How to Make Embossed Metal Tags

Written by katherine kally
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Embossed metal tags can designate individual plant markers, label items for sale or add style to your gift wrapping. You can emboss copper foil, tin or other thin metals with a simple technique and supplies you may already have at home. Copper and other metal foils should be available at your local craft store in a range of thicknesses. Look for the standard 36 gauge or .005" thick, which may also appear as 5Mil, to make embossed metal tags.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Household shears
  • Copper foil
  • Newspapers
  • Measuring tape
  • Pen
  • Straight edge
  • Stencil
  • Tape
  • Stylus
  • Awl
  • 1/4-inch ribbon

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  1. 1

    Cut a large section of copper foil from the roll. Spread the copper open on top of a stack of newspapers. The newspapers is a soft, yet firm, surface that will allow the copper to give as you press on it with the stylus to create an embossed effect.

  2. 2

    Measure off sections of the foil that are equal to the desired size of the metal tags. Mark the tag sizes onto the copper foil with a straight edge and a pen. It's easier to emboss the metal when you have a large section, rather than to cut the tags and then emboss the smaller pieces.

  3. 3

    Tape a stencil of the word, or words, for your metal tags backwards onto the top of the copper foil. If you can't find a ready-made stencil, make one yourself by printing the words for the tags and then cutting out the centre of the letters. Look for letter, phrase and image stencils at your local craft store. You are taping the stencils backwards so that the embossed side will read left to right.

  4. 4

    Trace over the open stencil letters onto the copper with a stylus. A stylus is a blunt edged writing instrument that you can find in the stationary section of your craft store. You can also use a dry ballpoint pen or the end of a crochet needle as a stylus. As you press the stylus into the metal, the metal will become indented to the shape. The indented side of the metal is like an engraving; the opposite side is embossed as the letters are raised.

  5. 5

    Emboss sections of metal to make as many tags as you need.

  6. 6

    Cut the outlines of the tags from the copper with sharp household shears. Insert an awl or hammer a nail in one corner of the metal tag to make an opening for the hanger.

  7. 7

    Cut a section of 1/4-inch ribbon to the desired length of your tag hanger. Thread the ribbon through the hole and tie the ends together in a bow, creating a ribbon circle large enough to hang the metal tag over the desired object.

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