How to Make an Embossed Aluminum Cone Ornament

Give your Christmas tree a little sparkle with an aluminum cone angel ornament. Follow these instructions by Kathleen George to learn how to make the ornament.

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Bell Ornament Accented with Swirling Silver Etching

Materials and Tools:

crafter's foam 6" cone
crafter's foam 1" ball
oval bead
silver acrylic paint
5/8" x 2" dowel
lightweight aluminum tooling metal
tooling implement (or orange stick or dull pencil)
white acrylic paint
fine steel wool or Brillo pad
1/4" silver wired ribbon
silver cord for hanger
serrated kitchen knife
scissors for cutting aluminum
hot-melt glue
darning needle or needle tool

Steps:

1. To prepare the base: Cut about 1-1/4 inch off of the bottom of the 6-inch cone of crafter's foam with a serrated kitchen knife.

2. Glue the 1-inch ball of crafter's foam to the top of the cone. Glue the oval bead into the top of the ball to make a finial top for the cone.

3. Paint the top and bottom sections of the cone silver. Paint the bottom of the dowel silver as well.

4. When dry, glue a 2" x 2-1/4" piece of aluminum around the dowel.

5. Make a hole in the center bottom of the cone and glue the dowel into the ornament for the tree trunk.

6. To tool the aluminum design: Cut out a piece of aluminum using the pattern provided (below image, above right).

7. Tool the design into the aluminum on top of a magazine or stack of newspapers. Use two small pieces of tape to keep the aluminum from sliding around.

8. Create your own design or use the one provided. Lay the design pattern on top of the aluminum. Go over the design with a ballpoint pen, pressing firmly enough to make a mark on the aluminum but being careful not to tear the pattern or aluminum underneath. Remove the pattern and you’ll see the design slightly depressed into the surface of the aluminum.

9. Go over all the lines on the aluminum using a tooling implement or a dulled orange stick. Press lightly but firmly to depress the lines well.

10. Turn the aluminum over to the other side and use the tool to press down gently along each side of the lines. This will make the lines more distinct. Don’t worry about mistakes. Simply turn the aluminum over to the opposite side and rub the mistake down with your tool.

11. When you have tooled the design to your satisfaction, brush a coat of white acrylic craft paint over the front of the aluminum. When the paint is dry, gently wipe fine steel wool over the high points of the design to reveal the aluminum again. Sand off as much of the paint as you desire.

12. Finish the ornament by gluing the aluminum around the cone of crafter's foam using hot-melt glue. Place the overlap at the back of the ornament.

13. Make a hole through the ball at the top of the ornament and string a silver cord loop through it for a hanger.

14. Glue a silver wire ribbon bow to the top, if desired.

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