How-To: Mod Dot Metal Ornament

21 Dec 2012

Mod Metal Dot Ornament for Whimseybox

If you’ve never played with foil duct tape (sometimes called HVAC tape), it’s time for a trip to the hardware store! This shiny, adhesive-backed metal takes beautifully to embossing. Here, it’s paired with some chipboard and colored paper to create a modern, yet organic-looking, holiday bauble.


  • Chipboard (Use a food box from your recycle bin)
  • Scraps of heavy colored paper
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Circle template (or circle punches)
  • Foil duct tape
  • Craft knife (with a fresh blade)
  • Self-healing cutting board
  • Bone folder (or kitchen spoon)
  • Embossing tool (or pencil)
  • Silver embroidery floss
  • Tacky Glue

Mod Dot Metal Ornament Tutorial

First, cut some circles. You can use circle punches if you have them, or trace them from a circle template and cut them with scissors. From chipboard, you’ll need two 1 ¾” circles, two 1 ¼” circles, and two 1” circles.

From colored paper, you’ll need two 1 ⅛” circles, two ⅞” circles, and two 5/8” circles.

Mod Dot Metal Ornament Tutorial

Glue the colored circles to the approximate centers of the chipboard centers with glue stick. (No need to be precise here - a little off-centerness adds to the look of the ornament.)

Mod Dot Metal Ornament Tutorial

Cut a piece of foil tape that’s long enough to fit the largest circles. Use a craft knife to cut a circle in roughly the center. I like to cut this freehand so it’s slightly wonky. For safety, start with a fresh blade, and cut just a little at a time in one direction only. Keep turning the tape to continue the cut.

Mod Dot Metal Ornament Tutorial

Peel the backing from the foil tape, and carefully center the chipoard circle over the adhesive, so the colored paper shows through the opening you just cut.

Mod Dot Metal Ornament Tutorial

Cut away the excess foil tape with scissors. This stuff has very strong adhesive, so cut a little at a time and keep removing the excess from your scissor blades. If they get gummy, clean them with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.

Mod Dot Metal Ornament Tutorial

Now, a cut edge of foil tape can be sharp! So use a bone folder or the back of a spoon to gently wrap the edges of the foil around the cardboard until you have a smooth edge.

Mod Dot Metal Ornament Tutorial

Next, place the circle flat on your work surface, and place a scrap of printer paper on top. Burnish the circle well with a bone folder or the back of a spoon to smooth out the foil tape. See how the colored paper circle shows through now? That’s the basis of our embossing step.

Mod Dot Metal Ornament Tutorial

Use an embossing tool or a pencil to draw on the foil surface now. I traced around the edge of the colored paper circle first, then added a border of dots around the edge of the center circle. Then I drew some lines radiating out from the edges.

Repeat this process to make the other five circles.

Mod Dot Metal Ornament Tutorial

Cut an 18” length of silver embroidery floss and fold it in half. Place three of the circles face down and put some tacky glue on each one. Then, place the folded floss in the glue. Adjust the circles so they’re the same distance apart (about ¼”) and stretch the floss straight. Then add the other three circles on top, matching their sizes.

Place the ornament under a stack of books for several hours so it dries flat. Then, trim any excess floss away from the bottom.

Mod Dot Metal Ornament Tutorial

And that's it! Happy Shiny!


Hope your holiday and down-time was sweet, Diane! LOVE this ornament idea--thank you! I misses seeing this while off-line during the holidays myself. Wishing you all the very best of LOVE, PEACE, JOY & CREATIVITY IN 2013! :o) ((HUGS))

So cool! Enjoy your holidays :)

So mod, Diane - love these! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Thank you, Ann! Merry Christmas!

I hope these are still in you possession because your mother just HAS TO SEE these with her own eyes!!! OMG I love the asymmetrical and playful look of these, the colors you chose for the center accent, the "concho" style tooling design AND the fact that they are made with duct tape!!!

When you and your brother were born, I never thought you would both grow up to be duct tape artists!!! Genius duct tape artists!

It's like there are recessive duct tape genetics in you that got passed to us! :-) I have an extra ornament for you, too!

I love these Diane - definitely finding a home in my Christmas bookmarks.

I'm so happy to hear that you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Take all of the time you need!

LOVE. I swore I wouldn't make any new ornaments for this year but now I've seen these...

Very cool!! Wheels a spinnin' - I need to pick up some of this supply for 2013!! :)

Many Many hugs...

These look like great fun, but when I tried the link to the tutorial, it came up 404. If that's permanent, maybe you could post the tute here? Please? Thanks!

Thanks so much for letting me know, auntiemichal! Apparently, Whimseybox took the project off their site and didn't tell me. I'm so glad to be able to share it here now!


If you are feeling ambitious you could make an entire garland out of these for a Christmas tree.


Oooooh, that you could! And wouldn't that be cool-looking? Thanks for the idea, Maureen!