Fresh Idea: Altoids Tin Smartphone Stand

Altoids phone stand and charger

Looking for a fun and functional way to upcycle an empty tin of Altoids mints aaaand prop up your handheld device while you browse photos, read email or view videos?  Of course you were! This quick and simple DIY requires a small handful of materials and a little ingenuity, and the results are adorable and oh-so-useful! Customize this compact little stand with your choice of colors (I went for neon pink!) and then display your phone in this “curiously strong” case in either portrait or landscape format — all with minty-fresh breath.

Find more of my solutions for busy creatives and homeowners on Smart, Simple, Solved.


Step 1

 Open GalleryMaterials First, assemble your materials.

Step 2

 Open GalleryAltoids Lid

Start with an empty Altoids tin and gently slip the lid of the tin up and off of its hinges so that you have two separate pieces.

Step 3

 Open GalleryPunch Holes

Place the lid face-side-up on top of a cutting mat. Use an awl to punch four holes into the lid – carefully position the sharp tip of the awl, then firmly press and twist it through the lid. Alternately, you can use a nail, hammering it to create the holes. Create one hole below the letter L, a second below the letter D and then two more parallel holes along the bottom edge of the lid.

Step 4

 Open GallerySand the tin

Using a fine to medium grade sandpaper, lightly sand the exterior of the tin and the lid. This prepares the surface of the metal to be painted. Wipe clean.

Step 5

 Open GallerySpray the lid

In a well-ventilated area, cover your work surface with paper and then spray paint the tin and the lid. Create a color block motif, painting the tin a metallic color and the lid a second brighter hue. Hold the spray paint approximately 12” from the tin, spraying in short even bursts. The printed lid may require two coats for complete coverage – allow 30 minutes between each coat.

Step 6

 Open GalleryPaper clips!

Unfold a large paper clip and form it into an inverted U-shape.  Alternately, cut a similar length of heavier gauge wire and position it in the same formation.

Step 7

 Open GalleryAdd the clip to the lid!

Feed the ends of the wire through the back pair of holes in the center of the lid and then weave them up through the holes closest to the edge. Bend the wire to position it as shown in the photograph, creating a support for the back of the phone and two arms to secure the front bottom edge.

Step 8

 Open GalleryAdd gravel

Place the lid back into the hinges of the tin. Fill the tin with small rocks to add weight to the base. Simple gravel works well, as do decorative rocks from the craft or floral supply store.

Step 9

 Open GalleryYou're done!

Your stand is now ready to hold your phone in either a vertical or horizontal position, with or without the charger plugged in.


  • Empty Altoids tin or other metal mint tin
  • Spray paint for metal surfaces
  • Large paper clips or heavier gauge wire
  • Small rocks/gravel


  • Awl
  • Cutting mat
  • Medium grade sandpaper




About Carley Knobloch 


I'm all about smart, simple solutions to managing life, work and family. I blog about the intersection of tech and living at and delve into smart home technology ...

More About Carley Knobloch

4 Responses

  1. as spam and delete the comment.most legitimate…

    ways to increase your website ranking involve providing quality content of some sort. you must provide some valuable content in your comment. give your opinion on what the blogger was talking about in their blog post, give an alternative view, or…

  2. Smartphone stand writing is very helpful to me. I've a smartphone and when I used USB charger for my smartphone I need a stand to keep protect my smartphone and your review is very handy for me.

  3. Trish says:

    Very cool idea! Just a thought….you know the rubber coating used to cover the handles of pliers? I would coat the ends of the paper clips so the screen won't be scratched.

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