Using kitchen foil and some glue you can create some beautiful pieces of art! This project is fun for all ages and is something everyone can do! I’ve shown step by steps for the simple process and included some ideas below for more variations to try!
What you need:
- Aluminum Foil – heavy duty works best but any will do if you’re careful!
- Cardboard – for this project a smooth heavy cardboard works best….like what the back of sketchbooks are made from. Or cardboard from cereal boxes, or similar, works too – I don’t suggest corrugated cardboard, sometimes the texture of the cardboard gets in the way!
- Elmer’s glue & Glue sticks
- Coloring pages – optional
Step one: First cut your cardboard to the size you’d like your finished piece. Draw your design or pattern directly on your cardboard with a pencil – this is going to get covered later so it doesn’t matter if you make any mistakes! Keep in mind, in the following steps, we will be tracing your lines with glue…..it may be best to keep your design simple with less details. Not into drawing? Use a coloring page instead! Cut and glue the page down to your cardboard instead of drawing a design.
Step two: Now that you have your design on your cardboard carefully trace your lines with Elmer’s glue – make sure your glue lines are not getting squashed by the glue nozzle, lift your glue bottle from the cardboard slightly as you trace your lines! These lines are going to be the “embossed” portion on your foil. If you make a mistake you can gently wipe away a misshaped glue line while it’s still wet (q-tips work well for little areas). Allow your glue to dry completely! I let mine set over night.
Step three: Once your glue is completely dry cut a piece of foil slightly larger than your cardboard – we want it large enough to fold the foil around the sides of the cardboard.
Step four: Use your glue stick and go over the entire front surface of your glue design. Gently press your foil over your dried glue design and carefully use your fingers to smooth the foil over your dried glue lines revealing your embossed design!
Step five: Once you have your foil smoothed over your glue lines, fold the edges of your foil on the back of your cardboard – you can tape or glue if needed. Now you can take your sharpies and color your design! Your Sharpies will blend on the foil surface – I used blues, yellows & greens to create the different shades on my example!
I’ve also done this project before with pressed dried leaves glued to my cardboard instead of using glue lines – make sure your leaf is dried if you want your artwork to last longer and use the leaf vein side up to get the most texture out of the leaf! Glue your leaf to your cardboard and use a glue stick to apply your foil. Instead of coloring my leaf I used black acrylic paint, painting the whole foil surface in a thin layer and wiping it away before it dried with a paper towel – you could use the paint method for the process above too. I also use corrugated cardboard for my leaf project – notice how the corrugated cardboard creates lines on your finished piece?
For younger ages you can change up the process and instead of drawing or tracing a design with glue you can dip pieces of cotton yarn, or string, in Elmer’s and create abstract string art on your cardboard, let dry, and then cover with your foil. You could also skip the glue and wrap the string around a piece of cardboard (use your glue stick over top)! Below, we’ve used the string wrapped around a heart cut out!
You can turn your finished projects into ornaments or hanging decorations like I did with the heart project by punching a hole in the cardboard and adding a ribbon. I also turned one of the embossed leaf pieces into an art journal cover! Send me pictures of your embossed foil art to add to our followers gallery!