Vintage Craft: Aluminum Pie Pan Angel Christmas Ornaments

I love these! And I had a blast making them. They’re so pretty and look like they just stepped out of one of my craft books from the 1960s.


This craft is inspired by the book 401 Party and Holiday Ideas from ALCOA published in 1971 (ALCOA is the world’s leading producer of aluminum products). Oh and this book is CRAZY! I can’t even get across the kind of pictures and projects that are in this book. If you’re looking for kitsch and silly, get a copy. Now!


 In the book the pie-pan people are for Thanksgiving. And you for sure can make pilgrims or whatever else you like starting with the pie pan body as the base. I chose to turn mine into holiday ornaments (and as you can see they make super sweet tree toppers). Below my instructions are the original  instructions right out of the ALCOA book (plus an aluminum leprechaun). I do recommend  covering the Styrofoam heads with the tissue paper and glue first (this is in my instructions), much easier to paint and looks really nice like paper mache.

This is a great craft to recycle those disposable pie pans you’ll have from holiday parties at work, home, church etc….


So first, warning:  Cutting up pie pans is sharp business. Be careful! (check out the bottom of the post for basic methods for working with foil).Not really for little kids. And even with older, always adult supervision.

Supplies needed:

1 or more aluminum disposable pie pans
Scissors (the cruddy crafting ones you don’t care about)
Styrofoam Balls (I buy mine at the $1.00 store)
Paint (I used Folk Art and Martha Stewart Paints from Plaid for this)
Aleen’s Craft Glue
Metallic Embroidery thread
Paper Clips
Tissue Paper (I added this step, it is not in the original tutorial below)
Gold Metallic Pipe Cleaners (1 pipe cleaner per angel)
Small Paint Brushes

Instructions for Pie-pan Angels:

First cut up your pie pans. A regular sized pie pan can be cut in threes, that is the size for these angels (You can also cut the pie pan in fours for smaller ornaments).


You’ll need a sheet of tissue paper cut up into 1 to 1.5 ” squares. Paint tissue paper  on to the Styrofoam ball with the Aleene’s Craft Glue (or other white glue, Aleene’s is just my preferred). Do at least a couple of layers of the tissue paper and make sure the whole ball is covered (tip: put ball on toothpick for handle while you cover it). Now let it dry completely (for drying I stick the toothpick into an old piece of foam I have).

Once your head is dry you can paint it. I did a first coat of white and then once that was dry painted on the yellow hair. While the yellow paint is still wet sprinkle on the glitter. Let dry. Finally paint on eyes, mouth etc….

For the halo cut a piece of gold pipe cleaner in half, shape into halo. To mount the halo on the head, I used a small cut piece of paper clip, bent and pushed in to the foam. I added a touch of glue around the area where I did this.

Now roll your pie pan piece into a cone. Shove the tip of the rolled cone inside the head (I started where the hole of the toothpick had been). Make sure the cone is in far enough that it won’t unroll. Now pull out the cone, fill the whole with craft glue. Push the cone back in the whole. Wipe off excess glue. Let that dry.


Finally twist a small piece of gold pipe cleaner around the neck.Now it is ready to be a tree topper or a figurine.

To make into an ornament: Add a string (I used metallic embroidery thread) by tying it around the lower portion of the halo near the paper clip.


How much do you love the aluminum foil leprechaun? Really how much?

401 Party and Holiday Ideas from ALCOA (all to make with aluminum foil and aluminum products)













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