second nav

Mexico – Global Art

Global Art by MaryAnn F. KohlFramed Tin Plate – Mexico

Copyright © 2014 Bright Ring Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
For questions or permissions to reprint,write to us here, or phone 800-480-4278.

by MaryAnn F. Kohl

Young artists create a framed wall design using actual tin plate from a hardware or craft store. Aluminum pie pans or lids from large juice cans can be substituted when tin is not available.

Did you know?
Tin plate art was developed in Mexico around 1650 when Spain restricted the availability of silver. Tin was an inexpensive substitute for silver and was used to create a craft unique to its soft structure that can be cut like paper. Today, Mexican artists often hand-color tin plate with bright dyes or inks.


work gloves to protect fingers, optional
tin plate from hardware and craft stores
hammer and nails
window cleaner
masking tape
paper towels
picture frame 5″ x 7″ (12 cm x 17 cm) with no glass

tin plate art activity maryann f. kohlProcess:

1. Put on gloves to protect fingers, if desired. If artists can work carefully, they may not need the gloves. Adults should supervise cutting steps.
2. Cut the tin to a size slightly smaller than 5″ x 7″ with scissors. Tin plate should cut easily, but the scissors may dull.
3. Put masking tape around the edges of the tin to cover the sharp edge.
4. Place the tin on several sheets of folded newspaper as a work surface.
5. Draw a simple design on the tin with a pencil.
6. Next, position the nail on the pencil outline and pound a hole in the design. Continue to pound evenly spaced holes on the pencil line until it is punched all the way around the entire design.
7. When the design is complete, spray window cleaner on the surface and wipe with a paper towel to clean the tin. Do not clean the back of the design because the edges of the nail holes are too sharp.
8. Color the tin design with markers.
9. Put the tin plate in the frame and display on a wall or shelf.

It's the process, not the product!