Introduction: Altoids Tin Fly Box

Often, fly fishermen have a habit of carrying multiple fly boxes. However, for those who have a long hike to get to their fishing spot, reducing the amount of weight is important. An Altoids fly box provides a cheap and compact option for fishermen who need to reduce their total weight. It is also ideal for those starting in the sport that may not need a large fly box and can help reduce the amount of money needed to begin fly fishing.

There are two configurations that can be made from an Altoids box: one with a magnetic bottom and foam strips on the top (Box A) and one with slotted foam on the bottom (Box B).

Steps 1-2 are for both box configurations.

Steps 3-8 are for Box A

Steps 9-14 are for Box B

Step 1: Clean Altoids Box

Start by emptying the Altoids tin if not already empty. Wash out the tin under running water and dry completely. It is important that the tin be completely clean and dry so that the glue will adhere to the tin.

Step 2: Assemble the Supplies Needed


  • Cutting board- important so that you don't cut your work surface
  • Razor blade- an Exacto knife works well
  • A marker or pencil- something to trace outlines
  • 4mm foam sheet- available from a craft store
  • Magnetic sheet- available from a craft store, the adhesive back sheets work well
  • Scissors- Use on the magnetic sheet, the foam with dull them quickly
  • Glue- Super Glue or E6000
  • Empty Altoids tin-rinsed and dried

Step 3: Trace Outline (Box A)

Place the tin box on a magnetic sheet and trace along the outside of its bottom. Do this twice, once for the top insert and once for the bottom insert.

Step 4: Cut Out the Magnetic Sheet (Box A)

Cut out both outlines from the magnetic sheet. For the sheet that goes on the bottom, you will need to cut it slightly smaller than the outline.

Step 5: Glue Down Magnetic Sheet (Box A)

Using the glue of your choice, glue the magnetic sheet inside the lid of the tin. It is important not to use too much glue or the sheet will bubble. Glue around the edges, and in an "x" pattern in the middle. It is recommended to test the fit of the sheet before gluing, as it may require some trimming. Glue the bottom insert using the same pattern of glue as was used for the lid.

Step 6: Measure and Cut Foam (Box A)

Measure and cut the foam into strips. Each strip should be slightly wider than it is tall. It is recommended to use a razor blade for these cuts, as the foam will dull scissors.

Step 7: Glue the Foam Down (Box A)

Glue the strips of foam to the lid of the Altoid tin. Trim and then glue the foam leaving approximately half an inch of space from the tin on both ends of the box. There should be equal amounts of space between the strips and the long edges of the box.

Step 8: Let the Glue Dry (Box A)

Depending on the glue used, it may require time to dry. I recommend E6000 glue, which requires 24 hours to fully dry. After the glue has completely dried, the box is ready for use.

Step 9: Slotted Foam Configuration (Box B)

If you desire slotted foam in the bottom of the fly box (for larger flies), trace the bottom of the box on the foam sheet.

Step 10: Cut Foam (Box B)

Cut out the foam. It is necessary to cut the foam slightly smaller than the traced outline in order for it to fit in the bottom of the box. Some trimming may be required.

Step 11: Measure for the Slits in the Foam (Box B)

Measure the total width of the foam and divide it by four. Use this measurement to trace 3 lines running lengthwise on the foam.

Step 12: Cut Slits in the Foam (Box B)

Using a razor blade, cut the slits in the foam. Leave a quarter of an inch on each side of the cut. Cut most of the way through the foam, but not completely.

Step 13: Glue the Foam in the Altoids Tin (Box B)

Line glue along the edges of the foam and make an "x" through the middle with the glue. Insert the foam into the tin, gluing it to the bottom of the tin.

Step 14: Optional: Glue Magnetic Sheet in the Top (Box B)

Optional: Using the process starting in step 3 (for Box A), attach a magnetic sheet to the top of the Altoids tin.

Once the glue is completely dry, the box is ready for use.

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