Working with metal is a time-honoured crafting tradition in America and around the world. You can easily get started with some basic metal craft projects without a lot of special equipment, time or investment. Metal crafts are fun for kids and adults alike, but children should always be supervised.
Punched tin is a traditional Mexican craft, but it was also used by early American settlers for lampshades, cabinet fronts and bed warmers. Make your own punched tin craft by punching holes in a tin or copper sheet using an awl and hammer. Special tin punch tips, patterns and kits are available online and in some craft stores. Try punching a pattern into a tin can to make a simple lantern.
Bottle Cap Crafts
Turn used bottle caps into exciting new crafts instead of throwing them away. Try making earrings, necklaces and charm bracelets by punching a hole into a bottle cap and attaching it to a chain or earring hoop with a jump ring or a safety pin. Attach bottle caps to a board loosely with nails, and mount the board on a handle for a homemade musical instrument. You can even decorate bottle caps as tiny picture frames.
Trace out shapes on aluminium cans and cut them out. Use either the front or back sides to make jewellery, holiday tree ornaments, garden decor, or a mobile. To make it easier, start by cutting of the top and bottom of the cans and cutting down the side to make a flat sheet of aluminium to trace and cut on. Using a nail, punch a hole at the top for hanging.
Metal Rain Stick
You can make an interesting musical instrument out of a threaded metal rod and some washers. Put about a dozen 1/2-inch metal washers on a 1/2-inch all-threaded rod that is about 2 feet long. Use a nut on each end to keep the washers on, and hold the rod straight up to hear the tinkling sound as the washers travel down the rod.
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