Tin pan art mobiles are fun to make. My examples are for St. Patrick’s Day and for spring/summer time. Any theme provides inspiration for this project. Save your tins to create some mobiles. When done with one mobile, save more tins for more projects throughout the year.
Skill Level: Easy (but I do not recommend allowing children to cut the tin pans)
Cost: under $10 for paint and a few brushes
Time Required: 2 hours (including rest time to allow for paint to dry)
1. With a pencil, draw several simple images on tin pans. (Figure 1) Use scissors to cut out the image. Tin pans are easy to cut, but the edges are very sharp. Be careful of the sharp edges to avoid razor cuts on skin.
2. Spread out images over newspaper or plastic to paint. While painting, there is no need to cover the whole surface. Spots of tin left bare will shine and reflect light. Allow surface to dry. Paint dries fast. Turn over image and paint other side. (Figures 2 and 3)
3. Paint both sides of the pan that will hold the dangling images. Allow to dry before turning over to other side for painting. (Figure 4)
4. Use hammer and nail (with a wood block under the whole tin pan) to puncture 2 holes in the center of the pan and 3, 4, or more holes evenly spaced surrounding the pan. Hammer 2 vertical holes in center of every painted image. (Figure 5)
5. Cut a few inches of fishing line to thread through the center of the whole tin pan for hanging up your mobile. (Figure 6)
6. Cut 3, 4, or more lengths of fishing line according to your preference for hanging lengths, allowing a few extra inches for tying knots. Thread bottom decorative hardware or bead on the fishing line first to add weight and help lines hang straight (takes a few days to straighten the line). Secure knot around the bottom bead. Add more beads or images, making knots as needed to allow space between the beads and images. When done, thread the lines through the holes around the whole tin pan and secure with knots. (Figure 7)