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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 !

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    149 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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


    7 years ago on Introduction

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


    9 years ago on Step 8


    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)

    8 replies

    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

    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.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 8

    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


    8 years ago on Introduction

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


    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!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This was the first Instructable that I ever saw.

    spark light

    8 years ago on Step 2

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


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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.