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This Christmas I wanted to give gift cards to my nephews; but I did not want to simply hand them a card. I wanted to make them laugh, or at least smile. Over the course of the summer I had collected several ALTOIDS mint tins and thought they could be converted into a fun gift card holder. After a few days pondering what to make, I settled on the ALTOIDS Toy Soldier Gift Card Holder.

They are fun to make and the family loved them. I hope they make you smile, as well!

Step 1: Supplies and Tools

You will need the following supplies:

  • Empty ALTOIDS Mint Tin
  • 2 1/2 inch styrofoam ball
  • an 8 1/2 x !! piece of felt
  • felt scraps, ribbon, buttons, leaves, feathers, beads for embellishment
  • scrap of packing styrofoam
  • electronic packing foam or styrofoam blocks (I had some packing foam from a pc shipment; but styrofoam blocks could be used instead)
  • cardboard tube (gift wrap, paper towel or toilet tissue works equally well)
  • Various acrylic paints

The tools required to complete this project:

  • small paint brushes
  • White glue
  • hot glue & hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • X-acto knife or styrofoam knife
  • wooden toothpick or wooden skewer

Step 2: Making the Face

I like to began by making the face. Take a 2 1/2 inch styrofoam ball and using very small paint brushes and some acrylic paint make eye brows, eyes, and a mouth. You may want to hold off on adding the mouth until after the nose is in place; but that is your preference.

To make the nose, slice a corner from the scrap of packing styrofoam. The piece should be no more than 1/8 inch wide, 1 inch long, and 1/2 inch at it's base. You may make the nose larger or smaller, round off the tip or make it pointy. This is your preference. I personally like my soldier noses to make a little statement, so they tend to be a bit large.

Using white glue, attach the nose to the styrofoam head. Using acrylic paint, add rosy cheeks and a mustache.

NOTE: Please have some fun with the faces. I really enjoyed making each soldier have a different appearance.

Set the head on the cardboard tube to dry thoroughly.

Step 3: Covering the Tin

While the soldier head is drying, begin by cutting two pieces of felt for the torso. The first piece will be for the back of the ALTOIDS tin and should measure 5 x 3.5 inches. The second piece will be for the front of the ALTOIDS Tin and should measure 4.2 x 3 inches.

Begin with the back of the tin.

  1. Using the hot glue gun, apply hot glue to the edge and center of the back of the ALTOIDS Tin
  2. Center the 5 x 3.5 inch piece of felt over the back of the ALTOIDS Tin.
  3. Carefully press the felt onto the hot glue
  4. Apply hot glue to the side of the tin and fold the felt up - BE CAREFUL TO NOT GLUE THE TIN SHUT
  5. Repeat step 4 around all sides of the tin
  6. Trim the excess felt at corners and sides.
  7. Verify the tin closes and opens without issue

Move to the front of the tin

  1. Using the hot glue gun, apply hot glue to the edge and center of the front of the ALTOIDS Tin
  2. Center the 4.2 X 3 inch piece of felt over the front of the ALTOIDS Tin
  3. Carefully press the felt onto the hot glue
  4. Apply hot glue to the side of the tin and fold the felt down - BE CAREFUL TO NOT GLUE THE TIN SHUT
  5. Repeat step 4 around all sides of the tin
  6. Trim the excess felt at corners and sides
  7. Verify the tin closes and opes without issue

Step 4: Embellish Torso

Using scraps of felt, buttons, ribbon, and beads embellish the torso of the soldier.

In this example, Cut several strips of felt and hot glue them on a diagonal. Add a piece of gold ribbon. Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to press the embellishments in place.

Step 5: Attach Arms and Legs

In this step, if you have electronic packing foam that has the U, you can simply cut a 1/2 inch slice of the U for the legs. If you are creating the legs from a styrofoam block, cut two 3 x 1/2 x 1/2 inch pieces.

For the arms, cut two pieces from the styrofoam block or package foam 4 1/2 x 1/4 x 14 inches.

Before attaching the arms, determine which side the torso will open, right or left.

Starting with the side that will open, apply hot glue to the bottom edge the length of the torso. Attach one arm with the top of the arm aligned with the top of the torso and the bottom of the arm extending below the torso. Repeat on the other side. Verify you have not glued the tin shut.

To attach the legs, apply hot glue to the base of the torso and attach the packing foam U or two styrofoam legs. Verify the legs are attached to the bottom of the tin and the tin can open and close.

Step 6: Add the Hat

Cut the cardboard tube to 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches; depending on how large you want the hat.

Cut a strip of felt to cover cut tube.

Using hot glue, attach the felt to the tube.

You may create a visor for the hat by cutting a 1 inch circle of felt. Cut the circle in half. Using hot glue attach the semi-circle to the inside of the felt covered tube.

Embellish the hat with feathers, felt scraps, glitter, beads, or ribbon as desired.

Apply hot glue to the inside of the completed hat and press firmly on the styrofoam head. Make sure to center the embellishments and visor over the eyes and nose.

Step 7: Attach the Head

With the Torso Open, place a dime sized dab of hot glue in the center of the top of the torso. The hot glue should be on the bottom edge of the covered tin to allow the tin to open and close.

Firmly press the styrofoam head onto the hot glue. To add stability to the head, apply hot glue to either side of the head to fill in the gap between the ball and the covered tin. This will prevent the head from popping off when the tin is opened and closed repeatedly.

Step 8: Add Your Gift Card

Open the tin and insert the gift card. I like to wrap mine in a bit of tissue paper.

Happy gift giving!

<p>So cute! Great idea for gift cards!</p>
<p>Great Christmas craft. I love how it has a compartment for a small present. </p>
Thank you. I used the compartment to hold gift cards for my nephews. They looked great under the tree, toi
Love it!

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