| | | | | | |

Make a Foil Cross Project Inspired by Haitian Metal Art

What is Haitian Metal Art?

Haitian metal art is recognized worldwide as a creative, unique art form. It’s made from recycled oil drums, which the artists open up, pound flat, and cut into metal “canvases”.

Designs are typically drawn first onto cardboard and then traced with chalk onto the metal. Then they use hammer and chisel to cut their designs out of the metal. Details and texture are pounded into the metal using primitive tools.

Most of this remarkable art form is created in the town of Croix-des-Bouquets, near Haiti’s capital city, Port au Prince. Crosses, birds, mermaids, classical Bible scenes, and the Tree of Life are some of the many popular designs you’ll see.

Kids will enjoy this project inspired by Haitian metal art

While this project was originally inspired by the metal art I saw when I visited Haiti, it actually looks most similar to “Repujado“, the embossed metal designs from Mexico. Either way, it makes a great project for Easter… or anytime!

Foam Sheets and 3M foil tape are the secret ingredients for this fun project! 

You can buy these thin sheets of craft foam at any art or craft supply store, or you may even find them conveniently pre-cut to this 4×6 size in packs of 32 at the Dollar Store.  Look for the foil tape at any hardware store in rolls that look like shiny foil duct tape (in the plumbing department)

 You’ll need:

  • 4″ x 6″ foam sheet
  • 12″ foil tape
  • scissors 
  • ball point pen (medium point)
  • hole punch
  • yarn for hanging


(note: You may want to prep steps 1-4 for younger children.)

  1. Cut your foil tape into two pieces, one 5″ long and the other 7″ long. 
  2. Center your 7″ piece lengthwise on your foam sheet, wrapping the ends under and sticking them to the back.  (It’s not easy to reposition the tape without wrinkling it, so try to get it in the right place on your first try!)
  3. Now lay the 5″ piece widthwise across the first piece, about an inch from the top. Wrap the ends under and stick them to the back.
  4. Cut away the foam sections that the tape doesn’t cover.  (Save these pieces and cover them with foil tape to make beautiful pendants!)
  5. Next, “draw” a design onto your cross using a ballpoint pen.  If you use a medium point pen, it shouldn’t tear the foil, and the ink doesn’t usually stick to it, so it should just leave a nice impression.
  6. Punch a hole at the top and thread with yarn for hanging.
Affiliate links are used in this post. If you purchase (anything) on Amazon by going through my site, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Teach Kids Art!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. This is so beautiful! What an easy way to get that embossed tin look! Great technique!

  2. I love this! What an amazing piece to cherish forever. This seems like a great process for every age. Thank you for sharing!!

  3. I bought the foil tape but when I got home, I saw it had red lettering on it. Taking a green Scotch scrubber, I worked at it until the letters came off. Not too hard, but it will add time to the project in class. I'm still interested in trying it with them, though. Great idea!

  4. I'm going to try this as part of an art challenge day tomorrow. I've just made an exemplar using cardboard covered in two layers of household foil.
    Although not as spectacular as your version, it turned out really well – once again, thank you for the inspiration!

    Happy day!

  5. This was by far the best craft for our VBS this year. We completely prepped the crosses for the kids going into 3rd grade and younger. We let the 4th and 5th graders do it all themselves. We didn’t use sharpies, just a dull skewer to let them put their designs on the cross and a few jewel stickers to embellish.

  6. THIS is so beautiful. I’ve worked with this tape before but not like this. Thank you for the inspiration.

      1. With the younger grade school children, is there any concern of them slicing their fingers on the edges of the cross due to foil tape?

        1. Hi Katrina… thanks for your question! I’ve never had any problem with the edges of the foil tape being sharp, and I’ve done this project with all ages. It’s thin and flexible, and maybe that’s why. But I can see how you would want to make sure it’s safe for kids to use! You might want to try it first yourself so you can feel confident before giving it to your students.