Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Create a Metal Tooling Mask

Those of you who have been keeping up with me realize that I have fewer posts because of my preparation for my new High School Art teaching job beginning this Fall.  See: What Will Happen to The Chocolate Muffin Tree).  Some of my future posts may actually feature some High School Art projects this one.  My daughter and I have been working on lots of creative projects, but I haven't had the time to post as much lately. This particular project of a Metal Tooling Mask was intended to just be just a High School Project, but my daughter wanted to give this technique a try too. A lot of projects can be simplified so younger children can do it and vice versa.  Here is C's beautiful metal tooling mask.

To create a Metal Tooling Mask you'll need:
Metal Tooling Foil (aluminum, copper, and gold)
a stick with a dull point, popsicle stick
felt to place under the foil so no holes are made
felt for padding or magazine

My daughter wanted to just draw at first....I love her cute people!

Here she is just experimenting.

One thing I noticed is that the edges are sharp so I put tape around the edges.  The red underneath is a couple layers of felt. You might be able to use some magazines for padding too.  I helped C draw a big oval to begin her mask.

Then she started to to draw on the foil.  You can draw out the basic shapes first and then go back and do the tooling part.  I cut out the mask when she was ready to do more detail. Basically you are embossing foil.  A popsicle stick works great for pushing out areas and making them pop out.  You can flip the metal over to push out and turn it over to push in.  This metal is quite flexible, but be careful not to press too hard!

At the last step C took permanent markers to add color to the mask.

Here is my High School example.  I painted it with black tempera paint and while wet, rubbed off the paint leaving the paint in the deeper parts. This great idea I got by looking through Pinterest and found it here: Aluminum Masks from A.C. Art Department Blog.


  1. I love this idea! How fun for young and old alike! Using the black paint to get in the creases was such a nice touch.