How to Make a Mexican Tin Heart
What are milagros? In Spanish, the word means “miracles” and each metal milagro symbolizes a wish or a prayer.We made these Mexican Tin Hearts for Valentines Day in one of my workshops and they came out adorable! These small metal charms, also known as Milagros, are considered a Mexican folk art. They are pinned to sacred objects, hung from altars and shrines or carried around for protection and good luck.
Here’s what you need:
aluminum foil lasagna pan (I bought mine from the Dollar Tree)
sequins and/or jewel stickers
optional: paper towel, toothpick, Q-Tip and nail polish remover
Kids from as young as 4 yrs old can make them with some supervision and older kids really enjoy making them on their own. But hey, adults can have a lot of fun making these as well! Before you begin making your own Mexican Tin Heart, you can click here for inspiration.
(In my workshop we used sharpie markers to color the hearts but you can also use paint, which I list in the directions and video below.)
1. Cut your lasagna aluminum foil pan in half. Cut one of the halves into a rectangle
2. Smooth out the pan by rubbing it with the back of a metal spoon. You can put a paper towel in between the spoon and the pan if you want a smooth finish, but eventually, you’ll probably want to remove the paper towel so you can flatten out the harder-to-get raised surfaces. Keep flipping the foil over as you flatten it out.
3. Print out the template provided below. Lay it on top of the piece of aluminum foil.
4. Use a pencil to trace the template image. Use a little bit of pressure so that you make a dent in the foil.
5. Once you have the entire image traced, remove the template and cut out the traced image from the foil.
6. Use your pencil to emboss designs into your heart. You can put flames on top of your heart or dots around it. Search online for other Milagros for ideas and inspiration!
7. Paint your tin heart with acrylic paint. Tip: If you want to fix small mistakes or tidy up your paint job, you can use a Q-Tip dipped in nail polish remover to wipe the paint away. You can also gently scrape away dry paint or clean up edges with a toothpick.
8. Let dry.
9. Cut your mirror sticker into your desired shape (heart, square or circle). Remove the backing and attach it to the heart.
10. Glue sequins or jewel stickers to the heart.
I put together this video so you can see how it’s done!