Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Soda Cans and Punches

Welcome into the Green House on the Hill.  As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have a couple of things up my sleeve this week.  Last night I got to work with my empty soda can and a few of my favorite punches.  Soda cans are made from very thin aluminum, so they can easily be cut with a pair of scissors. 

Before I get started, let me put a few cautions out there.  Since it is metal, it can be sharp, so wearing a pair of heavy gloves when cutting is a good idea.  You should also wear safely glasses, as sometimes a little piece of metal will fly.  You would follow the usual precautions that one would use when working with metal.  Also, you don't want to use your best pair of sewing or paper cutting scissors.  It will dull them!  I used my daughter's safety scissors from preschool.  They worked well. 

OK, safety message aside, the first thing you need to do is to cut the top and the bottom off of the can.  Since a soda can is very thin, you can just puncture a hole in it, or use a pair of wire cutters to put through the rim.  Once you have the top and the bottom cut off, cut the can from top to bottom so that you end up with a rectangular piece of metal when laid flat.  (I cut down the part of the can where they have all the "nutritional" information, since I wanted to save the graphics on the rest of the can.) You will want to flatten it a bit, since will be rolled in the shape of a can. 

From there, you can grab your paper punches and begin punching out shapes. It punches surprisingly easily.  You could just use the shapes as they are, but I like to take it one step further. I enhanced the body of my butterfly with some seed beads.

First I ran a line of Diamond Glaze down the body of the butterfly.  Through some trial and error, I found that placing the beads on a pin first made it much easier to line them up on the Diamond Glaze. I just moved the beads to the end of the pin, placed the beads (still on the pin) into the Diamond Glaze and then carefully pulled the pin out from the center of the beads. Really pretty easy ... and much easier than trying to line them up and place them individually!

The edges of the cut shapes are usually not sharp, but to ensure you don't get cut, run a little Diamond Glaze over the entire shape.  That will seal everything.  Now they are ready to use on a project.  They can be added to a card or a scrapbook page.

You will notice that I made 2 matching butterflies.  When my daughter arrives home from school today, I plan to ask her to make them into a piece of jewelry.  I am thinking of a cute pair of earrings.  What do you think?

I don't like to limit my selection of punches to just the handheld variety.  I am a huge fan of the Sizzix Big Shot.  I love that thing!  You can run the soda can through the Sizzix too.  Here is one that I ran through using an adorable Tim Holtz die.  It is going to make a super cute embellishment for a card.

And I think I might just use the back side of this die cut.  I like the brushed metal surface.

Well that is all for today.  Please come back into the Green House on the Hill tomorrow.  I have more fun stuff up my sleeve!  And don't forget to visit yesterday's post for a chance to win a copy of the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes!


  1. Brilliant tip about gluing the beads!!

  2. This is awesome- what a great idea!!

  3. wow oh wow!! I love this idea. I never would have thought that it's possible to punch a soda can!! And I love how you colored the butterfly with gel pens! So cute!!

    well, I know what I've got to try today!!

  4. Oh, how gorgeous! They are really pretty and would be worth losing my .05 deposit :)