Art projects with aluminum foil

Written by carrie burns
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Art projects with aluminum foil
Foil makes a durable, pliable foundation for lots of art projects. (wrinkled foil image by Igor Zhorov from

Aluminium foil is a durable medium you can sculpt and mould. When used in children's art projects, foil adds an exciting shiny flare you cannot achieve with paper and glitter. Sculpting foil will get your students thinking in three dimensions and takes much less time than sculpting and firing clay.

Tin Men

Foil people are a low-investment introduction to sculpting. Provide sheets of foil torn to about 10 by 15 inches per foil person. If there is time or enough aluminium foil, let each child build a family of tin people and pets. You can let the children tear, pinch, fold and squish their foil people from solid sheets of foil to encourage their problem-solving skills and creativity, or to provide a little more guidance you can make some initial cuts in the foil for arms and legs. The foil dolls can provide entertainment later in playtime.

Foil Jewelry

Have your class make jewellery out of aluminium foil for a fun craft or tie it in to a unit in class. If you are teaching about Egypt, have the class make neckpieces and cuff bracelets. For a unit on a king and queen, have the class make crowns. As a general art project, let the students make anything they like. Encourage your students to make necklaces, bracelets, headbands, rings and earrings. For even fancier jewels, provide stick-on gems to enhance the activity. Show the students how they can accent the shapes of the jewellery by punching shapes and holes in the foil or hanging charms on necklaces.


Aluminium foil microphones require very few supplies and encourage the imagination of even your shyest student. Have your students decorate the handle of the microphone, made of an empty cardboard toilet paper roll, using markers and stickers or glitter and glue. Make a ball of aluminium foil large enough to rest on top of the toilet paper roll and secure it in place with glue or tape. Glue some streamers to the bottom of the tube for extra flare, or a pipe cleaner to simulate a wire coming down. Once the microphones are dry, turn on some music and let your class put on a concert for you.

Foil Etching

Foil etching can be a fascinating activity for children, since they are drawing on a surface by removing colour instead of adding it. To set up the activity, wrap a piece of foil neatly around a piece of cardboard for stability. In a cup, combine a few drops of dish washing liquid with acrylic paint. If you want to use more than one colour, use separate cups for each colour. Using a clean paintbrush, paint the soapy solution over the piece of tin foil. Let your students choose which colour they would like. Leave the painted foil alone to dry. Once the paint is dry, give each student a craft stick to use to scrape a design into the paint. Encourage them to apply only as much pressure as it takes to remove the paint without ripping through the foil.

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