Tinfoil Embossed Artwork




Introduction: Tinfoil Embossed Artwork

About: I am engineer & hobbyist.

There are museums that display metal pieces made by man in ancient times like weapons, coins, etc.

In most cases these are original pieces of metals such as silver, gold, platinum, etc.

There are also expressions of modern art for houses, with a combination of wood and replica of metals such as silver.

In this instructable I will describe step by step how to make a piece of wallart using simple materials like MDF and aluminum tinfoil.

Join this project and enjoy it!

Let's get started...

PS1: My special consideration to all the people who are suffering from COVID-19. I really hope that the whole world can get vaccinated as soon as possible, particularly the elderly and all those who have more severe risks.

PS2: English is not my native language. My apologies for mistakes in writing ;)


- Wooden MDF 18 mm.

- Wooden MDF 9 mm.

- Wooden MDF 5 mm.

- Aluminum Tinfoil.

- PLA filament (I used white. You can use another color if you prefer).

- Black paint Spray.

- Glue.

- Glue Spray.

- Glue Epoxy.

- Sandpaper.

- Tow or cloth.

- Wood paper.

- Any metal piece to hang the picture.

- black shoe polish paste.


- 3D printer (min. dimens. 200 x 200 mm).

- Metalic ruler.

- Metal square.

- Table saw.

- Bench jigsaw.

- Bench sander.

- Scissor.

- Drawing compass

- Embossing tools (metallic circular ball diameter 3 or 4 mm / various plastic type).

Step 1: Design.

The design is very simple. I did plans using fusion 360 (https://www.autodesk.com)

The size of the finished work is 30 cm x 30 cm. Frames are 5cm wide each with a 45 degree bevel finish.

The "similar metallic" piece is a disc 19 cm in diameter. To build it we will use aluminum tinfoil with embossing technique using a plastic printed 3d stencil-type piece.

We shape the metal to be embossed using 3 layers of tinfoil glued together (see step below).

For the design I used a JPG image and proceeded to vectorize it using the tracing tool of the MOHO drawing / animation software (https://www.mohoanimation.com), exporting it to "svg" format.

With "svg" format I imported in fusion360 and proceeded to extrude the silhouette with a thickness of 1.8 mm.

This design is attached ready to import in programs like CURA, and proceed to 3d printing.

Alternatively, you can choice other design and follow the same vector image procedure using even other software such as Photoshop, etc.

NOTE: you can download in this link the stl file (stencil auxiliary piece) to print 3d (see parameters I used in step number 3)


Step 2: Construction of the Wooden Frame.

You can use any mechanical cutting tool to cut the wood (in my case I used table saw and bench jigsaw).

- Cut 4 rectangles 30 cm x 5 cm with 18 mm MDF.

- Very precisely cut the bezels at 45 degrees.

- Cut 1 square MDF 20cm x 20cm with 9 mm MDF.

- Cut 1 disc diameter 19 cm with 5 mm MDF.

- Improve the outer perimeter of the 19 cm diameter wooden disc, using a bench sander as seen in the photo.

- Place glue on the bezels at 45 degrees from the rectangular 18 mm MDF pieces.

- Place glue on the four sides of the 20 cm x 20 cm rectangle 9 mm MDF piece.

- Group the whole assembly to its final position and press firmly using tools such as those in the photo or any method that ensures the perfect bonding of the assembly.

- Let dry.

- Proceed to sand the entire assembly to remove glue residues, etc.

- Apply putty if necessary, let it dry and then proceed to sand before painting.

- The final finish of the frame will be black matte paint applied in a spray.

- Before painting make sure that the piece is free of dust and dirt.

- Apply two coats of paint, allowing it to dry properly between each application.

- After drying, on the back of the painting, glue a 30 x 30 cm wooden paper.

- Once dry, apply any wall hanging device.

Step 3: Construction of the “similar Metallic” Piece.

a) 3d printing plastic stencil auxiliary piece:

- Print with a 3d printer (or if you do not have it, order from a store).

- For printing I used white PLA filament, and the following parameters:

*Speed 60 mm/seg.

*Bed temperature 65g.

*Extruder temperature 200g.

*filling 70%.

b) Glued the stencil auxiliary piece to the 19 cm diameter 9 mm MDF wooden disc.

- Glue the 3d printed stencil piece to the 19 cm diameter MDF 9 mm wooden disc using epoxy glue.

- Press the set using presses as seen in the photos and allow to dry.

c) Construction of a three-layer of tinfoil.

- Cut with a metal ruler or scissors 3 sheets of aluminum thinfoil measuring 27 cm x 27 cm.

- Make sure the sheets are as neat and taut as possible.

- If necessary, firmly apply a straight plastic element such as a credit card or wood to smooth it.

- Aluminum Tinfoil usually has a "glossy" side and a "matte" side.

- Using spray glue, apply on the shiny side of one of the sheets.

- Lay the second sheet on top of the other with its shiny side up.

- Apply spray glue on this side and lay the third sheet on top of the other.

- Trim off any excess tinfoil.

- To ensure proper bonding and removal of air, use any ready-made wood / plastic items to firmly apply even pressure in several directions.

- Once this is done, press with a cloth or tow making circular movements.

- Let the trilayer dry.

d) Glued the tinfoil trilayer to the set of 3d stencil and 19 cm diameter MDF disc.

- Lay the tinfoil trilayer with its glossy side down and the matte side up.

- Center the set of 3d stencil and 19 cm diameter MDF disc.

- Twist off the excess tinfoil trilayer and lay it firmly on the wood.

- Trim the excess tinfoil trilayer a bit and apply some epoxy glue or similar.

Step 4: ​Embossed.

This step is the heart of this instructable :)

- Keep the stencil design close to you as a guide.

- With the help of the fingers of the hand look for sectors where there are cutouts in the stencil piece.

- Using a tool like the figure, press down and around the perimeter of each hole with gentle movements so as not to hurt the thinfoil.

- Repeat the procedure until all the holes are complete, following the stencil design to guide the shape and location of the holes.

- Use a tool like the figure to more precisely mark the edges of each of the cutouts.

- Repeat the procedure very carefully until finished.

- To give the finished metal piece a more realistic finish, apply a small amount of black shoe polish with a cloth and apply circular motions.

Step 5: Final Assembly.

- Apply a good amount of glue on the “similar metallic” piece built in the previous step.

- Also apply glue on the wooden base where the piece will be placed.

- With the help of a press or heavy items such as books, etc. keep the assembly firm so that a perfect bond is produced.

- If you came to this place on the instructable and also built this piece of art, now is the time to fix it to the wall and enjoy the finished work:

- Choose a wall in your house to install it.

- In my case I made a hole in the wall and installed a fisher wall plug S5 (choose the right model for your type of wall). Height from the floor approximately 1.65 / 1.75 m.

- Then I put in a 2.5mm self drilling screw.

Surprise your family and friends by asking what material your work is made of :)

Step 6: Final Words.

That's all for this project!

We have created a work of art with a very low cost !!

If you like it, be sure to create another similar model with another design of your choice and hang it in pairs.

I hope you enjoyed this instructable as much as I have enjoyed it.

If you have any question ask them in the comments below!

I would also love to hear what you think about the project.

Happy making!


PS1: if you like the project, please vote for this and choose it as a favorite == THANKS ==

PS2/Credits: Cerebro photo created by jcomp - www.freepik.es

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    1 day ago

    Very neat work, easily understandable!


    Reply 1 day ago

    I am very grateful for your comment!


    2 days ago

    Congratulations!!! Very nice work.


    Reply 2 days ago

    Thank you for your kind comment!


    10 days ago on Step 6

    Very Classy looking piece of wallart


    Reply 9 days ago

    That was my feeling when I saw it installed on the wall and took a couple of photos. Thank you very much for your comment!


    9 days ago

    beautiful! thanks!


    Reply 9 days ago

    Thank you very much for commenting!!

    Maria Evenstar
    Maria Evenstar

    12 days ago

    Congratulations!!! You're in the finals!!!! :) I love your design! :)


    Reply 12 days ago

    Hi María! Thank you very much for greeting!
    I loved how you used TinFoil for your artwork !! cheers

    Maria Evenstar
    Maria Evenstar

    Reply 12 days ago

    Thanks! :) Your's is really nice :)


    Tip 12 days ago

    If you are making the backing pattern by 3D printing, why not print a negative of it, and use this, on the front, (with some thin padding) to press the foil into the depressions?


    Reply 12 days ago

    Hi! Your idea is very good, I would like to do a test on a smaller piece. In favor of the original stencil design, it could be made with a CNC or a laser cutting machine, avoiding 4/5 hours of 3d printing and reducing them to 30/50 minutes.
    Thank you very much for your comments and contribution! cheers.

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    13 days ago

    I really love how this turned out! That 3D design works really well with the tinfoil :)


    Reply 13 days ago

    Thank you! :) I did a first test in a smaller size and I loved it. It surprised me again when I finished in the final size !!


    13 days ago

    Wondered first if you were going to use a vacuum to do the 'embossing' Nice work, great result.
    And detailed, easy to follow Instructable.


    Reply 13 days ago

    Thank you very much for your comment! If it works to do "embossing" with vacuum it would be faster than manually as I did, but it would lose the artisanal and how beautiful it is to do it ;) Cheers


    13 days ago



    Reply 13 days ago

    Thanks a lot!