, cutting just inside the line is perfect, for others cutting on the line is the solution, and, for the rare goofball tin, the templates may not be of any use.

Just don’t use the template on your really expensive craft paper (or one-of-a-kind artwork) until you’ve determined the templates are right for you.

The templates are in two formats:

1. Tin template PDF file: This file is good for making paper templates printed from your computer.
2. Transparent Gif: this file works well as an overlay in your favorite graphic editing software. If that sentence doesn’t make sense to you, download the PDF version. ;)