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Copper Foil Crafting

by Delores Moffett

Copper foil crafting is easy and fun to do. And by adding a copper touch to your crafting project, you're able to incorporate this attractive, natural metal into an art project. For example, something as ordinary as a wooden birdhouse or bird feeder becomes unique and glamorous when you add a copper foil roof. Crafting with copper not only adds a decorative appeal but, in the case of bird houses and bird feeders it adds protection from the harsh elements, including squirrels. Not only will you be thrilled with your project, the wildlife will be curious as copper adds refracted light and distinctive color to your garden.

 

Begin by building a birdhouse gilded with a copper roof and steeple.

Much like a small community church, my congregation consisted of a family of wrens.

To begin, I'd suggest using thin copper foil (around .005" thickness) to cover the roof, and then allow approximately ¼" overhang on the back and sides.

Allow 1 ½” overhang above the bird perch. Copper of .005 thicknesses can be easily cut with scissors. Attach the copper to the roof with brass brads. If you have another piece to add on top of the copper roof such as a finial it could be tacked or attached with a special metal adhesive.

Copper roofed Bird House

If you prefer the copper crafting project to be a bird feeder, purchase a readymade bird feeder from your local craft store. Cover both the roof and underneath the base with copper foil (again, I'd suggest around .005" thickness). The copper covering will make the outer surface more difficult for squirrels to latch onto as well as chew. Using the .005" thick copper foil allows you to cut with scissors. Allow about a 2" overlay on the roof of the feeder. This will keep both birds and seeds dry. Allow approximated ¼" overlay and crimp the copper sheet over the base by folding it under the lip to protect the exposed edges and extend the copper look. Attach the copper foil with brass brads where needed.

Your copper crafting project can be made distinctive by using hammered copper sheets or by adding a chemical to hasten the aging process of copper. When chemically treated, your copper will show the beginnings of the patina process in an hour or so. Aging chemical can be purchased at your local craft store. To add a special accent to your copper crafting project, moldings or trims can actually be covered with a very thin copper foil the consistency of aluminum foil. The thickness of this copper foil is .001", which can be simply cut into small strips with scissors and pressed over moldings and trims. Keep the overlap to a minimum so it can be easily compressed and doesn't affect the fit. The foil can be adhered to your trim work by brushing over it with a clear exterior varnish or polyurithane.

Once you have added your copper crafting project to your garden, and are sitting back to enjoy watching the birds use their new home and feeding station, it's time to begin to thinking about new ways to craft with copper. Copper is such a versitile and decorative metal, its potential for adding beauty and function in your life is only limited by imagination and energy applied in equal amounts.

   
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