Using Found Metal to Decorate Your Walls

Eco-friendly and easy on the wallet, found metal can be the foundation for a unique decorating style.  While images of soda cans mounted on the wall may rush to mind, instead think bold and crafty when creating a one-of-a-kind look.  By manipulating found metal and shaping it into different designs and patterns, you can create metal wall sculptures that dramatically change the look of a room without altering the state of your bank account.

Tools of the Trade

If you have never worked with metal before, it is a good idea to invest in some heavy gloves that come to the elbow, as well as a knee-length leather apron and a pair of safety glasses.  Metal is extremely sharp and it can pierce cottons and other non-leather materials very easily.  A high-quality pair of metal snippers is also a great investment, as it will make any project go more smoothly.  If you will be bonding pieces of metal together, a small soldering tool is necessary.

Shaping Up

Before you begin creating an iron wall cross or life size metal sculpture of your favorite rock star, sketch out your design.  Some artists prefer to work in a free-form abstract manner, but if you are new to metal work, it is best to have some sort of idea in mind before cutting wildly.  Once your design is on paper, take stock of the metal available to you.  Tin cans will have a different thickness and texture than lightweight aluminum, so if you want a uniform look and feel to your sculpture, choose pieces that are all the same type and thickness of metal.  Begin by cutting out pieces to the size and shape you need.  Be aware that you will probably have to do a lot of bending and manipulating to get the recycled metal into the shape that you want.  Have patience, as this is not a quick or easy process.

Together Again

Putting the metal together again can be done with a metal bonding tool or an adhesive that is specifically designed for bonding metal.  Always use caution when working with hot tools or high-fume adhesives.  Never should the two be used together at the same time, as most adhesives are extremely flammable.  Take your time getting the metal pieces in the order and shape you are after.  It is always best to lay the sculpture out beforehand and attach each piece individually, working from one layer to the next.  For example, if you are constructing a metal tree art sculpture, attach the trunk and branch pieces first, and finish with the leaves.

Using found metal to decorate your walls can be more intensive, artistic and rewarding than simply placing old hubcaps and license plates on the wall.  Use you imagination and let your love for all things eco-friendly inspire you to create more extraordinary metal wall pieces.  With patience and a steady hand, your walls will soon be decorated in a truly unique metal wall art sculpture.

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