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Punched Tin Holiday Tree
Submitted by Pam on Sun, 11/20/2016 - 06:52
Despite glaring imperfections, I am happy to have this punched tin tree finally joining all the others in my tree collection.
It was Muse's idea to use one of my punched tin light shields as the topper. I thought she was crazy, but ... it works! One must always trust Muses. They know stuff.
This is not really a proper tutorial, but more of a guide for anyone wanting to create a similar tree.
Most of you already know my simple tools, a light weight hammer and a standard nail. Gloves amd proctive glasses are especially recommended while cutting the metal.
Tin is available in craft stores. So is tooling foil. However, if you use tooling foil, you really should place your metal cone over a cone form for support once punching is done. I have been using aluminum roof flashing for a number of years because it is relatively inexpensive, and it is more pliable than tin sheets and sturdier than tooling foil. And, it is pretty much impervious to moisture - no rust issues.
A compass is very useful for drawing the curved radius lines...
...and a straight edge will be useful for drawing vertical guidelines. I use a sharpie pen to draw my designs. It is easily removed using acetone when the punching is completed.
Designs can be symmetrical as this one or completely random and asymmetrical. No rules. Except one! Keep the design simple on the top third of the tree. I got carried away and put in too much detail, something I have gotten away with on flat metal surfaces for years. But those densely punched areas do not play well on a tightly curved surface. They crinkle and crease, as I found out, in the most unattractive ways!! So keep it simple.
Once your design is completed, measure and punch corresponding holes along both side edges of the tree. The holes in the picture are 1 1/2" apart, next time I will make them 1" apart. The holes are punched through the metal so that they are the diameter of the nail.
To form the cone, bend it around a curved surface - I used a rolling pin. A large spoon handle, old broom handle - things of that nature are a good size for bending the very narrow top part of the tree. A large styrfoam cone would be ideal. Using a curved form will help prevent creases from forming as the metal is bent.
To secure the two edges together, simply lace the edge as shown using silver tone wire. I am not 100% happy with this solution, but haven't been able to come up with something better. If you have an idea, please share. I have at least two more of these planned!!
A punched tin star would be very pretty on top of the tree. That was my original plan!! But when I placed the light shield on the top, I really liked the artsy feel it gave the tree.
Don't forget, A similar tree can be made using card weight silver paper. Draw your design very lightly with pencil and punch using a push pin. The edges can be overlapped and glued or taped.