Make Your Own “Curiously Strong Mints” {Altoids}

homemade altoidsI don’t know about you, but I personally can’t get enough of these “simple handmade gift ideas”!  I find that even if I don’t end up making them…if I see a really great creative idea…it gets my OWN creative juices flowing and then who KNOWS what can come of it!  I have seen that time and time again on this website. I post something and all of YOU comment on it and add to it and get each other thinking and it’s like a brilliant chain reaction!  It’s most amazing to watch! I love it!

So, today I offer one more idea that you can take and make or use as a springboard for your own ideas!  Homemade Altoid Mints!

I always have a tin of mints in my purse and it never even occurred to me that these little gems could be duplicated at home until I saw it posted on Nila Rosa! When you see how EASY it is you will most likely be asking the same question I OFTEN do…why didn’t *I* think of that!? :-)

Not only were these a fun project to make…but think of the different possibilities!  They could be a little favor/thank you gift for a teacher or a neighbor, or you could include it in a gift basket of several different goodies.  Or you can do like I did and put them in your purse! :-)  And the different FLAVOR possibilities are virtually endless as well!

homemade altoidsWhat You Will Need:

  • 1 pkg (or recipe) of Gum Paste
  • Powdered Sugar (just enough for dusting your surface & for tossing the mints in)
  • Essential Oils or Flavored Oils (I used 3-4 drops per egg-sized portion of gum paste. More if you want stronger flavor! Mine were about average.)
  • Food coloring – just a tiny bit is needed! (optional)
  • Citric Acid for “sour” flavors – I didn’t use. (optional)
  • Plastic straw (the fatter the better)

I figured the gum paste might prove challenging to find…but I found it in the cake decorating section of my local Walmart. The rest of the ingredients you probably already have on hand.

homemade altoids

Start out by pulling off a piece of the gum paste about the size of an egg and start kneading it. It’s pretty hard at first, but the warmth from your hands will soften it quickly. This is when I added the food coloring and flavoring. (I forgot to take a picture of adding the essential oils for flavoring.) I decided to use a latex glove the hubster had in his BBQ stuff so that the food coloring didn’t stain my fingers…but in hindsight I don’t think I really needed it. I also ended up using a just a few drops of regular cooking oil to help soften up the gum paste and help mix in the coloring and flavoring better.

homemade altoids

Once the color has been worked all the way through the “dough”…go ahead and sprinkle a little powdered sugar on your working surface and roll it out about 1/8″ thick. Now you can start “punching out” mints with the straw. I happened to have these “fat” straws that I found at my grocery store, but I also tried it with the skinnier straws and it worked just fine that way too. Anything that will cut a small circle will do. Come to think of it…you could even use a pizza cutter or a knife and make them square-shaped.

homemade altoids

Once you have all your mints cut out, toss them with a little more powdered sugar to keep them from sticking together and let dry for at least 48 hours. The longer you let the dry…the harder/crunchier they will be…like a good mint SHOULD be.

I ended up making 3 different flavors in 5 different colors:  Yellow = Lemon; Orange = Wild Orange; and Pink, Green and Purple = Peppermint.

homemade altoids

I had a blast making these! Of course I originally set out to make ONE kind of mint….Peppermint, and couldn’t stop after just one! :-) Then at the end I went all CRAZY and mixed them all together for my own “custom Jillee blend”. :-)

homemade altoids







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  1. Sandra R says

    Your blog is the best in the whole wide world. I love, love, love it! You never cease to amaze me and you have never disappointed us yet! Each post is a winnder and I find I can’t wait until I read your daily post. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to us all and encouraging us to use our creativity. Long may your blog live. YEAHAH!!

  2. WNCmountaingirl says

    For those who can’t find gum paste or prefer to make your own (cheaper!!) for this here is a simple recipe for it …

    Ingredients :
    1 Lb Powdered Sugar Fine -10X (reserve 1 cup)
    plastic bag
    1 Packet Knox Gelatin
    2 TBS of Lemon juice
    3 TBS of Water
    1 Tsp of Glucose (can use corn syrup)

    Instructions :
    Add gelatin, water & juice over double boiler; dissolve about 5 to 7 minutes.
    Add glucose (corn syrup) stir.
    Use a mixer with dough hook.
    Place sugar (reserve 1 cup for kneading later) in mixer then add liquid mix until slightly together remove and knead. (can be mixed by hand but use spoon til gelatin mixture cools off a bit while stirring then use hands)
    If it feels too sticky add a little more sugar.
    Wrap with plastic wrap and place in plastic bag (GET ALL AIR OUT!) , seal.
    Let rest over night.

    After resting – Allow to come to room temp if rested in fridge (can microwave for 15 to 20 sec increments til room temp is reached) then knead using more powdered sugar (reserved cup) if needed to keep from sticking) til softened up and stretchy..

    Will keep up to 2 weeks at room temp or a month if stored in fridge – remember to get all air out so it doesn’t dry out!!

  3. Murphy says

    Would these work for the peppermint – hot choccolate mix? Representing those shopping in European supermarkets – thanks for the recipe, WNCmountaingirl! Jillie, your ideas are great, too, just the shopping is sometimes challenging. But, that’s what the rest of the team is for :-)

  4. Sara Jones says

    I would love to make some of the mints, however, where do I find such things as the essential oils, gum paste, etc. These are not normal items in the grocery store. Please guide me where I can find them to purchase?

  5. Landon says

    I can’t wait to try these. With the line of work my son is in, he goes through a lot of mints when working with the families. Our Hobby Lobby has a whole row of Wilton products to choose from & I decorate cakes, so I already have a ton of products on hand. =) All I need is some gum paste & flavored oils. I can even use their weekly 40% coupon to buy the supplies if the products aren’t already on sale. Double =) =)! McDonalds has some nice fat drinking straws & I often run through for a Diet Dr. Pepper when I’m out shopping. Do the mints freely fall from the straw when you cut them, or do you have to squeeze the straw above the mint flat between your fingers to work the mint free of the straw?

    Does anyone have an pocket/purse friendly storage ideas for those that don’t have altoid tins?

  6. Lorilei Cochran says

    ohohoh, these are wonderful! BUT, just recently found breast cancer and I’m tipping my food intake upside down, ie NO GMO anything. It’s really hard, specially when I love love to make sweet stuff and home made anything. Gum paste, even home made is made from the no. 1 GMO product, corn syrup. SO, please all you smart creative crafty ladies, help me figure out a way to make these organic? pwetty pweese with organic sugar on top?

  7. Beverly says

    A couple of questions: How do you get the little circles out of the straw after you cut them, do they just fall out easily? And where do you find essential oils? I’m not familiar with what they are or what they look like, can you find that at WM too?

  8. Beverly says

    Sorry, I just saw my questions answered above. I have another though, can you get sugar free gum paste? I try to do everything as sugar free as possible, my hubby is pre-diabetic and I just don’t need the calories. I know there’s not that many calories in one little mint, but if you suck on a lot of them it can add up!

  9. a says

    I don’t normally comment but seeing how I am super addicted to mints (I have a package in each purse I have and two in the kitchen, one in my top drawer in my dresser and some in the bathroom and living room, lets just say I keep them handy all over the house). This is a perfect project for me and will help bring down my mint bill. Plus I can make them all the colors I want.

  10. Dianne says

    Another recipe:
    1 stick of butter
    1 pound box of powder sugar
    drop of two of food color
    couple of drops of favored oils

    Melt the butter, add food color and oil, then slowly add the powder sugar. We use mint molds for this but you can shape them by hand if you want. Let air dry for a couple of days.

    My favorite favor is clove. Awesome.

  11. Margaret says

    Oh,they were my favorites – I can´t buy them here anymore. Lucky me, now I can make them thanks to you!!

    I stil have someboxes (with buttons on), so tomorrow – it´late here in Sweden now- I will start! One little problem though, how much is one package gelatine?

    Exciting times now – is there a new president tomoorow?

  12. Elizabeth says

    OOO this is awesome!! I’m totally going to try it. Definitely a fun idea for a Christmas gift!

    I do have to say – your straw immediately made me think of a tampon applicator. Didn’t turn me off to making these though. haha!

  13. Rose Myrtle says

    Such a great idea to serve as stocking stuffers or to give as little gifts to friends (expecially if you made them in differnt colors!)…..I might give them to my dad as a stocking stufferj…

  14. Martha says

    You have done it again. Every year for Christmas eve I make homemade vanilla ice cream. I take store bought candy canes and crush them to add to the ice cream. Peppermint stick ice cream has been a family tradition for years. Now I can make these and just cut them small. Love, Love , Love your ideas.

  15. Michele says

    I always have a tin of these in my car and my bag. Never thought about making them myself! I have all but the flavorings, so I’ll have to pick some up. Can’t wait to try this recipe out!

  16. Michele says

    Anxious to try these! I keep tins of cinnamon altoids in my car as well as my bag. How many drops of essential oil do you use? Obviously, since I keep the cinnamon on hand, spicy doesn’t bother me!

  17. says

    I went to WalMart this morning and the gum paste was $8.75 for a small bag. For about $.75 of ingredients I made a batch using the recipe above. In my massive collection of craft supplies I found five different flavors and a zillion colors. . . so, guess what I have been doing this morning. My middle son came home for lunch and tried a peppermint one, despite the fact that it wasn’t totally dry. He was impressed. I made two batches so I have enough for about a million mints, conservatively speaking. Thanks for the idea and the fun!!!!

  18. Landon says

    If you have a Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnn, or the like, they all have a Wilton row and they all have weekly coupons.

    I print my HL coupon from their web site – Most weeks it’s 40% off any item in the store as long as it’s not on sale. It’s a drive to another town go to Michaels or JoAnn, so I don’t check their sites for coupons. I do see their coupons in the Sunday paper though. That would make the mints even cheaper.

  19. KatieK says

    Hi Jillee, what a great idea! I have been wanting a more wallet friendly gift idea for friends and colleagues this year, but something that is fairly fool proof since I don’t have tons of time this season to cook,bake or the like. Love your blog- I use it ALL the time. The rubbing alcohol and cornstarch solution for oily hair has saved my life. And currently experimenting with all of your laundry tips for fresher clothing. Vinegar of all kinds might be the best thing ever invented EVER.

  20. DB says

    Glad I found this site on Pinterest! Awesome recipe! Interestingly enough, my sister has Altoids on her Christmas list this year…can’t wait to make these! How long do they keep for?
    BTW…Hobby Lobby has an app for your phone. The coupon automatically comes up and they can scan for it! No more cutting out or printing (and/or forgetting at home) your coupon! I think Michaels and JoAnn’s has one as well but I don’t personally have those apps…

  21. Brenda says

    Lorilei, Sorry to hear about your recent health issues. I don’t know of any way to adjust this recipe for you but I found a site that does lots of healthy versions of recipes. You may already know about it it is called, I have not tried these recipes yet, but they sound amazing. You might even ask her to help you change this one. She sounds like a very sweet person who’d be up for the challenge. Good luck and hope everything works out for you. Will say a prayer for you and your family.

  22. Candie says

    Hi! Thank you for the wonderful idea!

    I was wondering, I couldn’t find essential oil but I did find candy flavoring oil at my local Joann’s! Would that work? Or will that taste differently?

    Thanks ahead of time!

  23. Landon says

    I don’t have an Altoid tins, but I have been on a search looking for everything before I start. My Walmart has heart shaped Wilton favor tins in the wedding section near the other Wilton stuff. They are $0.75 each. I searched the whole store looking for mini containers – crafts, party, fishing tackle, kitchen, etc. What I finally wound up doing was going to the pharmacy & getting those little clear pocket pill boxes. They came 1 to a pack for around $1. Before buying them I figured I’d check the Dollar Tree across the parking lot. They had the same sized pill box 2/$1. =)

    Mine have an AM & a PM side & each side has a divider to give a total of 4 compartments. I’ll use acetone to remove the lettering, then I’ll have a smart container that can hold more than one flavor of mints. Once I make my mints, if that container doesn’t hold enough then I’ll make a run to a party store to see if they have any favor tins. I don’t think my guys would want a heart shaped tin in their pockets. LOL Hopefully I can make them & hide them while everyone is gone for the day so that they can be a stocking stuffer.

  24. Carole Lewis says

    Just a thought. on flavoring oils…. At the Dollar Tree, They carry a product called ICY BREEZE breath drops. You Put 1 or 2 drops on your tongue and have fresh breath for hours.
    Any way there are 3 small bottles in each pack for $1. Sugar free, fat free & no calories.
    Ingredients:SD Alcohol 38-B, warter, Glycerin, Cinnamal, Sodium Saccharin, and red 40.

    Best of all it comes in Cinnamon, Spearmint and Peppermint.

    Think this will work just fine. What do you think?

  25. Carole Lewis says


    Also at the Dollar tree they have neat little tins look like packages about 4×4 and a little more shallow than an Altoid Tin. Anyway, the come in Red and Blue with an embossed Silver Bow. Perfect for the mini Christmas gift. Also only a Dollar. Perfect.


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