I started a tradition when Thing One was born - every year I make an ornament for Thing One (and subsequently for Thing Two when he burst onto the scene). I try to make something novel and fun, inspired by things lying around in the house. I want something basic, that will last for years if cared for properly, and that will grow in sentimental value.
This is a re-creation of the airplanes I made a few years ago - I needed to take photos of the process so decided to make another one.
A cigar tube
Some sheet Aluminum
Fast setting epoxy
Primer and paint
Tools: Sheet metal cutters, toothpick/small skewer, modeling clay, sharpie pen, cardboard for wing templates
Step 1: Design The Silhouette
Locate a cigar tube of your choosing. Cut out cardboard (I used soda-can carton) templates of the wings and tail sections. I sketched a few profiles until I got one I liked that looked about right. Lay them out next to the tube to see if you like the silhouette before going on to cut the metal.
Step 2: Cut out the Wings and Tail
Find some scrap metal to use for the wings. I wanted to use aluminum to match the cigar tube...it's a minor issue but if you use a different metal for the wings you risk corrosion at the joints ( called galvanic corrosion, and is caused when two metals of differing electrode potential are in contact in the presence of an electrolyte), and I want my ornament to last without corroding.
You can also buy sheet aluminum in small sizes at Lowes/Home Depot etc.
Cut out the wings using a pair of tin-snips/metal shears. Smooth out the edges on a piece of emery cloth/sandpaper. At this point I went ahead and sanded the tube as well - just to rough it up so the paint would adhere well. You could sand off all the paint to bare metal and go for the retro jet travel shiny aluminum look. I did that on the originals and love the look...but wanted to try painting it this time around.