Free Aluminum Can Crafts

Dana Hinders
Recycled can mobiles

Aluminum can crafts can be a fun way to give an everyday object a second life.

Pop Can Pen Holder

It is easy to transform your favorite beverage can into a unique pen holder for your desk.

Supplies

  • Protective work gloves
  • Pop can
  • Can opener
  • Flat rock
  • Hot glue gun

Instructions

  1. While wearing protective work gloves, use your can opener to carefully remove the top of the pop can. Keep the can level and work on a flat surface to avoid sharp edges when you are cutting.
  2. Wash the can thoroughly so no soda residue remains.
  3. Use hot glue to attach the flat rock to the inside bottom of the can. This will weight it down so your pen holder doesn't fall over.

Project Variations

To make a more elaborate pen holder, mount a series of cans along a painted wooden strip. You could also try using a series of connected wooden blocks to elevate three or four different cans to different heights.

Aluminum Can Earrings

The flexible nature of pop cans makes them a great material for creating handmade jewelry.

Supplies

  • Protective work gloves
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Small hole punch
  • Pop can
  • Acrylic paint or colored nail polish
  • Varnish or clear nail polish
  • Jump rings
  • Earring hooks

Instructions

  1. Wearing gloves to protect your hands, carefully cut away the top and bottom of your pop can. Roll out the strip until it is flat.
  2. Use the stencil to cut the desired shape from the aluminum. Bend back any sharp edges with a pair of pliers.
  3. Punch a small hole in the top of the earring charm.
  4. Paint a design on the aluminum using acrylic craft paint. If you don't have any craft paint available, use nail polish in the color of your choice.
  5. Seal your design with a coat of varnish or clear nail polish.
  6. Use jump rings to attach the aluminum charm to the earring hook.

Project Variations

Using the same basic procedure, you can create a matching necklace or charm bracelet. You can also try adding interest to your pop can crafts by combining purchased beads with your painted aluminum pieces.

Aluminum Can Ornament

You can make pop cans can into colorful balls for your Christmas tree or party decorations for a birthday celebration.

Supplies

  • Protective work gloves
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Pop can
  • Paper prong fasteners or decorative scrapbook brads
  • String or ribbon

Instructions

  1. While wearing protective work gloves, cut off the top and bottom ends of the can. Slit the side, and then roll into a flat aluminum piece.
  2. Using a ruler and a craft knife, cut the aluminum into strips that are one centimeter wide. You should have six strips when you are finished.
  3. Use a small hole punch to punch holes at both ends of each strip.
  4. Attach the top ends together with a paper fastener or scrapbook brad. Attach the bottom ends in the same way.
  5. Bend and fan the strips out to create a ball-shaped ornament. You may need strong pressure to get the desired shape.
  6. Add a string or ribbon to the top for hanging.

Additional Pop Can Crafts

For more great pop can craft ideas, consider the following projects:

  • Soda can models: Soda Planes sells plans for ships, airplanes, cars, and trucks that can be made from pop cans. These pop can crafts are very complicated, however, and thus only suitable for patient adult crafters.
  • Wall mural: Craftster has a tutorial for how to make a wall mural featuring pop can stars strung together with tiny seed beads.
  • Granny square tote bag: Instructables features an aluminum can granny square tote bag that provides an attractive home for all your craft supplies.
  • Silver bells Christmas wreath: Eco Artware has instructions for making a surprisingly elegant holiday wreath from eight aluminum cans, a cereal box, ribbon, and jingle bells.

Soda Can Tab Crafts

While there are a number of ideas for free aluminum can crafts that use the entire can, don't forget that you can also save soda can tabs for craft projects as well. This is a good way to enjoy frugal crafting if you live in a state with container deposit laws that encourage you to return your cans.

You can find ideas for soda can tab crafts by visiting the following helpful links:

  • Craft Bits has instructions for a soda can tab belt that makes for a surprisingly stylish accessory. Just adjust the measurements as needed to make sure it fits your waist.
  • DIY Network has a tutorial for a soda tab bracelet to add a bit of flash to any outfit.
  • Craftster has instructions to show crocheters how to incorporate soda can tabs into a gorgeous handmade purse.
  • WIKI How has a tutorial demonstrating how to make garments from soda can tabs. You probably wouldn't want to wear these items on a regular basis, but they would make for interesting apparel for a costume party.
  • Kaboose has a card making tutorial that uses a soda can tab as a buckle for a ribbon embellishment.

Recycling free aluminum cans for your craft projects is a fun, inexpensive way to give a second life to an object while creating something fun and useful.

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Free Aluminum Can Crafts