Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How-To's Day: Filet a Soda Can

Kevin here,

This week's How-To is a technique I use to prep beverage can materials for some of our upcycled products.  It took me months and many cut fingers to hone my craft.

Soda Cans are cool because they have flashy graphics that marketing science totally knows what you like.  Except last year's silver polar bear can from Coca Cola in partnership with the WWF.  Sorry cute bears, but you were a little hard to see behind all the flashy diet-cola lies!
I heard Pepsi is nice...

These flashy images are printed on aluminum and that makes them recyclable but also good craft materials.  Here's my method for stripping the guts of a soda can to maximize the design real estate.

  • Exacto knife
  • Flat edge surface
  • aluminum can

Choose anywhere to cut down the length of the can.  Don't cut through the interesting stuff.

Start at the bottom of the can.  Slice around the diameter and cut the bottom off.  Removing the bottom, first, will make the last step much easier.

Hold the can upside down in one hand.  Peel the highest corner with the other hand and strip the can of the goods.  Since the heavier aluminum is at the top of the can, keep the tension where it is ripping to retain the most graphical surface area.  Roll the aluminum strip on a surface edge to flatten.

Being able to quickly strip the design off the can in the last step is actually kind of fun.  If you do several in one sitting it's like craft meditation. 

Of course, save the soda tab for other projects. I'm curious if other parts of a soda can make awesome crafts.  Let me know if you have made anything with the tops and bottoms of soda cans.  It should be interesting.

--Kevin Sears

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