Using a section cut from an empty soda can, you can make your own metal cuff bracelet. The techniques and tools for making this bracelet are quite simple, and the design is very adaptable. You can use the blank side of the can for a plain metal bangle or incorporate the printing on the can into your design. You can also add your own embellishments with enamel paint, contact paper, leather, foil or fabric.
Lay an empty, clean can on a firm surface, and pierce a hole in it with a utility knife. Cut off the top and bottom of the can with tin snips or scissors, taking care not to injure yourself on the sharp edges of the metal.
Cut a rectangular section of the aluminium as wide as you want your cuff to be, plus about 1/4 inch. Snip off the corners. Smooth the sharp edges of the metal with steel wool. (If you are making a plain cuff, you can cut the metal without the extra margin and so to Step 3 to complete the bracelet. Make sure the edges of your cuff are smooth.)
Lay the rectangle flat. If you want a plain metal cuff, lay it print side down; if you want to include the printing or plan to cover it, lay it print side up. Lay a steel rule lengthwise along the cuff, and score a line into the metal by pressing firmly with a sharp scribe or nail along the full length of the cuff, 1/8 inch from the edge. Score a second line 1/8 inch from the bottom edge. Score vertical lines at the ends of the rectangle 1/8 inch from each end.
Cut a piece of leather, fabric or contact paper to fit between the scribed lines. Glue in place and allow to dry, if necessary. (If you are planning to use the existing printing, skip this step.)
Use the edge of the steel rule as a guide to fold the edges of the metal cuff over; tap them down firmly with the hammer. Fold the top and bottom of the cuff over, and tap these down too. Make sure the metal is tightly folded with no gaps. If the cuff is too straight, bend it around into a curve and shape it to fit your wrist.
As an alternative to folding the metal, cover the edges with the copper foil tape sold for making stained glass. Stick it down firmly, and paint it with clear varnish.
Tips and warnings
- As an alternative to folding the metal, cover the edges with the copper foil tape sold for making stained glass. Stick it down firmly, and paint it with clear varnish.