Mexican Tin Mirror Activity

5.0 based on 10 ratings
Updated on Feb 21, 2012

Metalwork has been popular in Mexico for over 800 years, and it is still common to find metalwork art in Mexico today. Your child can make her own Mexican tin art mirror with cardboard, a mirror, and an aluminum pan.

What You Need:

  • Small mirror
  • Hot glue gun
  • Cardboard extending 3 inches beyond mirror on all sides
  • Scissors
  • Disposable aluminum pie or roasting pans
  • Permanent markers or sharpies (optional)


What You Do:

  1. The parent should heat up the hot glue gun for this step. The parent can glue the mirror on the center of the cardboard.
  2. Help your child use scissors to cut off the crimped edges of the aluminum pan, leaving a flat piece. (Be careful, the aluminum can leave sharp edges when cut.)
  3. Your child can use a pencil to draw some shapes on the aluminum for decorating around the mirror. To give her some ideas, tell her that Mexican art traditionally includes tin geometric designs, flowers, animals, suns, moons, stars, birds, butterflies, and other animals around mirrors. But she may come up with other design ideas too.
  4. Help your child use scissors to cut out her shapes, again being careful of sharp edges.
  5. She may want to decorate her shapes with permanent sharpie-type markers, to give more color to her creation. Let the permanent marker ink dry on the aluminum before proceeding to the next step.
  6. She can now artfully place her shapes around the mirror on the cardboard, finding a look and design that she likes best.
  7. The parent can help her use the glue gun to glue the aluminum shapes on the cardboard.

Your child may want to keep her new Mexican Tin Art Mirror in her room, or give it to someone as a gift. She can enjoy a bit of Mexican art without leaving home!  

Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

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