Faux Tin Tiles

Pressed Tin, Revisited

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A DIY Tutorial for making  your own Faux Tin Tiles for a vintage look - these are easy to make with just a few supplies but a deceptively complicated-looking result.

Faux Tin Tiles for a touch of vintage

The picture here is of some real tin tiles, and were a selling feature of this ramshackle house in Grand Forks. 

In houses built around the early 1920's, pressed tin ceiling tiles were a common form of decoration.

If you find any of these at an auction or in a flea market, grab them! 

They're getting more rare by the year, and soon the only way to have this look will be to make your own.

The Real Thing; pressed tin ceiling tiles...

Never one to let the moss grow under my feet, I discovered a way of making something similar but as usual, I had to give it my own twist.

Supplies for the type of tin tiles I make...

The thin aluminum sheets that are meant to protect the bottom of your oven from splashes and spills, or disposable cookie sheets are a thickness between chimney or roof flashing, and aluminum foil. 

The two that I got are packaged together, for about $4, but you may find something cheaper in the dollar store. 

You can buy the most economical oven liners from Amazon if you can't find them locally. Look for the type that is plain, and doesn't have a pattern or the manufacturers name imprinted on it. These oven liners are sold in packs of 12, perfect to have on hand for more projects, because I'll bet when you start making these, you'll be hooked.
There are two sides to every story...

There are two sides to the aluminum sheets; you will get a different look by using the tool (a knitting needle) to score the lines (here, freehand) on either side.

Use a folded towel underneath, so the needle doesn't poke through. 

The tin (aluminum) is quite tough and will withstand a fair bit of rough treatment.

Close  up view of the simple leaf shapes, outlined on one side, filled on the other...

The important thing to remember is not to press too hard; many smaller, lighter strokes are better than trying to rush through it.

Simple, repetitive designs...

Simple and repetitive designs give a feeling of cohesion.  This will be a triptych, or three panels, all with different but nature based designs. 

These have the depth and relief of the old fashioned ones...

I had a lot of fun with the design of trees; they are amazingly easy to do, and even the simple lines actually do have the depth and texture of the bark.

Different styles of leaves...

Another close up of the different styles of leaves; some were made to resemble willow leaves, with a simple tear drop shape; the ferny ones were outlined after the veins were done on one side of the tin, and then the scalloped edge was done on the other.

Leaves and twigs...

These are a lot of fun, but intensive to work on.  The trick, as with any of these kinds of crafts, is to know when to stop before you've overdone it.  That's the secret of a deceptively complicated result.

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