Picture of MYO Antique Medallion
Very quick easy project to make a great looking metallic badge from nothing more than some aluminum foil, some glue gun glue and a permanent marker. It can be done over and over again and the result can be used to decorate books, models, doors... actually anything that you want to personalise.

you will need:

- aluminum foil (thick stuff from a take out carton would be best)
- black permanent marker (or black spray paint)
- glue gun and glue gun glue (although you can use quick setting epoxy glue)
- washing up scouring pad or similar gentle abrasive pad or paper
- strong kitchen scissors
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Step 1: Find the master

Picture of Find the master
This is not a command from the Doctor! You will need an original (master) from which to take an impression. The beauty of this project is that it doesn't harm the original, so any badge or medal or coin will be perfect.

The surface has to be hard enough for you to rub over the top of it to form the aluminium foil (just like you were doing a brass rubbing). In fact this is a modern version of doing a brass rubbing, where the finished item is almost as good as the original!

In this case I used a rather cheesy bowling trophy which had a plastic medal attached to the front. Hey don't laugh, I won this with a score of 208, not that good I know, but I was pleased as it was my first time over 200!

Step 2: Cover with aluminium foil

Picture of Cover with aluminium foil
Cover the badge with aluminium foil. You can use baking foil for this, although it is very thin and you will have to be careful when doing the rubbing down part. The best foil to use is the thicker foil that take-out food dishes are made from. You don't want it too thick, because then you can't get the detail you need.

However if you are careful even thin foil will give you an excellent result that will be as tough and as robust as any when finished.
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Roran5161 year ago
This project was great. Its amazing what you can do with a hot glue gun and some spare time.
Mrballeng3 years ago
This is great! Good idea.
whiteoakart5 years ago
I need to make a medallion that has some custom typesetting on it. I am thinking it needs to be a combo of your technique here and something else to add the type. The type needs to be debossed or embossed, as well. I suppose I could scribe it in by hand, but I am afraid that it will look a little "hand-made".
KaptinScarlet (author)  whiteoakart5 years ago
Thank you for your lovely comments. They certainly are growing up to be charming and inventive people. Anyway, your medallion... I would recommend looking into getting a deep etch zinc line block made. I had a quick look on the web to see if I could find any manufacturers. In the old days as a designer we regularly used them for foil blocking and various other things. Nowadays the model make I uses deep etched blocks for all manner of surface decoration on his models, especially when he want type debossed. Basically you draw or use a computer to make the type or image or icon that you want embossed or debossed and then send it to a local firm that deep etches Zinc. they etch away, usually 300 to 500 microns is enough. then the zinc plate, which is very thin is easy to cut with tin-snips or even strong scissors. so when you get it back, you cut it out and the glue it onto you medallion model and fill round the edge carefully with car filler... I'm sure you get the idea. If you have trouble finding a place that will do it, look in your local yellow pages for a model maker and see if they know of a place that does it. Hope this helps... Cheers Chris
Thanks, I will check it out.
whiteoakart5 years ago
With all of the invented projects and innovations you do with your kids, they are going to grow up as freakin' geniuses. You have really taught your kids how to think and solve problems. That will help them in whatever career they finally decide to go into. You are one of the best dads I have ever met. Thank you for all your contributions to Instructables. David
phapboy6 years ago
I've done this with acrylic paint, you just have to wipe it off before it dries and you get the same effect without the nasty fumes of spray paint.
Kaiven6 years ago
Err... How do you rub it? Is there a way to do it with an object? How does it go into small cracks and details?
Kaiven Kaiven6 years ago
Oh yeah, in step 7 it's "trial and error" not "trail and error" XD
KaptinScarlet (author)  Kaiven6 years ago
ooops, thankx for stopping that, I'll have to get round to editing it at some point, ta _
KaptinScarlet (author)  Kaiven6 years ago
Yes carefully do it with the wrong end of a little paint brush.
jjmullen6 years ago
Tried this tonight with regular aluminum foil. I was completely blown away by how easy this was, and how cool it was. Thanks for such a cool instructable. I'm going to do it again, and try coloring the top with different colored permanent gold for instance.
KaptinScarlet (author)  jjmullen6 years ago
thx for the comment, it's good to know that you like it, I must say it was a bit of a random discovery of mine one afternoon with the kids when we needed a quick decoration for a book.
jennyvier6 years ago
You are a genius. But of course, I already knew that. ;)
KaptinScarlet (author)  jennyvier6 years ago
ooops forgot to say, takes one to know one! ;-)
KaptinScarlet (author)  jennyvier6 years ago
Thx, I try, long time no speak... how are you? Hope you're keeping well.
NIce. Great clear photos and clever technique. I like this because it has a high 'do-ability' rating and fosters many ideas for other applications. The project also is of a manageable size and provides for great overall finish product results. Thanks for sharing.
KaptinScarlet (author)  skaldedgrifon6 years ago
thx, yes we first did it to make a lock for a treasure chest we were making. My son wanted a big carved thing and had something to copy but didn't want to stick it on to the chest because it was his prized Egyptian medallion, hence the idea of taking a rubbing and filling it with glue to make it tough. Your right it was easy and there is loads you can do with it. Thx for your comment.
linrodann6 years ago
Cool technique. I think when I do my own I'll try painting it brass first, then black, and then sanding with fine sandpaper to look like aged brass rather than silver/pewter/etc.
KaptinScarlet (author)  linrodann6 years ago
That sounds like a cool idea, you could also start with gold foil from a chocolate bar or something like that, although you'd have to handle it very carefully as it is so thin, but it should look nice.
Here's my first try:

I love this technique! Thanks so much for posting! I am going to try using this on other things; the light weight means it could be used for earrings that would otherwise be too heavy.
TOPO6 years ago
I think you can put the "positive" with some chunks of hot glue (pieces of a bar) in the oven to get a uniform glue cover ;) You can use dental plaster too.
Ekimac6 years ago
This is a great Instructable. I can imagine using this technique and variations for making all sorts of props for our community theatre. Thanks!
KaptinScarlet (author)  Ekimac6 years ago
Great, glad you like it.
coldheart6 years ago
long time lurker first time poster, had great fun making this with my young son, thanks great idea. glue guns rock :)
KaptinScarlet (author)  coldheart6 years ago
Glad I was able to tempt you out of your lurking ways. Please post a picture of the medal you made, or private message me and I'll give you my email address so you can send it to me. If you do I'll put it up on line at under the project, to inspire others... cheers
Something I'm going to need to try. Great instructable.
Ya know, I immediately left to find that blackguard and looked for about 2 weeks on Skaro. No luck. Then I came back and saw the disclaimer that it was not a command from the Doctor (his name is NOT Dr WHO!!). I suppose I should have read the whole thing first.... :\ Neat idea though :)
KaptinScarlet (author)  Charlie246016 years ago
errr...? don't get the first bit of your message, but I get the second bit loud and clear, sorry, I have now corrected it. thx... gutted to have got that wrong.
Chuckle...I was just goofin around :)
KaptinScarlet (author)  Charlie246016 years ago
even more gutted now I didn't get the gag... dur, guess my fault for making a joke at the good Doctor's expense when I am clearly only such a lightweight Who fan.
In that case I'm probably being far too geeky :) The doctor was known for calling badguys 'blackguards'. And Skaro was the home planet of the Daleks :)
KaptinScarlet (author)  Charlie246016 years ago
no worries, nice to get the detail, I'm enough of a fan to have made a cardboard TARDIS and retouch my boys into a picture with it in, we watch it every weekend, and I loved it as a kid, so I should really take the trouble to get it right!
Nice...i think that need to be your next instructible...
Keith-Kid6 years ago
Wow, yet another great Instructable! It looks amazing!
KaptinScarlet (author)  Keith-Kid6 years ago
thanks dude, glad you like it.
Seriously, I LOVE your Instructables. :) Good job, Kaptin.
KaptinScarlet (author)  teh darkcloud6 years ago
thanks, I love you cup cakes... oh err that sounds a bit fresh...
foobear6 years ago
beautiful and ingenious!
KaptinScarlet (author)  foobear6 years ago
thanks, glad you like it
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