How to: Rustic Metal Christmas Tree Topper

By Mary Love

A Christmas tree decorated with a country theme has a cozy feel to it and reminds us of an old-fashioned holiday. The ornaments on a country tree are simple with traditional colors that bring out the little kid in all of us. The tree topper is what first gets your attention, and it showcases your entire tree. A rustic metal topper will complement the country theme of your tree and is easy to make.

List of Items Needed

  • 2 soup cans
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Metal snips
  • Rotary tool with cutting and sanding accessories
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Household bleach
  • Cider vinegar
  • Plastic mixing container
  • Tongs
  • Safety glasses

    Craft a Metal Angel

  1. Clean the two cans and remove the labels. Abrade the shiny surface with fine sandpaper or with a sanding accessory fitted on the end of the rotary tool. Fill one can with water and freeze it completely.

  2. Remove the lids from the second can. Cut along the back seam with the tin snips or a rotary tool equipped with a metal-cutting wheel accessory. Open the can and flatten it as much as possible on your work surface.

  3. Draw two large angel wings on the flattened can and cut them out with the metal snips. Set them aside.

  4. Remove the can from the freezer. Punch a decorative design of holes in the metal with a hammer and nail. The ice will prevent the can from becoming mishapen while you work on it. Remove the ice when you are finished.

  5. Remove the remaining lid from the can. This will be your angel's face. Lay it flat on your work surface. Use a nail and hammer to punch holes to create features.

  6. Hot glue the two wings to the back of your embellished can. Position them so that they can be seen from the front.

  7. Position the face of the angel so it sits upright on top of the can. Use hot glue to secure it.

    Create a Rusty Finish

  1. Mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts bleach in a plastic container. You need enough of the mixture to cover your ornament.

  2. Submerge your ornament in the solution and let it soak for 30 minutes. Remove it with your tongs. The rust will appear as it dries.

  3. Let your angel dry completely and then spray it with matte acrylic spray finish to protect the finish.

  4. Slip your angel tree topper over the top of your tree. Place it over lights to illuminate your punched design.

Tips and Warnings

  • Add a halo by gluing a smaller lid to the top of the angel's head. Cut out arms from the flattened can and glue them onto your embellished can.
  • Cut metal edges are sharp, so handle with care. Sand sharp edged using sanding accessories on the rotary tool to dull them and remove burrs. Wear safety glasses when operating power tools.

© Demand Media 2011