Pirate Treasure From Trash, Really!

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Introduction: Pirate Treasure From Trash, Really!

About: I am a mixed media artist living in the Ozarks with my family. I have been published in many magazines including the cover of Sew Somerset.

Ok, who doesn't love pirate stuff? Kid's these days love pirate parties and what pirate party doesn't need tons of loot? With all the cool accessories you can buy for a pirate theme party, throwing a shin-dig can get pretty pricey. Here in this Instructable I will teach you the amazing art of turning trash into gold and silver treasure! Shhhhh! Don't tell anybody, it's a pirate secret. Anyone caught stealing secrets will walk the plank!

Step 1: Raid the Recycle Bin, and Pillage Needed Materials. Arrr!

First you will need a few things from around the house.
---A pizza box, or any cardboard will do. We have used cereal boxes, the backs of old notepads, and old shipping boxes.
---Now you need something round to trace around, we used a can from the pantry, just find something that is the size you want your coins to be.
---You need some glue, we used Aleene's Tacky Glue because it's thick, but you could use regular Elmer's school glue, or even hot glue (adults only).
---Aluminum duct tape, or tinfoil (requires more gluing) OR silver or gold acrylic paint.


First thing to do is to place the can (or round object) on the cardboard and trace around it, move trace, repeat until you have lots of circles drawn. Now you will begin drawing the skull and crossbones in each circle with the Aleene's tacky glue. 1st draw a keyhole shape in the center, 2nd draw two dots for eyes, a triangle for a nose, 3rd a line for the mouth. Then draw two upside down hearts for the bottom crossbones, and last draw two hearts for the top crossbones. (SEE THE PICTURES BELOW FOR EXAMPLES, EACH IS DETAILED WITH DESCRIPTIONS)

Step 2: Learning Patience Is NOT a Happy Thing for a Pirate

Now set aside your glue drawn cardboard and let dry. We usually draw ours before bedtime, that way the next day we get to get up and do the really fun part. Turning trash into gold and silver! Now that the glue has dried, cut out each circle.

Step 3: Technique for Turning Trash Into Silver and Gold!

Now that you have all the circles cut out you will tear a length of aluminum duct tape off of the roll, remove the backing and stick it to the front of the coin (the part with the dried glue) Gently rub to smooth around nooks and crannies made by the glue. You may need to put another strip of aluminum tape down depending on how big your coin is. I had to use two strips side by side for these. We usually make our coins small like regular coin size but for this instructable we made it big so you can see better. (If you don't have aluminum tape you can put down a very thin layer of glue and smooth on some aluminum foil, OR you can simlpy paint these with gold or silver paint) Now you need to cover the back sides of the coins with the tape as well. Next we will glue the fronts of the coins to the backs of the coins with the tacky glue. ( I like to use the tacky glue because it is thick so when it dries it's got a good thickness to it that looks nice through the tape.) Now if you want you can give the coins a little bit of paint for patina and texture, if you use acrylic paint to can scrape some off here and there so that the silver shines through. And there you have it, a big pile of Pirates treasure from trash!

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    37 Comments

    This is really very cool!!! I might make some to go along with my last craft, very nice!

    I asked my nearly 3 year old what he wanted to do for his birthday and he said "Pirate!" I was so happy when I came across this!
    I hope things work out and we can have a pirate party, these will deffinetly be made!

    1 reply

    How fun! Hope you guys have a great time!

    A friend and i made some pirate booty for a party a few years back. Pretty much the same principal. We used the foam board (we found for a buck!) and the skulls off of kids halloween rings (also a bag for a buck). And covered them with heavy duty foil. Tho i think i like the idea of the sticky back duct tape.. much quicker and easier. These have lasted for almost 5 years now. And were used at my sons prom (poseidons adventure theme) and my daughters sr class play (a pirate theme).

    Awesome! My daughter and I made a bunch last night. Yer right, hot glue is da bomb. It doesn't shrink like Elmer's, but it's harder to control, and, whoops! it burns.

    1 reply

    aww. I hope the hot glue didn't get you too bad. I'd love to see pics of yours if you can get a chance. Have fun!

    woooooo makes me want to go steel som tin.

    ARGH! This be one of the best crafty ideas for kids yet matey! As a mother of 2 boys and an auntie of 4 more, this be cool!

    1 reply

    Thanks a bunch! Hope you guys have fun with it, we sure do!

    Hot glue also works very well and tends to dry a little faster.

    1 reply

    Yep I've used hot glue before, only for adults though. For kids the Aleene's is best. Thanks for the comment!

    What fun! I love the idea of using glue as an embossing base. Genius!

    1 reply

    Thanks for the comment, Happy New Year!

    To get avoid having a seam between the front and back halves, you could turn the coin over after cutting it from the cardboard and apply the glue again. Twice the waiting for glue, but you get a one-piece double-sided coin. Then, cut a piece of the aluminum tape twice the width of the coin, and fold it over the coin so it covers both sides. When you're done pressing it down into the grooves, cut off the excess with scissors or a hobby knife.

    2 replies

    Very good idea doing the embossing with white glue by the way!

    Thanks for commenting. I have tried this but instead of folding it over (because you get wrinkles) you have to cut a circle the same size as your coin for the back side. Also you end up with a really thin coin, LOL. I have used wooden nickles that you buy at the craft store for these as well. The little one in the pics is actually done this way. There are so many options for these. They are really flexible as far as materials and costs. Hope everyone likes them. I'm sure there are some pirates out there who will make some gold and silver for themselves and I would love to see pics, anyone? Happy New Year!