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How to Make Christmas Ornaments from Recycled Soda Cans | Tips on Handling Upcycled Aluminum

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Soda cans are inexpensive sources of metal for upcycled projects.  The aluminum is also lightweight. 

Cue in thescientistformerlyknownNaegeli. He is a Swiss scientist with a creative streak.  He shares a number of recycled soda can projects on his Youtube channel. Here are some of them.  

His method of removing the top and bottom of the cans is a lot harder than it looks.  I have tried it without much success.  I think the X-acto knife has to be very sharp and firm pressure is needed.  

Also remember that the cut edges are sharp and can cut if you are not careful.  Consider wearing utility work gloves.  It’s worth using those sized for women (and not borrowed from hubbies) for good grips.
Do you own a die cutter like a Sizzix BigShot/ BigKick?  A quick way to cut the stars is to use metal cutting dies which are used for these cutters. They are strong enough for thin metal. The star nesting shape come in different sizes. 

This tutorial is a gem!  Rubbing the cans as they are with nail polish ( must be 100% acetone) will not remove the inks.  The trick is to use a pressure cooker to “cook” the cans before using the acetone. 

I used to have a similar old style pressure cooker like his when I lived in the UK. Used to make me nervous using it.  I am now the proud owner of an Instant Pot which is a safer kind of pressure cooker.  I haven’t done this yet, but I would add 3 cups of water and try to cook the cans on Manual for 20 mins. It might need some experimentation with time. 

Note : the instructor said this method will not work on all soda cans. But one commenter who tried it said it works on Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Fanta, Mountain Dew, Sunkist and Dr Pepper soda cans. 

I would sand down the cut metal strips before using them. I like how he uses a quilling crimper to get the corrugated shape! The aluminum is thin enough for this tool.  A simple crimper is very inexpensive. His project is a montage of several trees. But one could attach single trees as ornaments to the actual Christmas tree.

You cannot solder aluminum as it is. But treat it like a stained glass project, i.e. use copper foil strips, then you can!  Watch how he puts together his star ball with small bits of copper foil strips at the tips of the stars and a soldering iron. 

Creative juices will surely start to flow with this tutorial!

H/T to Aims of Big Blue Barn Designs for this find.

Before You Go:

Disclosure 

 This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 

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