Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How-To's Day: Make an Upcycled Can Garland

Wanna make this Upcycled Can Garland? You can make one of your own with a short amount of time & minimal supplies. It is really durable and has an industrial feel.

The  upcycled aluminum makes a wonderful modern touch when it comes to materials.

Here is the supplies and necessary tools to make this project:

Clean, washed and dried cans, Fiskars Paper Crimper, Gloves, Box cutter or X- acto cutter,  1" circle paper punch, 1/16" hole punch, cotton crochet thread or sturdy thread & a needle with an eye large enough/ size of the thread. *Optional: Bone folder, extra sharp small scissors

Here is the basics on stripping down a can to utilize it as supplies:

I like to make the first vertical cut where the nutritional facts or writing is.  I marked in the photo where the initial cuts are made- you can mark it if you'd like, but I just marked it for this tutorial.

Once you cut up the middle you can move on to the top:

After you take the top off, use the same method to remove the bottom. Once you get the top and bottom removed you can flatten it out.  Anything with a 90 degree edge like a table. You can run the can rectangle across it to help flatten it out.

 Yay! Now the can is ready to be used in what ever project you may desire. ;)

 The next step is using your 1" circle punch to make circles out of the can.  

Until this project I had no idea you could use the paper punch on aluminum cans. They work great! If this is something that interests you/ you respond to the materials you should try other punches too.

I like to get as many circles out of a can as possible, which takes some patience- but I want to make the most of my materials. Plus, I think assembly line style saves time in the long run... Whatever you choose, get your circles ready and on to the next step. I made 100 circles in my garland. 

Finished length: ~8' (It's a bit longer + string length) I think it was a bit too long for the string strength. I would say get 100 circles made then see how much the smaller amount of thread described below needs.

Use the small 1/16" hole punch 2-holes across from each other.

The part that I think makes this project look "un-handmade" is this crimper.  The Fiskars Paper Crimper is available online or is a great addition to use one of those JoAnn 40% off coupons. When you run the circle through the crimper they end up coming out oval looking. I made sure the holes are parallel and in line with  the crimper lines.  Doing it other ways makes the shape different. Test out other ways if you'd like too. 

Once they come out of the crimper, I took a second to run the bone folder down the 2 sides to smooth them out.  This part isn't necessary, just an added step you can take.  Here is the finished circle:

Now to MAKE the Garland:

I took the thread and spread it arm to arm 3 times when I tried it the first time.  I think that  length was a bit too long to use... Towards the end, after the thread went in and out- rubbing across the aluminum so many times it made the string fuzzy towards the end. My best advise is to make the garland with 2 arms lengths of string and make it closer to 6' rather than using 3 arms lengths of string which made 8'.

Once you knot the tread onto the first circle you string up the back and out the bottom hole.

Loop it back through the hole before stitching into the side you want facing up. To make it shiny and reversible/ cool from both sides I flipped the side that showed so that every other one was the printed side:

The stitch connecting the next circle doubles back kinda like a figure 8 and holds everything tight and in place. To save time you can just stitch in and out through the holes- the circles will slide down on to each other. This way is easy and will pretty much look the same. With stitching each one together  and doubling back took me  the good part of the afternoon- it is a super afternoon movie watching project :)

Continue stitching them together until you:
A) run out of string B) It get's long enough for you to decide it's long enough C) You run out of patience or D) all of the above ;)

Then you are all finished! Yay!! Now decorate and use it- It is great to enjoy  the fruits of your labor:

We'd love to see your finished garland or other projects that use these "sequins" for your upcycled Holiday celebrations this year.

Good luck and happy making! XOXO, KC

1 comment:

  1. I'm in. Make one for me since we don't have any cans. We're bottle beer drinkers and no pop.


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