Making Tin Jewelry

Cat Tin Earrings

Like many jewelry designers, I think old tins (new ones too) are a great material to use for jewelry. Like these cat earrings. I found a tin with cats on it, yard sale most likely,  and wanted to use it for jewelry. So I cut two circles out with images I thought worked well together and added chunky garnet beads.

It’s great to use the image on the tin as is, but sometimes I want to use tin in a more  abstract manner. Here’s some of the tin I have that has been partially broken down. When I want to work on something, I lay the tin out, look at it, see the images on the tin and kind of can’t get past it. The literal images sear into my mind and I have trouble imagining it in an abstract sense. So, I set it aside, move on to something else.
edited DSCF04251

After one of these episodes, I realized a different approach might help me. I decided to turn the tin over to the reverse side and draw shapes to be cut out. Since I couldn’t see the front, there was no trying to make things match, no thinking “that will never look like anything but a popcorn tin”, none of that. I drew, cut and whatever the image was, so be it.edited DSCF04282Here are a bunch of them and I’m glad I tried this. Otherwise, I probably would have stuck my tin pieces in the drawer again and moved on to something else. I’ve got two pair of earrings made so far, need to get photos done and get them in the shop.

So happy. Always nice to figure out a way to get past my slightly OCD, neat, orderly self when needed.

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One Response to Making Tin Jewelry

  1. Hi Charlene…I love the look of tin jewelry made from vintage tins. I’d like to try it soon, as I just finished off a beautiful olive oil can with some cool baroque pictures of Venus on it.
    I’d like to know how you treat the cut edges of the tin…do you file them, or is there a unique treatment for them, like folding up the edge?
    And I love the jewelry in your etsy shop!


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