Punched Tin Holiday Tree

Punched Tin Christmas Tree

Despite glaring imperfections, I am happy to have this punched tin tree finally joining all the others in my tree collection.

It was Muse's idea to use one of my punched tin light shields as the topper. I thought she was crazy, but ... it works! One must always trust Muses. They know stuff.

This is not really a proper tutorial, but more of a guide for anyone wanting to create a similar tree.

Punched Tin Christmas Tree

Most of you already know my simple tools, a light weight hammer and a standard nail. Gloves amd proctive glasses are especially recommended while cutting the metal.

Tin is available in craft stores. So is tooling foil. However, if you use tooling foil, you really should place your metal cone over a cone form for support once punching is done. I have been using aluminum roof flashing for a number of years because it is relatively inexpensive, and it is more pliable than tin sheets and sturdier than tooling foil. And, it is pretty much impervious to moisture - no rust issues.

Punched Tin Christmas Tree

A compass is very useful for drawing the curved radius lines...

Punched Tin Christmas Tree

...and a straight edge will be useful for drawing vertical guidelines. I use a sharpie pen to draw my designs. It is easily removed using acetone when the punching is completed.

Designs can be symmetrical as this one or completely random and asymmetrical. No rules. Except one! Keep the design simple on the top third of the tree. I got carried away and put in too much detail, something I have gotten away with on flat metal surfaces for years. But those densely punched areas do not play well on a tightly curved surface. They crinkle and crease, as I found out, in the most unattractive ways!! So keep it simple.

Punched Tin Christmas Tree

Punched Tin Christmas Tree

Once your design is completed, measure and punch corresponding holes along both side edges of the tree. The holes in the picture are 1 1/2" apart, next time I will make them 1" apart. The holes are punched through the metal so that they are the diameter of the nail.

Punched Tin Christmas Tree

To form the cone, bend it around a curved surface - I used a rolling pin. A large spoon handle, old broom handle - things of that nature are a good size for bending the very narrow top part of the tree. A large styrfoam cone would be ideal. Using a curved form will help prevent creases from forming as the metal is bent.

To secure the two edges together, simply lace the edge as shown using silver tone wire. I am not 100% happy with this solution, but haven't been able to come up with something better. If you have an idea, please share. I have at least two more of these planned!!

A punched tin star would be very pretty on top of the tree. That was my original plan!! But when I placed the light shield on the top, I really liked the artsy feel it gave the tree.

Don't forget, A similar tree can be made using card weight silver paper.  Draw your design very lightly with pencil and punch using a push pin.  The edges can be overlapped and glued or taped.

Pam, Would it be a good idea


Would it be a good idea to wrap the metal around a form such as a cone or other stiff cardboard cone shape before you punch? It might give the stability the metal needs to keep from bending and creasing the incorrect way. We have a craft store here that sells all kinds off sizes of these cones. Cut the aluminum, draw your design, wrap around the form. and then punch out the design, possibly secure the metal and slide off the cone. I have never done this so I have no experience with this craft but I really want to make some butterflies.
So glad you are back!


Maureen!  What a great idea.

Maureen!  What a great idea.  It does take some pressure to punch the metal, so a softer cone would not work, but a stiff one would like the heavy cardboard ones from Yarnia or even a wood cone,  You are brilliant!  I am definitely trying it out!! Thank you.

And thank you dear, for welcoming me back.  I is wonderful to be back to my blog friends. XOXO

What a wonderful tree! Your

What a wonderful tree! Your tooling is beautiful! I make bridge jewelry as a hobby. I would suggest using a nylon-coated stainless steel beader's wire (medium gauge) rather than stiff wire as shown. Beader's wire is flexible, and can be tied in knots (pull ends tightly, I use pliers!) and then cut ½" from the knots. A dab of glue would keep it tied forever, and then you can cut closer to the knot when dry, if you wish. Or, if you make jewelry, just secure the ends with a crimp bead. I'd secure it on the inside so the flexible wire looks neat. Hope this helps!

Oh my goodness Gypsie!  It

Oh my goodness Gypsie!  It helps so much!  Your suggestion is a perfect solution for securing the two sides together.  I have lots of that material in my stash and never gave it a thought!  I will be making more and will let you know how it workes for me but I am pretty certain it will be a vast improvement!  Thank you so much!