Craft Projects With Aluminum Pop or Beer Cans

Updated April 17, 2017

You can use aluminium soda or beer cans in all kinds of craft projects. The pop tabs on soda cans can be strung on cord or linked into chains. Ordinary pliers and strong scissors are sufficient to cut and shape cans, although tin snips will make things easier. Other useful equipment includes masking tape, a ruler, a pencil and steel wool for smoothing cut edges. These edges may be sharp, so handle them carefully.

Faux Enamel Pendants

You can make pendants out of sections cut from a soda or beer can, modelling clay and paint. The results resemble enamel jewellery. Air-drying clay works well. Choose a can with a pretty and colourful design, then cut pieces out of it using scissors or tin snips. Roll out the clay to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut it into oblong shapes and press the cut pieces face up in each oblong. Leave a 1/4- inch margin around the pieces and fold it to act as a "frame." Decorate the frames by sculpting the edges with a toothpick or skewer. Punch holes in the top of the frames and thread embroidery floss or ribbon through them. Allow the clay to harden. Use acrylic paint to colour the frames.

Can Lanterns

Turn cans into lanterns. One method is to cut the top off the can and punch holes in its side. Fill the can with water and then freeze it solid. The ice will hold the can in shape while you punch holes in it with a nail. Alternatively, cut slits all the way around an ice-filled can, leaving the top and bottom attached. Gently bend the strips of metal outwards to form a lantern shape. Place a tea-light inside the can.

Pencil Holder

Remove the top and wash and dry a soda or beer can. Roll out a flat sheet of coloured polymer clay approximately the same height as the can and 1/2 inch longer that the circumference. Make letters and shapes from contrasting colours of clay and place them on the flat sheet. Roll again, flattening the design elements into the clay. Wrap the decorated clay around the can, face out. Press the overlapping ends together. Trim any excess from the top and bottom. Make a thin rope of clay and cover the edge of the can. Dry the clay according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tab Bracelet

You'll need jump rings for this project. You can make your own by wrapping loops of wire around a small pencil and cutting them or use ready-made jump rings. Use pliers to open the jump rings. Connect the tabs together in a chain by fixing jump rings through the holes in the tabs. You can connect them vertically or side by side using two jump rings at a time. Alternatively, you can string the tabs on a ribbon or thong.

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Clare Edwards has been providing Internet content since 1998. She has written and translated for a variety of markets: everything from technical articles to short fiction and essays on alternative spirituality. She holds a certificate of higher education in electronics and audio arts from Middlesex University.