Introduction: Altoids Tin Portable Fan

Picture of Altoids Tin Portable Fan

We have an Altoids tin, and a water bottle. What can we do with that? Why not make a fan? That is what I did. I utilized the curve of the water bottle to make the fan blades, and an old motor to spin it around.

I used the cap of the water bottle as the holder of the fan blades, and an Altoids tin to house the whole thing!

Intuitive eh? I just Mashed the two items up, to make one awesome device!

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed
What do I need for this project?

  • Altoids Tin (Or other enclosure)
  • Small Motor
  • Voltage Source for your motor
  • Water Bottle
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Hookup Wire
  • Switch of any sort
  • Electrical Tape
  • Dremel Tool with metal saw attachment or some metal cutter

Step 2: Prepare the Water Bottle

Picture of Prepare the Water Bottle

Find your water bottle. Take your Dremel or cutting device, and cut off the WHOLE cap neck. As shown in the picture. The bottom flimsy piece of the cap, as well as the cap, you need all of that.

Just take your Dremel, and cut it off.

Once you have the cap off, you can start cutting out the pieces of the water bottle which will be the fan blades. Take your scissors, and cut a straight line on the rounded part of the bottle, until you reach the part where it is is not rounded anymore.

Once you have that cut, cut along the line where it is not rounded anymore. This sounds confusing, but the pictures should help you out.

Now cut the rounded part of the bottle in half, so you have two fan blades.

Step 3: Attach to the Cap

Picture of Attach to the Cap

Now retrieve that cap neck you cut off earlier. Take the fan blade and try to fit it in between the cap, and the flimsy round piece of plastic. Make cuts accordingly to have it fit snugly in between the two.

Now grab your hot glue gun, and on the top and bottom of the fan blade, put a strip of hot glue to keep it in place as it is connected to the cap and the other piece of plastic.

Do this for both blades, so they are opposite each other and spaced evenly. Spin the cap around your fingers to make sure the fan blades stay in place. If they do, you are all set to start wiring and cuttin for the motor.

Step 4: Cut Tin for Motor

Picture of Cut Tin for Motor

Take your Altoids Tin and motor, and make a hold in the top of the tin that fits with the motor.

Just trace it or something, but you want the motor to fit snugly inside of the tin.

Now on the front face of the tin, make a hole for the push-button switch.

Step 5: Attach Motor to Cap

Picture of Attach Motor to Cap

Now it is time to attach the motor to the cap and fan blades.

Take your Dremel, or cutting device, and drill a hole into the top of the cap.

Now poke the top of the motor through that hole. Take your hot glue gun, and glue the two.

You should be all set with the cap and fan blades attached to the motor.

Step 6: Wiring

Picture of Wiring
This is a simple wiring setup.

  • We have the power source of 3 Volts
  • The negative lead of the battery clip, is soldered to a piece of hookup wire which is soldered to one of the motor solder joints. The other lead of the battery clip, is soldered to one of the leads of the switch.
  • For the other lead of the switch, take a piece of hookup wire, and solder it directly to the other motor solder joint.
  • Look at pictures for more detail.
Simple enough eh? Any questions feel free to ask me about the wiring.

Step 7: Time to Cool Off!

Attach the battery, press the switch, and hold it in front of your face!

It is quite refreshing, and it is a great utilization of old recycles.

Have fun!


presto is the best (author)2008-03-18


surplus shed has plenty of great parts for everything!

From any household appliance that is broken, or from a childhood toy, anything that makes something move should provide a motor.

survival of the extreme (author)2015-03-19

I made one the battery died quick and caroded

Nightauel (author)2014-03-03

Motor from a small aquarium pump?

weaponscollector94 (author)2009-12-26

i made one that had the fan on the side but it turned on when you squeezed the tin! it is cool

The Dark Ninja (author)2008-08-21

used the bottle cap idea for another project I'm making, thanks for the great idea!!!!!

instructables4ever (author)2008-08-10

Sounds Cool I might try. Good Instructable!

bigpinecone (author)2007-11-17

i wouldn't hold that thing anywhere near my face... might as well make it a blander. nice instructables, though. Regards, Nick

imgod22222 (author)bigpinecone2008-08-10

it doesn't have the torque to hurt you. the whole fan will stop if it touches your finger.

Sunbanks (author)bigpinecone2008-05-12

You just gave me a great idea :D

presto is the best (author)2008-03-18


Cartuner55 (author)2007-12-27

the motor looks like a xmod rc motor

Braeburn (author)Cartuner552008-03-12

so that's where mine went!

frickelkram (author)2007-11-15

Cool fan ... I am really a fan of this fan .... :-)

Nirjuana (author)2007-11-15

Although recycling is good but I'd still use an old 80mm computer fan and a grill so you don't manage to cut of your fingers or anything :D

Brennn10 (author)Nirjuana2007-11-15

Yea, I guess it may be a little better, but oh well!

siege engines ahoy (author)2007-11-14

Mightn't one cut oneself if one holds it too close to ones face? One?

I try not to touch it to my face.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-11-14

not bad, cool idea. But persionally if i do this i would add a 'slider' switch, and mabe use a very small computer fan blade :-)

Brennn10 (author)!Andrew_Modder!2007-11-14

Thats a good idea. I wanted to use my recycles for this one though.

About This Instructable




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