Introduction: Altoid Can Wallet

Picture of Altoid Can Wallet

It had to be done... an Altoid Can Wallet was imminent. Use an old Altoids Can as your wallet, outfitting it with a bank style coin inserter and a useful LED light.

Items needed for this project:
~Altoids Can
~Dremel/cutting utility
~Button cell batteries

Step 1: Get It, Eat It, Magnet

Picture of Get It, Eat It, Magnet

Get your can, eat the mints, and grab some magnets. The top portion will be used to magnet paper bills to the top, whereas the bottom will be reserved for the LED light, change, cards, and whatever other wallet stuffs you feel like putting in.

Simply get a magnet or two and put them on your folded bills. The magnets stick to the metal can and the money looks really cool as if it's hanging there.

Next step: Coin Slot

Step 2: The Coin Hatch

Picture of The Coin Hatch

Now, we're going to make a coin slot so as to put change more easily into the Altoids can without opening the lid every time (because we all know how time consuming that is). Take your can, measure out the appropriate size (I used the length of a quarter), and cut away!

I used a Dremel to do this. Use caution!!! Flying metal may occur, though it is a straight cut.
You can use some other means to make this slit, but I find it's easiest just to Dremel it.

After this, I took a piece of cardboard paper and cut it a bit bigger than the cut and wider. I put this on the inside and magneted it to the can. That way, money goes in, and doesn't come out.

Step 3: LED Light

Picture of LED Light

For the LED light, I grabbed a couple (three) of button cell batteries and taped them together. I wired it out, the positive to the switch and then to the LED.

Next: Mounting the LED light.

Step 4: Mounting the LED

Picture of Mounting the LED

After making the small LED circuit, I decided to mount it off of the bottom of the can so as the cards could fit under it, but below the lid. I drilled a hole for the LED to poke through and then cut another for the switch to be mounted and be accessed from the outside. Adding some hot glue, the light was good to go.

Additionally, if you want the light on the inside, simply bend it inwards and forget drilling a hole for it. But don't forget to cover the back of it so you don't short it out on the tin!

Step 5: Adding Felt Noise Softeners

Picture of Adding Felt Noise Softeners

You're almost there. To reduce the noise of the coins, I cut up some felt pads and attached them to the sides of the can. This simple action drastically reduced the noise given off by the coins.


Delete_ (author)2013-08-12

Will this work too?

technick29 (author)2007-04-27

Okay, cool! You learn something new every day. Thanks a lot!

timntek (author)technick292010-11-06

i also bet keeping (if for any reason you decide to carry a card) a card under the coins will keep the card from coming into contact with the magnets if you are worried, but i wouldnt sweat it too bad. I plan on making this but im 12 and dont carry any cards yet so i am not concerned. great instructable, its now on my favorites.
cheers, tim

ferroucious (author)technick292007-04-27

If anyone watches the Mythbusters you may want to put an electric eel in your altoids can! XD Sorry I can't help with the coercivity but I thought that would be funny.

mattlovesdrums (author)2009-04-04

dude you need to be careful, magnets can mess with credit, gift, or atm cards.

jimbo333 (author)mattlovesdrums2009-05-23

not true, mythbusters did it and so have many other people, its just a common misconception.

mattlovesdrums (author)jimbo3332009-05-23


jimbo333 (author)mattlovesdrums2009-05-24

too lazy to find one, just take a gift card, check how much is left, rub amagnet on the black strip, check again it WILL read the same.

mattlovesdrums (author)jimbo3332010-01-06

 meh, i wouldnt trust it with all the devices out there today and all the money and hassle involved with bank cards, etc. 

Wareagle (author)mattlovesdrums2010-01-05

 it is true they can wipe magnetic strips, but it has to be a BIG magnet.  these little ones won't do any damage.

TheAmazingQuackinator (author)2009-05-03

what happens when the change goes up and hits the top of the tin?

nothing coins aren't magnetic

oops my bad

dinzel85 (author)2009-06-01

My cards were rooted after i put strong magnets inside my wallet and stuck it to the ceiling of my uni workshop. Yeah it was a stupid experiment..

sharlston (author)2009-05-24

do the coins rattle?

technick29 (author)2007-04-27

Currently, I was just using junk lying around. That's an old hotel key in one of the pics, and I don't usually carry around magnetic stripe cards, but good call! Any idea on the proximity of the magnets to the card for it to mess with the data?

EbolaRobyn (author)technick292007-04-27

After checking wikipedia I found the following: "High coercivity stripes are resistant to damage from most magnets likely to be owned by consumers. Low coercivity stripes are easily damaged by even a brief contact with a magnetic purse strap or fastener. Because of this, virtually all bank cards today are encoded on high coercivity stripes despite a slightly higher per-unit cost." But that doesn't say anything about very strong magnets, and sadly I'm not up on the exact strength needed to wipe your average magnetic strip. Could be a useful experiment I guess!

SKYNET 2.0 (author)EbolaRobyn2009-04-27

checking WIKIPEDIA.

EbolaRobyn (author)2007-04-27

Pretty cool design, much better than I expected from an altoid can! Aren't you a little worried about having magnets so close to your cards?

iKill (author)EbolaRobyn2007-05-03

Watch myth busters they denounced that myth in an earlier episode they tried as hard as using an electromagnet.... nothing.. so ya magnets are fine

daltonjcw (author)iKill2009-02-27

They totally shot a ton of my cards, although i made the wallet my self....

John Culbertson (author)iKill2007-05-05

no when they dragged the card across the magnet it did wipe it, although these magnets are very small I doubt it would damage anything.

kwilh (author)2008-05-31

I wouldn't trust a card of any sort that close to a magnet

sgphillips451 (author)kwilh2008-07-14

Magnets don't really affect credit cards. It's kind of an urban legend. Your cards should be fine, G.

actually it is true my uncle's card shot craps when my cousin and i held a magnet to it to test that theory

mythbusters, they needed a super magnet to wipe a credit card, those small ones wouldnt do it

daltonjcw (author)LilJay01312009-02-27

Only the newer cards>

electromagnets would

daltonjcw (author)sgphillips4512009-02-27

Not mine.

kwilh (author)kwilh2008-07-15

oh I see thanks

He did it (author)2008-11-22

It works fine (the classic is usually the best) but why do you need a LED light?

treedomfighter (author)2008-05-29

darn man, that looks like it would make quite the racket!

xxshinyxsue (author)2007-06-22

=] you can put some altoids in there too!

bubba77 (author)xxshinyxsue2007-12-11

lol i wouldnt do that, money is filthy

bubba77 (author)bubba772007-12-11

unless there was an altoids hatch : D

schimmi (author)bubba772008-02-22

that'd be a sweet idea $2.50? ok, btw would you like an altoid?

flove101 (author)2008-02-14

go away.

technick29 (author)2008-02-06

Thanks for your comment! Unfortunately, you may missed this warning when posting your response:
"We have a "be nice" comment policy. Please be positive and constructive with your comments or risk being banned from our site."


kiteboarder92 (author)2007-11-02

I made this but I put my mp3 player in the bottom and I drilled a hole in the side for the ear buds.

technick29 (author)kiteboarder922007-11-02


balloondoggle (author)2007-09-14

" goes in, and doesn't come out." I need a checking account that does this!

footballgirl004 (author)2007-08-03

im making something similiar but its not exactly like it so ill make an instructable

Cool, give me an update when you publish!

i published it

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-06-29

it goes clank, clank clunk clink

technick29 (author)2007-06-15


climberslacker (author)2007-05-12

I am a n00b so could you mabye help me with the lEd circut to the switch? It doesn;t work!!! I have the radioshack ): switch. What kind do you have?

I have a simple button click switch which turns the light on when it is clicked. If you have a flip switch with three prongs on the back, just try different combos of the wires until it works. If you could show me what kind of switch you have, I could help you a lot more. Thanks!

here are 2 pix, one they are the same part, just upside down.

Ok, how many pins are on it? 3 or 6?

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