What a fun weekend I had! We went to visit a potential college for my son and stopped by the Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain. I was hoping to meet the Junk Gypsies, but I just missed them. There were so many amazing things to see at the fair and I came away full of inspiration! One thing that really caught my eye were these amazing giant leaves made from rusty metal sheeting.
Since this was a “non-shopping” trip, I had to leave them behind (pun intended). Then I remembered these old, rusty pieces of flashing I had in my stash and I was so excited! I decided to make a metal feather instead of a leaf. This turned out better than I expected and I will be making more! Here’s how I did it!
- Old metal – Something on the thin side, like aluminum will be easier to work with.
- Metal Snips – The ones shown in my picture are offset snips because that’s what my husband had in his tool box! I think the straight cut snips in my first link will work better for this (and will be added to MY tool box soon!)
- Tin Snips or metal scissors – This helps get in the corners better and might not be needed with straight cut snips.
- Small Pliers – I used these to help straighten small bends out and twist off stubborn pieces.
- Steel Wool – This is to rub off excess dirt or rust from the metal.
- Gloves – To protect the fingers – metal is sharp!
- Ice Cream Scoop – You’ll see what I do with this in the post, but you may want to use an old one!
- Glue – I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue because it’s thicker and doesn’t run.
- Glitter – Gotta have some sparkle! I’ll be using Martha Stewart’s Fire Opal Fine Glitter (picture in post). This glitter set is a great option (that’s what I have) if you want all the colors!
- Small paint brush – For spreading glue.
- Soap Stone – For marking on the metal. My husband’s a welder, so I find this in the wash sometimes!
- Patience – That’s something you’ll have to find inside yourself!
Get the Metal Ready
The metal I’m using came from under my house. It was flashing used between the floor joists and pilasters. We completely tore out the floor in my living room one year and redid everything. I kept these because I found them interesting. Lucky I did!
The first thing I did was flatten them out with a hammer. Your metal may not need this step, so I didn’t put that in the supplies. I scrubbed them lightly with the steel wool just to knock off the dirt and debris from years of being under a house. Then I sprayed them down with hose and let them dry. This side is the best side to me because it’s all grungy!
Making the Feather
Using the soap stone, I sketched the outline of a feather on one of the metal pieces.
Then I used the metal snips to cut out the shape I drew. I used the smaller tin snips to clean up the edges a little.
I decided to curl the edges up to give it more definition. This is where I used the ice cream scoop! Whenever I’m trying to find a tool to do projects, the kitchen is the first place I look when I can’t find something in my existing tools. I needed a round, sturdy surface to curl the edges with, so the scoop was perfect! This is how I used it:
- Lay the back of the scoop against the metal to be curled.
- Wearing gloves, press the metal edge against the back of the scoop.
- Press in the center of the scoop to get a better hold.
- Move down the metal, while pressing, until you get the desired shape.
Voila! Now my edges are curved in for added interest.
I wanted the quill of the feather to stand out and I tried different things. First I used a paint marker, then I tried indenting the metal, but nothing was looking right. I finally decided to try glitter.
Glitter can be a really messy affair. Make sure you put paper towels or newspaper under the object you’re adding glitter to. This way you can gather the excess in the center of the paper and pour it back into the container. I have a tiny funnel to use for this, which makes it much easier! A finer glitter will give you better coverage.
- First fill in the quill with glue using the glue tip.
- Use the brush to smooth it out.
- Sprinkle on the glitter, then knock off the excess by tapping the feather on the table OVER the paper towel or newspaper.
Now the feather is ready for display! I really like the contrast of the grungy metal and the sparkly glitter.
I have 2 more sheets of metal, so I’m going to make a set. These will be used to decorate the new mantel shelf my dad made for me!
Isn’t it awesome?!? He made it out of a headboard and pallet wood. The shelf is very narrow, but that’s perfect for the wall I’m hanging it on, which is close to the doorway to my living room. The knobs on the front will be just right to hang stockings on at Christmas! I’m picking it up this afternoon and I can’t wait!
Y’all have a marvelous Monday!
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