There are lots of great crafts you can make from aluminum cans.
And the colorful logos on the cans add to the finished project.
For most projects you need to first turn a soda can into a flat sheet of aluminum.
When I’m cutting aluminum cans, I like to wear a kevlar glove on the hand holding the can to prevent cuts. The can edges are really sharp when cut.
The kevlar glove (also called a fisherman’s fillet glove) can be found in Walmart or Harbor Freight. This glove is specifically made to protect against cuts and gashes.
Cutting aluminum cans creates very sharp edges, so proceed with care.
Scissors or Tin Snips
How to Turn a Soda Can into a Flat Sheet of Aluminum.
1. Wash the can and let it dry.
2. Remove the tab and save it for tab crafts.
3. Use the point of the scissors to poke a hole near the top of the can, on the side where the fine print is.
4. Cut part way down the side of the can.
Cut down the middle of the fine print so you don’t spoil the front of the can.
5. Cut part way around top of the can, just inside the ridge.
If you leave any of the ridge, the can won’t flatten completely.
6. Finish the side cut to the bottom.
7. Finish cutting around the can top and remove it.
8. Cut off the bottom, staying inside the ridge.
9. Trim ragged and jagged edges.
10. Flatten with metal ruler edge.
Place a ruler edge against one end of the aluminum on a hard flat surface.
Pull the aluminum sharply past the ruler. Repeat if it isn’t quite flat.
11. If you want to remove the color from the aluminum, scrub with very fine sandpaper or steel wool.
Recycle the top and bottom of the can if you don’t plan to use them.
Ways to Use the Flat Sheet of Aluminum.
Draw shapes on the aluminum to cut with scissors.
Punch with dull punches to sharpen.
Punch out shapes.
Run through a die cutter.
Use an aluminum can to make a dimensional star.
When I saw your post title the word that sprung to my mind was “carefully!”
I see that you were! I remember cutting up cans years ago and boy, those edges do get sharp. Like you say though, there are lots of great things you can make with them. thanks for the really helpful tips.
Donna Wilkes says
Love this idea. Thanks!
This is cool! <3
Stephanie Pass says
I’ve always wondered how to do this. Thanks for sharing! I’ve had a project in mind for using this exact thing.
Ricki @ The Questionable Homesteader says
Love this! Like you said there are lots of crafts you can do with the aluminum from pop cans (several of which I would like to do) and a nicely cut piece is ideal. Thanks for the great tutorial and sharing at The Weekend Social. Looking forward to seeing what you have for us next week.
Gentle Joy says
What a helpful article! I have way too much to do already to start something like this, but the possibilities of things to do with this idea are many…. hmmmm…. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this.
Shirley Wood says
Great tutorial. I actually did want to know how this was done safely. I keep seeing great projects on Pinterest. Pinned to my Wake Up Wednesday board.
KC the Kitchen Chopper says
Wow! You are one handy individual! Thanks so much for coming to our party. Off to pin! 🙂 “the Kitchen Chopper”
Thanks ! I have a ton of things I’ve wanted to try but just never got to them but now the hurdle of the first step is much clearer!
Kristina & Millie says
too cool! thanks for sharing such an awesome tute!
Miranda @ Someday Crafts says
What a neat idea. I had honestly never even thought of doing something like this. Thanks for linking up at Whatever Goes Wednesday last week. Your tutorial was the most viewed link at last week’s party, so we’ll be highlighting your post at tomorrow’s party! We hope you’ll come party with us again!!!
Thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling sunday, great to know!
Sharon Mitchell says
What glue would work best to create long lasting projects with cans? I have heard hot glue will not last long, e6000 is messy, and jbweld is a mess. Thanks.
One of the best places I’ve found to learn what glue to use for a project is:
Otherwise, the best way to learn is to experiment with different glues. Often, by reading the info on the bottle you can get a pretty good idea of what a glue will work on.
what would a person use to keep cans together..such as a can shirt?
You could duct tape the cans together. Or punch holes around and stitch them. I’d love to see what you make.
Thank you for sharing your craft ideas for using cans. Did you know you can use a can opener to take the top off? This might make cutting the cans a bit easier.
I never thought to try using a can opener on the soda cans. I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the tip – I appreciate it.
When you cut the shapes, is there a way to smooth off the sharp edges? Would sandpaper work?
The edges don’t seem to be particularly sharp after you cut the shapes, but you could certainly file or sandpaper them if you want to.
I use these aluminum sheets to make heat proof templates for appliqué. Especially good for making smooth circles – baste around the edge of your fabric circle, place the template in the centre, draw up the basted stitches to gather the fabric , and iron the heck out of the sucker to make a nice crisp even turned under edge to your appliqué piece. Sometimes you’ll need to staple two thicknesses of the aluminium together to make your template stiff enough.
That’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing it.
Lee Hawes says
There is an easier way to cut them up…
Cut around the folded edge that holds the top on to the rest of the can. Cut the bevil off of the top.
You can use the cut off edge as a flower stem.
Sorry I cannot add pictures.
Michael Lewis says
So helpful for my school recycling project, especially cause the site is not blocked.