Children of all ages enjoy making tin punch crafts. Older children will enjoy creating wall art for their bedroom with metal foils. You can also teach them about recycling by transforming tin cans into luminaries. Younger children can create sun catchers and holiday ornaments from used pie tins.
Older children will enjoy creating tin-punch luminaries from cleaned, used tin cans. Remove all of the advertising from the cans and have the children create a design on the outside with a washable marker. Tape the can's opening with duct tape first to avoid any metal cuts. Fill the can with water and freeze it. This will make punching the metal easier. The children can punch holes in the can with a hammer and nail along the outline of their design. The spacing for the holes is up to the children, they can be as far apart or as close together as they like. The more holes they punch in the tin, the brighter the luminary will be. When the water thaws, dry the can and wash away the marker. The children can decorate the outside of the punched tin can with acrylic paints. Place a tealight inside the can to transform it into a luminary.
Tin pie plates are simple for younger children to punch. They can make sun catchers from the largest pie tins by punching a design into the center with push pins. Tape a stencil or template onto the center of the pie tin and let the children trace it onto the metal with either washable or permanent markers. The kids can punch holes in the outline of their designs and hang the pie tin in the window as a sun catcher.
Another tin punch project more suitable for older children is to create wall art from a roll of 5ml metal foil available from craft stores. These thin metal foils are made from copper, brass and aluminum. The children can easily cut the metal into shapes to fit inside dollar store frames with household shears. As with the tin cans, it’s a good idea to tape the edges of the metal foil, as they can be sharp. Anchor the section of metal to a wooden board with nails in each corner. Let the kids create a design with a marker, then punch holes along the outline with a hammer and nail. Frame the finished project and hang it as wall art.
Younger children will enjoy making holiday ornaments from small pie tins. The tin-punch process is the same as making the sun catcher, but on a smaller scale. Punch a hole in the rim of the pie tin and make a ribbon hanger so the children can place it on the holiday tree.
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.