Introduction: Mod a Toaster and Have Retro Art Toast for Breakfast

Picture of Mod a Toaster and Have Retro Art Toast for Breakfast

Yes, I've been caught by the toast modding wave and made my own. Just some Aluminum or stainless steel and a regular toaster can do the trick.

Step 1: Safety

Picture of Safety

Before starting, you must be absolutely aware that this thing is powered from the mains and
as such it could kill you, cause damage or injuries. If you are not really skilled at mains
powered electric device and related safety building practice and are not well aware of the risk related, you are suggested to have a friend help you with this project.
Also, as a general rule, when you are working on dangerous things always have someone next to you instructed on what to do if something goes unexpectedly.
The main issue here is to make sure that in no way metallic parts of the prongs and shapes come into contact with the electric heaters of the toaster.
These notes are not just to scare or bother anyone, but I absolutely want that fun does not turn
into grief.

Step 2: Parts

Picture of Parts

Just a few parts are necessary:

edit: thanks drcrash - Aluminum "flashing" from the roofing department of a home improvement store (1 mm thick circa)
A paper template
Paper glue
Scissors (or a LASER cutter, if you have one...)
A ruler
Dremel or similar (not necessary, depends on shape's complexity)
A small fine file
A hammer and a wood block
A toaster
Bread slices

Step 3: Measure

Picture of Measure

The basic idea is to place the Aluminum shape inside the toaster prongs so as to shade heat to some extent and get a white shadow of the shape on bread's browned surface.
I suppose you are going to use my template, but you are invited to do your own also and possibly post pictures.
The shapes comes with to flaps to be wound around the steel structure of the prongs. To do so you must be sure that the size is correct so as to make the flaps at the exact distance. Measure the distance you will tuck the flaps.
Now, with your drawing program resize the template so as to make the distance between the two flaps of each shape the exact length you just measured. Print the template.

Step 4: Glue

Picture of Glue

Cut the shapes, just leave some room around, don't need to be precise. Glue the shapes on the Aluminum sheet. You may not need to wait until the glue is dry. Just make sure it does not move easily.

Step 5: Cut

Picture of Cut

Using the scissors start cutting around the shapes. Some parts of the shapes you may want to finish with a Dremel or similar. You may need to file the edges.

Step 6: Remove the Paper

Picture of Remove the Paper

Now dip the shapes into water to dissolve the glue and remove the paper. A glass from Nutella(r) helps but is not necessary.

Step 7: Apply the Shapes to the Prongs

Picture of Apply the Shapes to the Prongs

Apply the shapes from the inside of the prongs. Try to think before and then bend as Aluminum is fragile and the flaps will easily break after a few repetitive bends.

Step 8: Final Words and a Few Advices

Picture of Final Words and a Few Advices

Use plain Aluminum or stainless steel only: do not used painted tin as I did for my cookie cutters as heat here would transfer paint or finishing on your meal!
Try to avoid elaborate shapes: details will not show up
The toaster makes the difference: the larger the heating resistance the more uniform the drawing will be; try smaller bread slices or larger prongs (and toaster)
When you are tired of a shape, just remove it and do another one.

A final one: you don't need a toaster at all: just lay the Aluminum shapes on a pan and put your bread slices on it or, even better, use a press toaster.
You can also print a slice of meat.

Buon appetito !


danny3xd (author)2012-07-23

This is awesome 5V. I was looking for the toaster hack where the image is burned into the toast by adding more heater element.
Am on my way the "Goodwill" (charitable thrift/secondhand store that employs the disabled) and buy every toaster they have on hand.

All of us here are gonna chip in and get ya that 6th volt, lol

Really is a great instructable

astroboy907 (author)2011-11-11

So gonna try this if I can find the right stuff and it our toaster is compatible...

eatmeidareyou (author)2011-11-11

omg thts so cool

RandomTeeVee (author)2009-12-20


wouldnt the aluminum sheet in which you used to make the print on the toast cause the toaster to explode or something since metal shouldnt be in the toaster?


(btw this is awesome)

your thinking of microwaves you cant  put metal in thoose it messes it up, but for toasters the things that heat the toast are metal also toasters just heat so metal is okay in the toaster

yeah in a microwave it some sort of magnetic waves or somethin

its called a microwave because it uses microwaves to heat up anything in there

It's called a microwave because it uses microwaves to accelerate the little tiny water particle in an object. The more water > the more heat due to friction. So a microwave will not heat anything up alone.

builder968 (author)seabananers2010-06-13

If you put aluminum in the microwave, you see sparks and bolts of electricity dance across the foil, melting the metal. If you leave this going on for too long, the bolts will get bigger and bigger- until, finally, it blows up in your face, your kitchen is on fire, and you're in the hospital being treated for burns and shock.

kenexinator (author)RandomTeeVee2010-01-21

(looks in toaster) there seems like a lotta metal in my toaster ....

kenexinator (author)RandomTeeVee2010-01-21

(looks in toaster) i dont know but there's a whole lotta metal in my toaster

5Volt (author)RandomTeeVee2009-12-28

It would be great if it could explode : that would be even more fun !
Well no, just kidding. Of course your comment is appropriate as nothing should be put inside the toaster except what is supposed to. The issue can be approached safely though if the sheet is placed carefully (inside the prongs and not outside as an example). I think that the intructions and some common sense can make a good safe "pac man" toaster. Again, we're dealing with high voltage and help from some knowledgeable friend must be welcome .
Thank you

Allonsy (author)2011-02-02

this is awesome, i'll have to try it sometime. nice job!

whiskymonster (author)2011-01-25

set the toaster to half cook the toast, and then turn it over and toast again.
this means the toast will be done all over including the design area, and avoids the burned bits around the edges.

for a really lo fi version, i used to make "tubby toast" when my brother was little.
just squash the bread with your fingers to make a smily face, and the squashed bits dont brown. ace for getting a 2 year old to eat breakfast in the morning!

ikeike40 (author)2010-10-29

wow thats cool

coppeis (author)2010-10-28

This was the first Instructable that I ever saw.

spark light (author)2010-10-18

Cool intractable!
Also, Go oscilloscopes! I have one very similar.

BOOM5601 (author)2010-10-17

This is probably how those guys got a piece of toast with Jesus or Mary or something and the sold it for about ten grand.

nathankilpin (author)2010-10-11

lol works

5Volt (author)nathankilpin2010-10-12

Yap !
I just noticed I got 5 stars ! Yahoooo!
Thanks everybody.

joanocabrasil (author)2010-08-26

Thank you, maybe I will make with some recicled some soda cans.

CrazySheep (author)2010-07-26

I would come to your house JUST for the toast!! I'll try to get permission to do this XD

leftova3 (author)2009-06-21

awww SO CUTE they look like theyre in jail! hahahaha!!!

seabananers (author)leftova32010-06-09

thats what i was gonna say but they are the bad guys

ampRiser (author)2009-09-01

This is Awesome!!! I am going to make one in the shape of a guitar, and I am amazed by some of the comments on here, How did some of these people figure out how to turn on the pc and access the internet?

seabananers (author)ampRiser2010-06-09

lol my dad did it

knektek (author)2010-04-05

i shoved a metal knife into my toaster once.

jamieicecream (author)2010-03-29

 i think the stuff is aluminium printing sheets. They are about 0.2mm thick, are used for printing paper documents and are usually free if you can source them from a scrap metal place.

bas_van_abel (author)2009-12-19

Great idea and well performed! We've just had our first Instructable Restaurant try-out and we've used your mod for the visitors so they could make their own toast. We used a vinyl cutter to cut baking paper into digitally fabricated pieces, but the result with the baking paper wasn't as good as the aluminum though. I'm still working on a better solution. I prefer using something non-conductive, as it is much safer. Thanks for sharing! I will keep you updated.

5Volt (author)bas_van_abel2009-12-28

Think of safety, as a second though, there's some silicon molding stuff going around used for baking pans. I'm wondering if it might be suitable for high temperature. It would make it even more simple and safe.
Bye for now.
( BTW sorry for not replying sooner : I was pretty busy and forgot to check my email... )

skylane (author)5Volt2010-03-25

The silicone baking dish material has a temp limit to it... somewhere around 500ºF (some other number ºC).  Kinda pricey to cut one up to make a template.
Just be sure to not have the toaster plugged in when doing the mod.
You might even consider doing a trial run outside with a heavy duty extention cord, if you want to be overly cautious...
This sounds like fun!

JonnyDude2008 (author)2010-03-15

This looks great! I was wondering could this be done with regular household tin foil?

5Volt (author)JonnyDude20082010-03-16

I actually used Aluminum sheating : just a matter of how to name it in english. I'm not english mother tongue !

Yong2010 (author)2010-03-08

Very Cool!!

noobie605 (author)2010-03-03

thats awsome dude

BECKBERRY (author)2010-02-27

Nice toast! Smiles :)

djlewis725 (author)2010-01-25

omg that is so cool! I have to make one!

5Volt (author)djlewis7252010-01-29

This instructable gave me a lot of fun and after years it still grabs attention.
I'm happy when someone writes in.

Just be careful when working with the AC mains, even after years the dangers and caveats remain the same !

Have fun and post pictures.



Small Things (author)2009-11-08

 If you unplug the toaster and leave it a minute for any capacitors to drain then where is the shock hazard? if you modified the page so it said "Unplug the toaster first, Leave it a minute and carry on" Would have been sufficient

jamiec53 (author)2009-10-24

pacman ftw!

jamiec53 (author)2009-10-24

lol, loving it

cvill (author)2009-10-15

This is more hard core!
There is a guy in japan who makes art on his toast. Uses aluminum foiland an oven toaster though.

PENIX (author)2007-05-04

I think most mode I see are stupid, but this one is a definite exception.

adnimo (author)PENIX2009-09-12

But eh.. you only get half a toast...

miiwii3 (author)adnimo2009-09-12

not unless you put the sheet on both sides

adnimo (author)adnimo2009-09-12

Using thinner aluminum you should be able to get a better toast, albeit less clear finish but a better toast nonetheless, which is why you're toasting the bread to begin with.

dvnfntn (author)2009-07-28

ok 2 things i have that same hammer and where did you get that nutella cup, it's awesome

5Volt (author)dvnfntn2009-08-01

Nutella " what a world this would be without ! " this is the tagline of the ads
Nutella is on wikipedia, of course ! Ciao

Fizzxwizz (author)2009-06-07

Will metal from aluminum cans work well? The only problem that I can guess is that the paint on the back will burn

5Volt (author)Fizzxwizz2009-06-08

Of course the paint should be sanded out. Or burnt away on a stove. Ciao Alessandro

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