MYO Antique Medallion

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Introduction: MYO Antique Medallion

About: Eldest of five, son of two doctors, 10 years in Graphic Design and marketing, then retrained as a Biomedical Materials Engineer, don't ask me why, I think it was because I had always wanted to design artific...

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

Step 1: 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

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.

Step 3: Rub Foil Down

Make sure that the foil is held in place so it can't easily move about. You can either hold it steadily at one edge, while you rub over it, or carefully tape it (on one edge only) so that it doesn't slip.

If you use tape, you only want to tape it along one edge, because when you have rubbed the foil down you want to be able to gently lift off the rubbing without distorting it.

Also, if you use tape, make sure that you are not damaging your master. Tape may pull off surface finish or leave residue, and you don't want to do you that to your dad's finest golfing trophy!

I rubbed the foil down using the wrong end of a small paint brush. You can experiment with different tips to get the most of the detail to show without breaking the surface of the foil.

Make sure you are neat and fully rubbed down all round the edge, as you will be cutting this out at the end of the project, and it will form a lip to hold the glue in when you back fill it.

Step 4: Turn Foil Over

Gently so as not to distort, dent, crease or bend your foil impression, turn it over and lay it on a flat surface.

Phew, half way there and the medallion is starting to shape up.

Now if you left it like this it would quickly get damaged, so the next step fixes your impressing forever...

Step 5: Back Fill With Glue

Carefully back fill the impression with hot melt (glue gun) glue. Try to keep it in the area and try to make sure it is flat and even. Use the hot melt all in one go if possible so that there are no ridges and bumps on the surface of the glue.

Anyone who has followed my other instructables will know that I love the glue gun. As an invention I rank it second only to the printing press. The use of the glue gun isn't mandatory in this project, but it sure does speed things up.

You will need a reasonable amount of glue (one stick) depending on the size of your impression. Of course you can easily use two part epoxy resin glue or any glue that is fluid before it sets, sets hard and doesn't really shrink. Hot melt is perfect for this job, because it flows very well when it is in its melted state and is flexible and tough when set and only takes a few minutes to set.

BTW... Elmer's Glue (PVA) is not really cut out for this job and if you use that you will be very disappointed and have to wait weeks for it to dry.

Step 6: Colour With Permanent Marker

When the glue has set, turn over the impression and hey presto you have an exact copy of the original master. Now colour over the whole thing with a permanent marker or black spray paint. You need a permanent finish because in the next step you are going to be washing it with water and if you were to use a water soluble (when dry) paint, it would just wash right off.

Colour into all the little gaps and crannies. Pay particular attention to getting the black (or whatever colour you want) into all those little creases.

When the glue has set you will be able to handle the medallion much more easily. now the rubbed down impression will be fixed and secure. don't rush waiting for the glue to set. That amount of hot melt will take about 10 minutes to set so that it isn't tacky. Even so, if you are chomping at the bit to get going on this step wait until the glue has gone rubber and when you turn it over, lay it on a piece of plastic carrier (grocery) bag or cling film, which will stop it sticking to the surface you lay it on.

Step 7: Burnish Off the Marker

If there ever was chance at being a magician with no training (except this instructable)... then this is it. Using a dishcloth or pan scourer and some kitchen gleaner if you have it, lightly rub across the top of the medallion to remove the marker on all the upper surfaces. Using trail and error see how much to rub off to get the best effect. My advice is rub off less than you think to start with.

It's not hard at all, you can get the most incredible effects in a minute or so.

These pictures show the medallion half cleaned and then completely cleaned.

Step 8: Trim

Using a strong pair of kitchen scissors trim round the edge of the medaliion. It is much better to use scissors than a craft knife. One it is less dangerous, two the foil / glue combo is tough and rubbery, which is not the best for knife cutting anyway and three, you can get a very nice accurate finish using the scissors.

Step 9: Display Your Medallion With Pride

Display it, or stick it on the cover of a school book. Make loads and give them away as prizes. The thing is that they are so easy to make. why not experiment with all different types of masters... I'm sure you can think of things that you would like to copy.

When you've done... post a picture here and I will put it up on dadcando right under the medallion project, or go and look at dadcando where you can find all kinds of other original junk craft projects.

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    65 Discussions

    This project was great. Its amazing what you can do with a hot glue gun and some spare time.

    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".

    2 replies

    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

    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

    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.

    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?

    3 replies

    Oh yeah, in step 7 it's "trial and error" not "trail and error" XD

    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 markers...like gold for instance.

    1 reply

    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.

    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.

    1 reply

    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.

    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.

    1 reply

    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.