Crochet instructions for pop can tabs

Written by suzie faloon
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Crochet instructions for pop can tabs
Recycle pop can tabs to make crocheted items. (pop top image by Tammy Mobley from

Take recycling to a different level with crocheted pop can tab projects. Simple crochet techniques are used to link the metal tabs together. Assemble a line of crocheted tabs for a belt. Floral shapes are worked into trivets, metallic doilies and decorative trim. Once you master the technique, bigger projects include crochet tab curtains, wall hangings and a jazzy purse. The can tabs from cat food can also be used for a can tab crochet project.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Can tabs
  • Wire cutters, heavy-duty shears or pliers
  • No. 3 steel crochet hook
  • Crochet cotton or strong, thin fibre
  • Fibre glue, match or lighter

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    Can Tab Crochet

  1. 1

    Snip, bend or break away sharp, protruding metal pieces from the can tab with wire cutters, shears or small pliers. Wash the tabs in hot, soapy water with a cap of bleach added to it so the tabs are sterile, clean and free of sticky residue. Dry thoroughly.

    Crochet instructions for pop can tabs
    Crochet thread and yarn is used for can tab crochet projects. (yarn and crochet needles image by Kathy Burns from
  2. 2

    Fasten the end of the crochet cotton to the first can tab by tying it securely in place at the large top of the open ring. This is the portion of the tab that is pulled to open a can.

  3. 3

    Make 8 single crochet stitches across the entire top edge of the pop can tab.

  4. 4

    Hold a second can tab next to the first one and single crochet into the top side of it to attach the two can tabs. Make 8 single crochet stitches across the top of the second pop can tab.

  5. 5

    Continue linking tabs together until you have six tabs to form a circle or a long line of tabs for a belt or linear project. Bind off and cut the fibre to leave a 1-inch tail. Sear the end with fire or secure it with a dot of glue to prevent fraying.

  6. 6

    Secure the end of the crochet fibre to the first small ring on the bottom crochet-joined can tabs. Single crochet 8 stitches down the outer edge and across the end of the small hole.

  7. 7

    Crochet a chain-3 and make 5 single crochet stitches into the next small hole on the adjoining can tab to link the two bottom pieces in the linear project. Continue crocheting 5 single crochet stitches in the tabs and chain-3 links between them until the length is covered.

  8. 8

    Fasten a belt buckle, shoe string tie or recycled fabric strips to the first and last can tabs on the linear piece to complete a belt. Crochet rows of tabs together for a curtain, pillow cover, purse or wall hanging.

    Can Tab Flower

  1. 1

    Crochet 6 can tabs together at the top according to Steps 1 through 5 of the Can Tab Crochet instructions. Do not bind off.

  2. 2

    Form the 6 tabs into a circular shape. Crochet the first and last tab top together at the side.

  3. 3

    Make single crochet stitches across the centre of the can tab circular shape until the empty space is filled. This is the centre of a flower. Bind off. Leave a 1-inch tail. Sear the end with fire or secure it with fibre glue to prevent fraying.

  4. 4

    Change to a second solid or variegated crochet fibre for the outer petal edges. Attach the fibre to the side of a can tab bottom at the outer edge of the circular shape. Make 22 double crochet stitches around the bottom and side edges of the small can tab hole or ring.

  5. 5

    Crochet into the next tab and make the series of double crochet stitches in each can tab around the shape. Make a single crochet to join the first and last can tabs together at the side. Bind off and secure the 1-inch fibre tail by burning or gluing it. Use can tab flowers individually or crocheted together for decorative pieces such as a belt, necklace pendant or table runner.

Tips and warnings

  • Trim away jagged and sharp pieces from the tabs before beginning this project to avoid serious cuts to fingers and skin.

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