I had to come up with projects for a scouting event that encompassed crafts from around the world. Mexican tin art was my inspiration for this project. I was trying to come up with an inexpensive way to be allow about 100 scouts to make Mexican tin art. My husband suggested to use aluminum cans, which we had already been collecting to take to recycling. This my version of Mexican Tin (aluminum) Art.
Leather gloves - Optional
Tin Snips- Optional
Printed design - Optional. Design can be free handed
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Step 1: Clean and Cut Aluminum Can
First step is to clean and cut the aluminum cans. If wanted you can sand the paint off of the can but I chose to cut the can. I cut the cans over a plastic bucket or the sink to catch any fluids left in the cans. I suggest using a pair of leather gloves to protect your hand from cuts.
Use scissors or tin snips to start the cut at the opening. Try to make as straight of cut as you can. Stop cutting about a 1/4 inch from the bottom.
Next cut the top and bottom off, which should leave the entire side of the can. I suggest trimming any burrs so you don’t get snagged.
Clean the can using soap and water.
Use a smooth surf and run the can the opposite way of the bend to flatten the aluminum.
Step 2: Design or Pattern
In this step I printed a world map I found online, but you can create or print your own design on printer paper. Make sure your design is the right size for your flattened aluminum.
For map design, I had to transpose the design so it wouldn’t be backwards when I traced the design on the aluminum.
Use your masking tape to attach your pattern to the printed side of the aluminum. If you sand it then it doesn’t matter which side you use. Make sure you don’t cover you design.
Using a ball point pin start tracing your design. You will need to press hard. I suggest using a thin piece of foam on a hard surface to trace your design. One you have completely traced your design flip the aluminum over and see if all of the lines are raised. If not then you will need to trace the pattern until they are raised.
Step 3: Color Your Design
Now that you have your pattern on the aluminum it’s time to color. I find that permanent markers works the best. They dry fast and can’t be wiped off or smudge once the ink is dry.
Step 4: Frame, Cut Tabs and Fold
Using scissors cut the excess aluminum off leaving about a 1/2 inch frame around the entire design.
Next you will need to make small tabs by cutting every 1/4 inch and cutting to the edge of the pattern.
Fold the tabs towards the back of the design. This will prevent sharp edges.
Step 5: Tape and Finish
Use masking tape or duct tape to tape the tabs down on the back. Then flip over and ad ire your tin art!!!
Participated in the