How to Use a Pewter Sheet

Updated November 21, 2016

Pewter sheets are flexible, malleable sheets of the metal alloy, pewter. Pewter consists of 85 per cent to 99 per cent tin and can contain copper and bismuth. Pewter sheeting resembles tinfoil in both appearance and texture, although it is quite a bit thicker. It is exceptionally easy to make an impression in pewter sheeting. With the proper tools, you can fashion raised designs that can be used as jewellery, book covers or decorative sleeves for wine bottles or nameplates. Pewter sheets are easy to use and require a minimum investment in the basic tools that will last a lifetime.

Pick out a design you would like to emboss onto a pewter sheet. You can choose from a print that you see on the Internet, a greeting card, a painting -- anything that suits your fancy. Copy the picture you wish to imprint on tracing paper.

Cut your pewter sheeting into the size of your pattern. Tape your pattern to the front of the pewter sheeting. You can determine the front of the sheet by what is on the outside of the sheeting roll -- just like tinfoil. If you get disoriented, the front will be the side with a slightly less bluish tint. The right side can make a big difference when you are in the polishing stage, so be careful to tape your print to the right side.

Using your embossing tools, press down into the pewter to make the correct shape. Start with the tool that has a ball on the top, known as a refiner's tip. This will make the first impression through your trace paper and allow you to develop a general outline that you can detail as much as you like in further steps. Press down and go around the outlines of your pattern at least three times.

Take off the pattern when you have completed a general outline. Take the smaller refiner's tip and begin marking out the details you would like to have in detailed relief. You can work these from the back with the refiner's tool as well if you would like to have them stand out higher. For broader areas that do not need a fine tip and need to be rounded out, use a liner modelling tool, which should be in your beginner's kit and resembles a large crayon with a blunt tip.

Polish your pewter with a rouge cloth. This will give your pewter a shiny gloss. To age the pewter, find an ageing recipe that will give you the colour you desire -- the variety of shade will depend on which recipe you choose.

Things You'll Need

  • Pattern
  • Tracing paper
  • Tape
  • Pewter sheeting
  • Tin snips
  • Cutting mat (quilter's mat)
  • Metal embossing kit
  • Rouge cloth (for polishing)
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