Tinsmithing is a form of sculpting in which you make edible tin can craft. The basic form of tinsmithing is to take a metal can and cut it in a shape to form the basic design of a tin. Then, you use pry tools to remove the metal from the bottom of the can and expose the contents – similar to how you’d remove a pop top to reveal the beverage inside.
There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules when it comes to tinsmithing, which often makes it an enjoyable project for kids to do with their parents. Some people choose to use recycled containers, while others prefer to use brand-new cans. The choice is up to you! Once you’ve got the basic design of your tin, you can begin to add details, such as eyes, a nose, or a mouth—all made from food cans.
Get The Right Ingredients
To get started, you’ll need the right tools, which include a hacksaw, drill, and steel wool. You’ll also need a container in which you’ll mix and mold your cans, and a baking sheet to bake your creations on. There are several things you need to keep in mind when getting the tools and the ingredients for this project.
For the former, you want to get a good, reliable hacksaw to use for the task. Since you’ll be cutting through metal, it’s important to get one that is made of carbon steel. This type of steel contains a smaller percentage of iron than other types of steel, which makes it harder and longer-lasting. Finally, make sure that the saw is equipped with a good locking mechanism so that when you’re using it, it doesn’t move around too much. This will guarantee that you get a good cut every time, and it’ll also make your work much easier.
As for the latter, you need to make sure that the cans are the right size for your project. It would be quite the ordeal to cut all of your cans with a small one, so you might end up having to do some trial and error to determine the exact dimensions needed. To save you the effort and time, you can always ask the canning company or the packaging company that you purchased the cans from for help – they should have all of the information you need.
Find A Place To Work
Aside from having the right tools and ingredients, you need a place in which to work. This is quite the cumbersome process, especially since you’ll be using many tools and equipment, so you don’t want to do it in the middle of nowhere. Working conditions are also important, so make sure that you’ve got an area with good lighting and that the floor is in good condition. You don’t want to be doing this project on an uneven or slanted floor either, as this could cause you – or damage your tools – if they begin to slide around during the process.
Start With The Base Shape
The first step in making edible tin can crafts is to come up with a shape for your tin. You can start small and work your way up, or you can decide to go big right away and risk having a lopsided tin. It really is up to you! Once you’ve got the basic shape of your tin, you can experiment with different details, such as adding curves or cutting away parts to create a more unique design. You can also choose to decorate your tin with paint or other types of decoration—it’s really up to you!
Cut Out The Base
The next step is to cut out the base of your tin. This is similar to how you’d create a pattern for a cake, using a kitchen knife and a piece of cardboard. Cut around the entire circumference of your can, removing enough metal to create a smooth base. Once you’ve got a smooth circle, you can use a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel to cut into the base in a spiral direction, creating a pattern similar to a potato chip. This will make your can look incredibly realistic when you’re done.
The size of the base that you cut out will determine how high your tin can sit on its pedestal when it’s done. For example, if you’re using a 16-ounce can, you’ll need to cut out a circle with a diameter of about 6 inches. Remember, the bigger the base, the steeper the pyramid will be when you’re finished.
Turn It Upside Down
To create an illusion of 3D-ness, you need to turn your can inside out. This is done by cutting on the other side of the can, near the top. Once you’ve got your can turned inside out, use a small putty knife to scrape away the thin metal along the top edge of the can. This will give you a more realistic effect when you’re done.
Add More Cans For More Pyramids!
To add additional cans for additional pyramids, simply cut a second circle or other shapes on top of your first one. Once you’ve got your second circle cut, use the Dremel tool with a cutting wheel to create a pattern similar to a potato chip, cutting away at the top of your can. You can also use a hacksaw to make a jagged edge along the top of your can for an extra-realistic look. Once you’ve got your can sliced open, use your fingers to carefully remove the metal along the top edge, creating a step-like look along the circumference of your can. Add more steps as needed to create more realistic looking pyramids.
Poke Holes In The Top Of The Cans
It’s important to make sure that the food inside of your can is safe to eat when you’re done. This is why you need to poke holes in the top of your cans before you start adding the details to your tin. Use a needle-nose pliers to pull off tabs, or use a hammer and nail to pound on the can. If you’ve got some time, you can use a torch to create holes in the top of your cans; however, be careful not to set yourself on fire! Once you’ve got the holes in the right place, you can use an awl to poke through the top of your can. The point of these holes is to allow you to pour the contents of your can into another container, which will make cleaning up after yourself much easier.
Pour The Food In
Once you’ve got the holes in your cans, you can start adding the food for your project. Use a plastic bag or container to store your food inside of your tin before you start cooking it. This will prevent your precious food from going bad and it’ll keep your tin clean and unadorned. To prevent your food from dripping, place a piece of plastic or paper underneath each can before you pour the contents. Make sure to leave a little room at the top of each can so that if any bubbles do arise, they can escape without causing any damage to your food. You can also use a small dab of oil to keep your food from sticking to the tin when you’re cooking it.
Bake Your Creation
After you’ve got your cans mixed in with a little bit of oil, you can bake your creations on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly crispy. Once cooled, remove your sheet from the tin and allow it to cool completely before storing or serving. You can use a pizza cutter, cheese slicer, or other sharp object to cut your baked cans into pieces—just be careful not to cut yourself! Your pie-like creations will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks, or until your next cooking session!
Enjoy Your Edible Tin Craft!
When it comes to edible tin can crafts, everyone has a different approach. Some prefer to use a lot of cans, creating a larger base with several steep pyramids, while others prefer to use fewer cans for a simpler design. It really depends on the method you prefer, and what you feel like creating at the moment! Experiment with different techniques and materials to see what you can come up with—the fun part is in the process of thinking outside of the box!