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Altoids Can  Vibrator

Here's yet another use for your empty Altoids boxes. We'll show you how to make a curiously strong vibrator using a battery-powered toothbrush and a tin from Altoids mints or gum.


(Download .mp4 Video)


  • Altoids tin
  • Oral-B vibrating toothbrush
    (includes AAA battery)
  • Dremel tool
  • Insulated wire
  • Wire cutter and stripper
  • Soldering gun and solder
  • On/off switch (toggle or push-button)
  • Electrical tape or duct tape
  • Glue
  • Silicone caulk
  • Foam rubber
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife


Get an Oral-B Pulsar vibrating toothbrush. Make sure you get this type, and not the sort with the spinning bristles. Break off the white toothbrush part. You should be able to see the top of the vibrating unit inside.

Unscrew the end of the brush handle (you're not supposed to open it but you can). Remove the battery. You may need to bend the battery contact a bit to get it out, but that's OK.

Cut the remainder of the handle along the side. A Dremel tool with a cutting attachment works well. Make sure you cut all the way through the plastic but not far enough to damage the vibrator and switch inside.

Pull the vibrator and switch out of the handle. You may need to force the sides of the handle open a bit to get it out.

Carefully snip the wires where they are connected to the battery contacts. Remove the contacts and set aside. The smaller one will need to be pried out but can be removed intact. The plastic casing and switch that the vibrator sits in isn't really necessary at this point, but we're keeping it as a holder for the vibrator motor.

Prepare the tin by drilling a hole in the side large enough to fit your switch into.

Cut a piece of foam big that's the length and about half of the width of the tin, and trim it so it fits inside. Excise a rectangular hollow into the foam that the battery can fit inside. It should be deep enough that the lid can be closed when the battery is in place. Make the side dimensions a little small so the battery is held securely.

Very carefully strip the ends of the vibrator wires (they are very fine and can break off easily). Solder a length of wire onto each contact on your switch. (If your switch is one that needs to be inserted from the outside of the box, at this point thread the wires though the hole and any washers or fasteners for the switch, and proceed.) Solder the positive (smaller) battery contact onto the end of one of the wires, and solder the other to one of the vibrator wires. Solder a piece of wire onto one end of the negative (longer) vibrator, and then solder that wire to the remaining wire on the vibrator.

The vibrator can be put into the case as is, but for extra stability and to keep it from rattling against the tin, we cut open the section of the hollow toothbrush handle where the vibrator was originally, fit it back inside, and taped it into place.

Secure the switch with any included hardware. Glue the foam with the battery compartment to the bottom of the tin, along with other pieces trimmed to fit around the other components.

Use silicone caulk to secure the vibrator to the bottom, making sure the vibrator's spinning weight is not in contact with the metal of the box. Glue the battery contacts into place at either end of the battery compartment. (Bend the longer contact back into shape if you had to deform it to get it out of the toothbrush. It will be too long for the battery compartment, so snip off the narrower part at the end to shorten it.)

Insert the battery, close the lid, and get ready for a fresh, tingling sensation!

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