Create your own free copper art designs using foil, soft tubing, pipe and wire. Copper is one material you can use for indoor and outdoor projects; the metal gains an attractive patina—finish—as it ages, especially when exposed to the elements. Embellish copper materials with acrylic paint, exterior latex paint, metal spray paint, beads, colored glass and crystals to enhance your art projects.
Copper Foil Art
Create custom cutouts for your art projects from 5 mil copper craft foil. The material is available in rolls from craft and hobby supply retailers, cuts easily with scissors or tin snips and withstands outdoor conditions. Select templates from coloring books and craft stores or print free designs from stained glass or clip art websites such as Chantal Stained Glass (see References). Cut out the shape of the design from the paper template, tape it to the copper foil and trace it using a grease pencil or a marker. After cutting the design from the foil, use the copper art to embellish planters, wind chimes, garden stakes and wall art.
Copper Pipe Art
Copper pipe is an inflexible material you can use to create sculptural art projects involving straight line, rigid designs. Free instructions for cutting and connecting copper pipes are available online at the Family Handyman (see References). Solder and waterproof construction adhesive work to join copper pipes and fittings. Create a ladder-style garden arbor or trellis by joining lengths of copper pipe to make two sides with a connection across the top. Copper fittings help create angles and work to join horizontal pipes to vertical pipes. A copper bottle tree is another garden project using copper pipe. Create the copper tree sculpture with a straight center trunk and connect straight branches at an angle along the length of the trunk. Invert colorful bottles over the ends of each branch to complete the tree.
Copper Tubing Art
Copper tubing is a flexible pipe material you can bend and shape into artistic designs. Copper tubing art projects for the garden include shepherd’s hooks, wind chimes and crystal trees. Copper tubing cuts and connects the same as copper pipe, so follow the free online instructions at the Family Handyman (see References) for cutting and joining the tubing. To make a set of copper wind chimes, cut a length of copper tubing for the header and then shape it into an S formation. Drill holes through the S tube wherever you plan to hang a wind chime strand. Cut additional copper tubes, in any length, for each wind chime strand. Shape the tubes into spirals or S designs or leave them straight. Drill a hole through the top of each tube, thread fishing line through the holes on the wind chime strand tubes and through the header holes and tie the line around the copper header.
Copper Wire Art
Copper wire is available in a variety of thicknesses from craft and hardware stores. Create copper wire wall art using colorful copper wire and any type of background including canvas, plywood or metal. Cut the wires into varying lengths, form each piece into a different design and attach it to the background with clear construction adhesive. Copper wire sculptures are also popular garden decorations. Make a jig for the copper wire using free templates and then shape the wire around the jig to create the copper art. A jig is an outline made using finishing nails partially hammered into wood so at least half of the nail is exposed above the wood. Trace any template onto the wood and then insert the nails to create a raised outline.
Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.