Altoids MP3 Player Case




HI All!

After being inspired by the other mp3 cases on here I decided to make my own version for smaller mp3 players. My design can be easily adapted to fit other mp3 players with a modification of just one step (see within). My case has been made to fit a 4GB Creative Zen, and works perfectly.

All of the photos are of the finished article (sorry detail fans).

Materials and Tools:

Metal Altoids Mint Box
6 wooden ice lolly sticks
A pair of old socks/other material.
Metal File

Step 1: Create the Lining

For this step you need -


I would suggest lining the bottom half of the case first.

1) I did this by cutting the rough shape of the case out of the socks (leaving plenty of excess to be folded over).
2) I then placed the fabric into the case and folded the material on to itself to create nice 'soft' edges. Once you are happy with the shape, tape down the material onto inself so it retains it's shape.
3) You should now have a fabric pad that is the shape of the tin. Flip this over so the nasty taped side is face down. Use superglue to glue to fabric into place.

I then did the top half of the case -

1) At this stage it is crucial to make sure that you can still place the mp3 player in the box and it will still shut. This is why my lining layer in the top half of the box is not folded back on itself and is only one layer thick.
2) Make sure you dont put the fabric so it reaches the edge of the lid - the case will not close properly - this is especially important at the edge where the hinges are.

Step 2: Make the Hole

Regardless of the shape of your mp3 player, I would suggest that you make the hole for the headphones in the middle of the tin (as pictured below). How wide you make the hole depends on the nature of your headphones. I have headphones with an L bend at the jack, so the hole has to be larger to allow the jack to be pushed through the case.

Making the hole

1) Use an awl to start the hole off. I would suggest that you work from the outside, this creates a better finish. Try not to slip with the tools here, or you'll make a mess of the paint on the tin (like I have).
2) Enlarge the hole using increasingly larger tools. I used increasingly large screwdrivers to make mine.
3) File off the sharp metal edge inside the tin. This sharp edge could potentially shred a headphone cord.

Step 3: Make the Wooden Cradle

Final Step here!

You need:

Lolly sticks

This stage can be modified to fit your own mp3 player. Use the mp3 player as a guide as to how long and wide your wooden cradle should be.

1) Lay the lolly sticks alongside the mp3 player and make a notch in the wood at each end of the mp3 player. I would advise leaving extra length here to make sure the player fits.
2) Using the pliers, grasp the lolly stick and bend it so it is at a right angle. Half of the stick should remain intact. If you find they just snap in half, try a different brand if stick of just soak them in water for a little while to make them more pliable.
3) Cut two endpieces out of the lolly sticks to form the end parts of the cradle, as seen below.
4) Glue the parts together.
5) My mp3 player required me to cut a notch out of the wooden cradle to allow the mp3 player to sit flat in the case. This can be seen in the photo below as well as other photos in this instructable. THIS IS TRICKY. To avoid breaking the stick, I soaked the wood a little bit and then carefully whittled it down using a knife.
5) Allow time to dry, and then glue the contruction into the fabric bed in the bottom of the tin.
6) Leave it to dry before putting an mp3 player in it, as the glue can cause damage to certain plastics.

Hope you enjoy making this, I did!



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    14 Discussions

    Sounds so simple to pull off.

    Try harder on themes for MP3 player cases.  Because I like to see one with more functionality.

    pancho del rancho

    9 years ago on Step 3

    i didn't have sticks so i stuffed it with soccer socks i cut them out and im to poor to afford super glue so i used double sided tape and yay i finished but always make sure the lid is closed cause if u put the hole to high it wont close YAY I FINISH WOA


    10 years ago on Introduction

    ummmy i love altoids! what that havta do with the instructable thingy????? no idea! good job though


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I would recommend pushing the mp3 player up to the top of the box, then drilling a hole so only the metal tip of the jack has to fit in the box. I made an Altoids case for my sansa a while back and did this, it works great.

    1 reply

    can someone Pm me the dimentions for an altoids tin? we dont see them a lot here in canada, and im not going to the mall anytime soon, and people will think im loopy if i go to the cashier, pick up a tin of altoids, measure it, then leave. I wwnat to know if this'll fit a Zune thanks in advance! :D

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Well, so much for Instructables' "be nice" policy. Don't let the detractors get to you, it's a neat idea. And if you're worried about wanting to change volume, song, pause/play, get an in-line remote, which will come in very useful even without an altoids-tin case.

    Agreed! As a person addicted to those silly little mints, new suggestions for recycling the tins are are always appreciated.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    They work great, are cheaper than radioshack boxes, and come with free mints!