How to Make a Tooled Metal Fish

by Gemma Flavin


  • Metal foil or a foil oven liner
  • Dull pencil
  • Scissors
  • Copy paper
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Start by drawing a simple line drawing on a piece of copy paper.

    Step 2

    Trace the lines you like and want to keep with a thin marker.

    Step 3

    Add as many details as you can, filling the whole space.

    Step 4

    Add patterns and lines that you might like to use.

    Step 5

    Try to fill as much space as possible.

    Step 6

    I have added some details around the eye and mouth.

    Step 7

    Cut a piece of foil to fit your drawing, being careful of sharp edges.

    Step 8

    Put the foil on top of an old magazine or phone book and then put the drawing on top of the foil. Tape it down if you would like.

    Step 9

    Trace all of the marker lines with a dull pencil.

    Step 10

    Be careful not to let the paper move on the foil. Remove the paper after tracing, and keep the foil on top of the old magazine.

    Step 11

    The lines will be light and will need to be re-traced with either the dull pencil or a gently curved or rounded wooden clay tool.

    Step 12

    After re-tracing, the lines should be deeper.

    Step 13

    Now, add more details, first on the front and then on the back.

    Step 14

    Trace shapes and lines on the front and the back, stretching the foil and creating more texture.

    Step 15

    Here is a close up of the tail showing the inside shapes being traced.

    Step 16

    Trace the scales or another pattern on both sides. Color in the shapes to push them and create more texture, flipping back and forth.

    Step 17

    Tracing the scales from the back which pushes the lines out on the front.

    Step 18

    Showing texture on the front and back of the fish.

    Step 19

    Color in the shapes to stretch the foil.

    Step 20

    Finished scale texture

    Step 21

    I added simple dots on the flat surface of the face.

    Step 22

    Time to cut the fish out.

    Step 23

    Cut carefully because the foil can be sharp. Cut in from the outside edge instead of around in one continuous line.

    Step 24

    All cut out!

    Step 25

    Compare with the original drawing.

    Step 26

    Punch a hole with a regular hole punch.

    Step 27

    Draw small perpendicular lines around the edge to make a nice finish on the edge and to make the edges less sharp.

    Step 28

    Close up of lines around the edge.

    Step 29

    Finished fish! Add a piece of fish line to hang.