Category Archives: reuse cans

Aluminum Can Butterfly Room Décor, Mobiles, Ornaments and More

After you cut out your own butterflies out of aluminum cans, you can use them in many creative ways. Here are a few ideas.

Lavender Butterflies on Wall

These butterflies were made by a middle school student. She is working on making a collection of them to flutter up her wall. Lavender Butterfly

She choose to paint hers. Don’t they look sweet? Add antenna if you like.

Can Butterfly Mobile

Make them into a mobile. This was made by a friend.

Can Butterfly resting on finger

Use them as ornaments. Here is one I made and it seemingly rests on my finger.

Can Butterfly attached to Ceiling Fan Pull

I attached some to my ceiling fan pulls to help remind me which is the fan and which is the light.

I like the idea of using them in the garden as garden art. Further, they can be attached to trees to help one navigate down a winding forest path.

To learn more about how these were made, you may want to see my post: aluminum-can-butterfly-candle-holder.

 

MYO Aluminum Can Butterfly Decorated Candle Holder

Home Made Can Butterfly candle holder

Can Butterfly Decorated Lamp Make your own fun fluttery butterfly candle holder this summer. I love the way the aluminum can butterflies create shadows on the table or walls. I’m really pleased how well this project turned out. What do you think? I used aluminum cans found during one of our local roadside clean-ups. I see possibilities in trash.

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CanButterflyLampShadowO

CanButterflyLampShadows2O

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Wash your aluminum cans. Cut the bottom and top off. Also cut along the side so you can lay the metal flat.CuttingCanO

(Older children can do this project. My 13 year old, in the photo above, was able to make very nice butteries on her own.)

Next, gently fold the metal to accommodate a stencil or to draw on a butterfly the desired size. Keep in mind that if you fold with the color on the inside, then you will have the color on the top side of the butterfly like in the picture.

TraceStencilO

Cut out the butterfly; I designated an old pair of scissors for this job. You can also get metal cutting shears from the hardware store. Don’t use your favorite pair of paper scissors!

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Gently unfold the metal. Be careful because this seam has a tendency to break if you over work this edge. These can be painted if desired.

 

Can Constellation Lantern Craft

This is a fun way to learn constellations! After children make their own lantern, they will surely want to go out and study the night sky above.

I think this is a pretty cool idea if I do say so myself.

Tools:

Fine metal sandpaper, fine metal file, pliers, small hammer, metal punch, nail (hard to see in photo), yellow colored pencil, wire cutters and a pair of protective eye wear.

P.S. I made the star on the wall by cutting it out from a aluminum beer can.

How to:

Clean the can and remove the label. Recommended can sizes: 16 oz. cans can be used but I prefer to use 28 oz. cans.

You will want to freeze water in the can or stuff it with newspaper to provide support while making holes.

If you don’t want to wait for water to freeze, tightly roll up newspaper and put the roll in the can. Then squeeze in more newspaper along the side until you can’t add anymore.

Use star maps to draw star constellation patterns on a piece of paper. Or you can save yourself the trouble and use the constellation guides that I created and sized especially for this project.

Constellation Guides (19):*

Aquarius, Aries, Cancer, Capricornus, Cassiopia, Cygnus, Gemini, Hercules, Leo, Lyra, Orion, Pegasus, Perseus, Pieces, Sagittarius, Scorpius, Taurus, Ursa Major, and Virgo.

*Because it takes a tremendous amount of time for me to develop projects like this, design and draw a pattern (s), test ideas, make, take pictures, edit pictures, write the how to, etc… I’m asking for a mere 2 dollars (see side donation button for quick payment with Paypal or mail a check). Send me an e-mail (hesterjane@FunIntheMaking.net) and I’ll send you easy to print pdf files with the patterns in two sizes (large and small).

Here is a sample constellation: Hercules Guide

Print out the constellation and tape the guide onto the outside of the can. Decide on the size guide you want to use. Both guides will work on the two size cans recommended above (because both cans are about 4 inches high.) However, some constellations look better in the smaller format because they fit better on the front of the can: opposed to wrapping around the can. You decide.

This is the fun part! Use a nail or a metal punch to make holes as marked on your guide. Note: you should make bigger holes where there are bigger dots -small holes for small dots. Using nails would be more appropriate for children. Regardless, adult supervision is required for this part. Add another constellation on the other side of the can.

Don’t forget to add holes near the top for adding a handle later. They should be opposite each-other.

Use a fine metal file to file down the rough edges inside the can. Have an adult do this step. If you skip this step, be careful because it can scratch.

Go outside and paint your Can Constellation Lantern. Use black, navy blue or dark purple. Honestly, I think that any darkish color would be great: red, orange, green. This is a good project for left-over paint. Putting to use someone’s leftovers is better for the environment then just buying new so check your local re-store for inexpensive options. I used some left-over black spray paint. Let dry.

Use a straight edge and a yellow colored pencil to connect the dots as shown on the guide.

This is a close-up of the can constellation Hercules

Make a wire handle if you like. I used scrap electrical wire. Ask an electrician for scraps.

Illuminate your stars by putting a votive inside, a battery powered votive or use a flashlight. Only use a votive if it is properly supervised by an adult.

This is one of the holders I made for a children’s ”green” gift making winter workshop recently. The holder (A.) is made with three boards that are nailed together: shown in the picture. Miscellaneous scrap sticks (B.)of different sizes are removable and are switched to accommodate various can sizes.

Wouldn’t it be fun to take your can constellation lanterns to the beach on a warm summer evening for an evening of stargazing?

Enter to win this lantern here!

Make Your Own Can Jack O Lanterns From Recycled Paint Cans

Don’t you just love these charming can Jack O’ Lanterns? They are great. You don’t have to spend money for these fabulous fall decorations. You keep the cans from beign put in a landfill. You would not be buying something plastic which would also most likely end up in a landfill. You can reuse them year after year. And… You would have a perfect way to greet guests during your next autumn/Halloween party.

How to:

Collect used gallon sized metal paint cans. I saved these cans from when I painted my house. First you have to design the face. Next draw it on your can; I used a crayon. Then you need to make a starter hole in each section you are cutting out. Make a starter hole with a nail and a hammer. The can will have a tendency to cave in at this point so be careful. Once you get a starter hole, you can use utility snips to cut the rest. The smaller metal snips work best for me. You will want to use gloves because the metal edges will be sharp. Keep in mind that simple shapes are easier. If you keep them inside, the cans will stay silver. Over time they will rust, however,  if you leave them out in the rain. I like the way they look when they get rusty. At night you can display them with a tea light inside.

Here I have them lined up along my driveway.

How To Make Your Own Coffee Pot Character: Fisherman Perc

fisherman sculpture

Fisherman Perc

fisherman sculpture close-up
How To:
To make a fun Coffee Pot Character you need to start with an aluminum coffee pot. I found this vintage aluminum percolator coffee pot at a local thrift store.

Fisherman Perc (a pleasant old man who enjoys the quit solitude of a day spent fishing).was made with:
Salvaged bolts for eyes. Drill a hole big enough to insert the bolt. It isn’t difficult to drill through aluminum.
Black valve knob (thing-a ma-gig) was glued on to make a mustache.
Can tabs were glued on to make the ears.
A mini aluminum pie pan with an old canning lid became the hat.
An aluminum angel food cake pan / bunt pan (the center piece) made a perfect neck/ stand.
Extras: Vintage reading glasses, fishing lures, can of “worms,” and small mint tin.

fisherman sculpture parts

Pieces needed in the assembly of Fisherman Perc.