I've seen a couple of Instructables on how to turn these small tins into flashlights, but I think that we can do a better job. Both in appearance and craftsmanship.
This little guide will show you how to make a flashlight out of an Altoids Smalls tin in a way thats both easy to do, and has a classy result.
Price: Less than $4
Mints eaten: 14
This a great project for beginners or kids.
If for some reason you'd like to buy one of these tins I just happen to have them for sale on my gadget site, BrownDogGadgets.com. Or, if you prefer, my Etsy.com account. I also have kits available if you want to make one of your own.
Step 1: What you need
Drill with 9/11 inch bit
Altoids Smalls tin ($1-1.50)
Wire (any type will do, I used magnet wire because I had some)
Coin Battery Holder ($.75)
Coin Battery (10 pack for $3)
Two 3mm White LEDs (100 for $8 off ebay)
Two 3mm LED holders (30 for $2 off ebay)
Two resisters of value less than 100 ohms (100 for $2 off ebay)
One Submini Momentary Pushbutton switch... or toggle! (2 for $2.50 at Radio Shack)
The only thing I didn't have at my "shop" were the pushbutton switches. I had to bite the bullet and buy them from Radio Shack. They're the "submini" type, which means very small.
Everything else I had bought in bulk, so the total cost of the parts used was quite small. Buy a bunch of LEDs and LED holders off ebay. They'll cost you a little bit and last for many a project.
Step 2: Minty Fresh Breath
If you're giving this as a gift (great idea) you can put the mints in a bag to give along with the flashlight.