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How to Make Victorian Tinsel | DIY Metal Tinsel

If you saw my Christmas tree covered in hundreds of pieces of Victorian tin tinsel and felt your heart pitter patter, today I am showing you how to make Victorian tinsel with this DIY metal tinsel tutorial.  While my handmade metal tinsel isn’t exactly the same (it’s made from aluminum wire, so it’s a little less shiny), the end result is similar and – bonus! – it’s super quick, easy, and inexpensive to make.  If you’d prefer to buy this kind of metal tinsel, find some great options below – but keep reading if you’re interested in the DIY (and don’t forget: you need a Christmas spider ornament to go with your tinsel)!

How to Make Victorian Tinsel | DIY Metal Tinsel

my DIY metal tinsel

SIMILAR TINSEL OPTIONS:

Victorian tin tinsel

Where to buy Victorian tin tinsel

How to Make Victorian Tinsel

My Handmade Tin Tinsel:

Here’s a look at my longer tin tinsel, which you won’t find online (read about it here).  But with this DIY tinsel tutorial, you can make it in any length and get this long, drippy look I have!

Handmade Tin Tinsel Sources DIY Metal Tinsel Metal Tinsel Covered Tree

Supplies:

Notes on Supplies: The wire I got is aluminium and it’s really soft – the exact kind I have is what’s linked first in the supply list.  The gold and sterling silver options I linked to are just options I found online that are the same gauge, but if you’d like the exact same results, get the same wire if, you can.  For the other supplies, work with what you have available or borrow tools to keep costs on this project low.  What I’ve listed worked well for me!

How to Make Victorian Tinsel

How to Make Victorian Tinsel:

  1. Measure and cut the wire to length with side cutters (I cut mine all different lengths)
  2. Grab a cup hook or bent nail with the drill (insert just like you would a drill bit)
  3. Bend a little loop into the wire (mine was soft enough to bend with my hands)
  4. Hook the loop onto the hook in the drill and grab the other end with vice grips (or pliers)
  5. Holding the end still with the vice grips, slowly use the drill to twist the wire
  6. Once nice and twisty, either use the loop to hang or straighten it and drill a small hole
  7. You might need to use a metal file or sandpaper to file the back of the drilled hole smooth
  8. Hang on a tree with string or ornament hooks
  9. Enjoy the sparkle!

How to Make Victorian Tinsel | DIY Metal Tinsel

Detailed DIY Metal Tinsel Tutorial:

Measure and cut the wire to length – leaving a little extra for the loop at the top and a little extra at the bottom.  For reference, the longer tin tinsel on my tree is 10″ long and the shorter kind with the hook (available here) is 5″ long.  You can choose any length – or vary them for a truly custom look!  Try to keep the cut straight.

DIY Wire Christmas OrnamentFlat Wire Ornament DIY

Using pliers – or your hands if you’re using the same soft aluminium wire I used – form a loop at one end of the wire:

How to Make Victorian Metal Tinsel

Close that loop completely.  Inset a cup hook into your drill and hook on that loop.

How to Make Twisty Wire Ornaments

Hold the other end of the wire with vice grips or pliers.  Our vice grips left a little pattern on the aluminium, which I kind of like.  But you can always just trim this end again, if you don’t like the mark your tools leave in the metal.

How to Make Metal Icicles

Holding one end still with the vice grips, gently twist the wire with the drill.  Go slowly, it won’t take long to twist this wire at all (a few seconds, truly – it’s fast).  You might find as the wire twists that the loops opens.  Stop and close that again or straighten the wire as needed.  Work slowly and you’ll have a perfectly twisted piece of wire!

How to Make Metal Icicle OrnamentsHow to Make Victorian Tinsel | DIY Metal TinselDIY Metal Tinsel

Afterwards, you can either reshape the loop and hang it that way, or straighten and trim the loop and drill a small hole with a 1/16 bit – that’s what I did.  I prefer to insert an ornament hook or string to hang these, because then they hang freely and move a little.  You can see the new aluminium wire tinsel in the middle – in front of the turquoise DIY alcohol ink ornament – alongside my tin tinsel.  It has a more matte finish and sparkles a bit less, but I think it’s a pretty good dupe!  I might (and you can too!) experiment with other flat wires, but this one was easy to work with and readily available.

DIY Aluminium Wire Tinsel

As a side note, you may need to lightly file/sand the back of the hole you drill – you can see below I hadn’t done that when I snapped these photos.  Otherwise, this DIY metal tinsel project needs no sanding and it’s not sharp to touch at all.  Although, I wouldn’t let kids play with this as this Victorian tinsel is still pokey.  It is wire, after all!

How to Make Victorian Tinsel | DIY Metal Tinsel

See More of my Victorian Tinsel Covered Tree

See more of my Victorian tinsel covered tree – and find the links to all of the DIY ornaments on it – right here  Or check out all of my DIY ornament ideas here.  Happy crafting!

Vintage Tinsel Tree InspirationEco Friendly and Pet Friendly Tinsel AlternativeDIY Tinsel Ornament

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4 Comments

  1. Marigene
    December 9, 2023 / 8:55 pm

    Beautiful tree, Tanya!

    • December 9, 2023 / 10:39 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m really happy with how it’s evolved over the years – but there is still room more for DIYs I think šŸ˜‰

  2. SH
    December 9, 2023 / 11:30 pm

    What a great DIY! I bet that this is going to be popular. I hope that if readers recreate these, especially with various metals, they send you photos.

    • December 10, 2023 / 12:58 am

      Thank you so much, I’m so glad you like it šŸ™‚ And oh how I LOVE seeing photos! So many folks have made my beaded Christmas spider and felt ornaments this year, and I love waking up to seeing their creations in my inbox. It’s the best part of this!

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