Create a tiny creature habitat using an Altoids Smalls tin!
Step 1: Getting Started
To get started you will need:
Small gravel rocks,
Tiny ceramic or resin animals,
2 clear disposable cups
Nature magazine cut outs,
Small fabric scraps and
Step 2: Prep
Prep your tins by cleaning inside and out.
Cut and apply a piece of duct tape to the top of the tin.
Step 3: Stream Bottom
To make the bottom of a stream,
Pour about a teaspoon of small bits of gravel into the tin.
Add a larger stone and several smaller stones.
Shake as needed to distribute the gravel.
Step 4: Making "Water"
The "water" in this habitat is clear resin.
Put on some latex gloves to protect your skin. Have paper towels handy. Protect your work surface.
You will need to pour out a small amount of resin and then pour an equal amount of hardener into plastic cups.
Pour the resin into the hardener. Make sure you scrape every last drop out. It is very important that these two liquids have been measured equally!
Stir the resin and hardener together. Stir a lot! If you see air bubbles - it's okay.
CAREFULLY pour resin into your stream bottom. Try not to pour on top of your larger rock but make sure you get all round it.
DO NOT OVERFILL. You do not want the resin to pour out past the hinges.
The resin is self settling and will be flat when set.
Next, you'll be adding plant life.
Step 5: Setting Your Plants
You have time to work with your resin before it sets.
Add some little plants growing through the water. Cut and trim fake greenery as you need and place in the resin.
Let the resin sit a good 24 hours.
Step 6: Background
Find some magazine cut outs from a nature magazine. I think it adds an affect if there is some water in the photo.
Trace the tin in marker on the magazine and trim paper as needed to fit the inside of the top lid.
Use school glue to secure in place.
Cut twigs to size and secure with E6000 glue to add even more dimension.
Step 7: Pouch
This step is entirely optional but I thought it would be cute to add a little pouch for the critters to "sleep" while they are not playing in their habitat.
A no-sew way of making this is by using folds and hot glue. Cut out a small scrap of fabric a little larger than 2" Square.
Fold over 3 edges and glue and fold the whole piece in half to make a pocket and glue. (see drawing).
Lastly, gather the edge of the back side of your pocket (it should have an unfinished edge) and gather little segments and glue to the ductaped lid of the tin.
Step 8: Trim
Use E6000 adhesive to glue a strip of ribbon along the bottom of the tin for some extra cuteness.
Hot glue a small piece of a twig under the hinge to keep the top propped upright.
Step 9: Play Time
Grab some little frogs, turtles or otters to come play in their new habitat.
I think the glossy ceramic animals already have a wet look. You could apply clear nail polish to resin animals to make them look like they just came out of the water.
Display your little habitat on your desk or on a window sill.