Embossed Metal Gift Tags & Ornaments

These tags and ornaments draw inspiration from Mexican traditions, as well as the bold colors of art from the country.

What You Need:

Distinguish your gift tags with this sparkling idea.
  • 36-gauge aluminum tooling foil (from a crafts store)
  • Steel wool
  • Tissue paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Crafts sticks
  • Wooden skewers
  • Newspapers
  • Ruler
  • Small plates or pot lids
  • Decorative-edge scissors, such as scallops or waves (optional)
  • Paper punch
  • Ribbon or rickrack


1. Download the free pattern for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Download Adobe Acrobat

Download pattern

Step 2.

2. Lightly rub the aluminum tooling foil with steel wool to give it a dull finish.

3. Enlarge the patterns on a photocopier. Transfer the enlarged patterns to tissue paper. (The outer lines are cutting lines; the inner lines are the foiling or embossing lines.)

4. To make tooling sticks, cut crafts sticks to a point or a flat end; leave others curved. Use these and the skewers to emboss the lines. The skewers will make narrow lines; the flat craft sticks will make broad ones; and the sticks with curved ends will make wider; curved lines.

5. Place the tooling foil on a pad of newspapers. Lightly trace all pattern lines onto the foil with a skewer. Use a ruler to make straight lines, trace around a small plate or pot lid to make circles. (For name tags, leave the centers of the piece plain; use the skewer to write the name on the tag.)

6. Use the tooling sticks from Step 3 to trace over the pattern lines. To make raised lines, work from the back of the piece. To make indented lines, work from the front. (Ornaments and gift tags will be more interesting if you use some of each.)

Step 7.

7. After you finish tooling, cut out the shape using straight- or decorative-edge scissors. Use a paper punch to make a hole for hanging or attaching to ribbon.


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