Monday, September 5, 2011

pop can jewelry

Would you believe that this ...

was once this?

When I first heard about making jewelry out of pop cans using paper punches (the kind used for scrapbooking and card crafting), I was a little skeptical. But the idea was so crazy and ingenious I just had to try it during my last big chunk of time over the three-day weekend.

Consider this a quick and dirty tutorial on my process:

1. Rinse and dry your pop cans. (I ended up using a lot of non-brand "fruity" flavors--they provide a variety of colors, and have larger sections of color without logos. However, I did have some fun creatively cutting into the logo portions of the "big brand" cans.)

2. Cut off the top and bottom of the can. I started one side with an exacto knife, then switched to sharp kitchen shears and cut across the can through the nutrition label to reach the other side. Then I was able to cut off the other end using the kitchen shears. Make sure you cut off any rounded edges, as they won't fit under your punch.

3. Slip your now flat-sheet of colored aluminum into your punch. This is the apple punch from Martha Stewart's line (in the picture below, I've flipped it over to be able to see how I've lined up the image). Once you've lined things up, flip your punch back over (otherwise your apple will shoot up towards you!).

4. Punch out an assortment of colors for your project.

5. Using a 2mm hole punch, I punched one hole in the corner of each apple to attach a jump ring.

Here you can see how I positioned the hole. I thought about punching it in the stem/leaf, but that seemed too narrow. I liked how the apple dangled at an angle by doing this, and it had the added benefit of positioning the stem in a way that would keep it from tangling in the bracelet's chain.

6. Attach your cute new apple charms to your pre-made bracelet chain, and then enjoy!

Other notes:

  • You do need to be careful about sharp edges with this project. I found that the cleaner line you cut, there weren't any issues. Small jagged edges can be filed with a nail file.

  • The charms ended up being really lightweight. Which is great if you don't like heavy jewelry! I think I'll try this method again for funky earrings/necklace pendants. My only worry about bracelets is that you may easily end up bending your charms during your daily activities (the aluminum bends really easily).


  1. This is so cool! This is recycling at its best - taking junk and making something beautiful.

  2. Awww, thanks! I'm pretty pumped about the possibilities with this!

  3. OMG! So much fun and environmentally friendly. I am so going to haver to try this!!!!!

  4. What a great idea! Thank you so much for the tutorial. And congrats on being a Country Living finalist!

  5. That is so awesome! My friend LOVES coca-cola and it would fun to make her a bracelet.

  6. How cute is THAT?!?!?!?! Love it!