June 15, 2012

Tin Punch Father's Day Medallions

This week while cleaning out a cupboard, I came across some leftover frozen juice container metal lids, which I used for a previous craft project a few years back.
Rather than throw them away (I seriously have a problem with hanging onto potential craft supplies) Soren, the neighborhood kids and I set up shop at the kitchen table and revisited my tin-punch craft.  We were specifically going to make some "Father of the Year" medallions for the dads, though my son wanted to make an "e", just because there was an "e" in his name.  I love 4-year-old logic.
The kids get so excited when they get to use "adult" tools like hammers, nails and pliers, especially that these are considered "Daddy's tools", even though in this house, Mommy uses them all the time.

And I'm glad to report that we had no smashed thumbs during this entire project, even though there were four kids, ages 3 through 7.

It's a simple project with a lot of bang (yep, pun intended) for your buck (or lack of bucks since all the supplies were basically free).  Here's what you'll need:
Hammer | Metal juice lids |long nail or screw | scrap wood | paper | pencil | scissors | clear tape | ribbon or string for hanging
Trace the lid on a piece of paper and cut it out.  Draw your design on this circle template, then tape it to the metal juice lid.  Your image should be big, basic and not too detailed.  When finished, put your lid onto a piece of scrap wood as not to damage your table.

Now you will punch holes along the lines, spacing the dots pretty close together (imagine you're creating a dot-to-dot image).  You'll just need to tap the nail 3-4 times lightly; you don't need to puncture the metal.  Easier said than done when it comes to a preschooler.
When the design is finished, remove the tape and paper and punch a larger hole at the top for hanging.  Adults are better at this step, as it requires tapping the nail all the way in and wiggling it around to make a larger hole.  Thread a ribbon or string through the hole, tie and hang.
The older kids especially liked this project, and actually made 3-4 of them each.  I was asking them what their dad's favorite things were, like hobbies, etc. and their answers cracked me up.  "He really likes to crush cans and cash them in for money."   I wasn't sure one of them could render a drawing of a tin can on a tin lid though.  It is uncanny (another pun, yes!) that kids think parents' hobbies are work.
This would be a fun project for the upcoming Olympic games, making medals for a backyard competition. Maybe if I come across some more of these lids, we'll do that and I'll post.


  1. Oh, I love this! Jasper and Roo would be great at it since they're well-versed in pushpin punching projects.

  2. What a great idea and a very simple and inexpensive craft project to do with kids!

    I also love the fact that these particular creations are wearable :)


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