Altoids tin Menorah

1/4" hex nuts all in row


Nine hexnuts glued inside an empty Altoids tin = Travel Menorah.  Or, a Curiously Tiny Menorah.  You can’t get much easier.  Or smaller for that matter. (EDIT: see smaller one here.)  Mine is the classic Altoids size, and it holds—just barely—a row of birthday candles with the Shammash nearby.

I might have to name this a Mint-orah, although my gag reflex is already on the alert.  In the last couple of weeks, I’ve made a Menorah-saur and a Men-armite and a Dorm-menorah and a Man-orah and my quickie Menurkey

LED Dorm-Menorah

LED Dorm-Menorah

The Altoids tin menorah is inspired by the continuing search for the right hanukkiyah to mail my college freshman.  I predict she will reject my LED Dorm-Menorah as being not quite to her taste, and frankly, it is too sincere for mine as well.  I loved the Easter egg repurpose, but the final product is, well, pretty.  We prefer funny or kitschy or weird or all three.  Maybe if I hadn’t spray-painted the eggs and yardstick?

So, I’ll see if she wants this Altoids tin menorah.  Definitely not kosher for a dorm with a “no open flame” policy, but these flames are so small and will burn so quickly that perhaps the RAs won’t notice?

And speaking of kosher, guess what?  Altoids aren’t.  (Gelatin, of course.)*  But don’t worry, I boiled, roasted and flame-throwered this tin before converting it into a ritual object.  Just kidding.

curiously tiny menorah

curiously tiny menorah

My treyfe tin doubles as candle storage.  Ideally, all 44 Hanukkah candles would fit, ready for all eight nights, but alas, it holds but 35.


  • Altoids tin, the original size, about 3.75 inches wide
  • 1/4″ hex nuts, 9 (bring a candle to the hardware store to fit!)
  • a washer or extra nut to elevate Shammash
  • Super glue
  • Birthday candles (not Hanukkah candles, which are too wide)

A quick search online reveals no other Altoids menorahs except the fabulous olive oil version by the artist Ken Goldman, who also has cool printable “Jewish Contemporary Arts” on his website.

Altoids tins are famously adaptable.  Many a Pinterest page (see this neat one) is devoted to the creative repurposing thereof.  

The Shammash is a smidge bigger and taller

The Shammash is a smidge taller

*Sugar-free Altoids are supposed to be kosher (no gelatin, but perhaps no hecksher, either?), but as far as I know they only come in the “Smalls” tins, in which ordinary birthday candles would loom too large to fit in the requisite  straight line. (EDIT: See my “Smalls” menorah here.)
BUT, my kosher friends, fear not, for we have a heckshered alternative: Rabbi Mints.  Yes, certified kosher mints in a tin that appears to be a size similar to the iconic Altoids.  I’m intrigued, but not enough to buy the minimum dozen online.  Those of you luckies who live in the Jewier regions (here’s a list of vendors) can traipse down to the store and pick up a single tin.  You have my blessing to make the first Rabbi Mint Menorah.  Just post a picture on my fb page, please, because I want to see it.

Birthday candles don’t burn long enough to be “kosher” Hanukkah flames. The minimum burn time for candles and oil will differ according to one’s Authority, but most folks seem to say at least 30 minutes after sundown.

SAFETY FIRST: Never leave any lit menorah unattended. Always place a menorah on a nonflammable surface to catch any stray drips or fallen candles.  If you are concerned about the safety of this or any menorah I’ve written about, do not make or use it.  Try an LED tealight version (here and here) or flameless LEGO versions instead!

EDIT: See this post for an even tinier travel hanukkiyah: the Altoid’s Smalls menorah. Only 2.25″ wide.

MY OTHER MENORAHS at BibleBeltBalabusta are made of scrap or otherwise interesting materials, such as:
Swim Noodle
Dinosaur figurine
Altoids tin
Altoids Smalls tin
Easter eggs and a ruler
PVC fittings
PVC pipe
Sockets (hardware)
Marmite jars
V-8 engine distributor cap
Turkey figurine
Solar turkey toy
Papier-mache roast turkey
LEGO minifigs (as flames)
LEGO for human-size celebrants
LEGO for minifigure-size celebrants
Oil menorahs

14 responses to “Altoids tin Menorah

  1. Rachel Claire Koch

    I love you. I really do. You make my day every time I read one of your posts!

    Rachel Koch

  2. Cute. you could do one with rabbi mintz’s rabbi mints. That would probably go over well with a first year student.

  3. I have never even heard of an altoid, but I am now curiously desperate to make a chanukiah in a tin. (Or possibly just curiously desperate, depending on whom you ask.) 🙂

    • You would love the tins. I checked online and there are other people in your neck of the woods looking for and sometimes even finding Altoids. They have the best luck at convenience stores, sweet shops and something called International lolly shops. Sucrets throat lozenges are an alternative. Good luck!

  4. This is the cutest!!!! Love, love, love!!!
    Thank you for sharing!!!

  5. This would be great for the soldiers overseas.

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  7. Tina Urban

    I love your page! I stumbled across this while searching for a DIY menorah I could bring onto campus, and I’m definitely going to try this! I might skip the boiling, roasting, and flame-throwing part too though. 😀

  8. I love altoid tins and this adorable craft…so many awesome things can be done with them! But… The larger aspirin tablet sized altoids have gelatin, so where are you acquiring your altoids tins from? (NOT giving you Jewish guilt here…just curious 😉 !!! )

    On another note the mini sugar free altoids don’t have gelatin:
    But these tins are too tiny for a menorah, but are great for DIY lip gloss! 🙂

    • Thanks, Tess! In the post, I did devote several paragraphs to Altoid gelatin and the kashrut of my menorah. Also, I did make a teeny menorah out of the much smaller sugar-free size Altoid tin (“Smalls”), also mentioned in the post. See it here: Mini mint menorah

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