Condo Blues: How to Make a Recycled Aluminum Can Butterfly Necklace

Monday, July 13, 2020

How to Make a Recycled Aluminum Can Butterfly Necklace

  I don’t drink a lot of soda but every once and awhile a pop can will cross my path. Once I finish the beverage I have two choices:

1. Recycle the can in the recycling bin.

2. Recycle the can into a cute necklace.


Today I am going with Option 2 because it will make a much more entertaining tutorial than Option 1 and it will give me a chance to answer I often get: How do you smooth the edges of a cut aluminum can?

 It’s easy! Let’s get started. 

How to Smooth and File the Sharp Edges of a Cut Aluminum Can

How to make a recycled soda pop can butterfly necklace
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You will need the following craft supplies:


Empty and clean aluminum soda can

 4 way nail buffer block – you can buy the exact 4 way nail buffer block I use here

Heavy scissors or tin snips like these

Work gloves - because cut aluminum cans have sharp edges! You can find my favorite work gloves here

 E6000 glue - I buy E6000 glue here

 1 fishing barrel swivel with nice snap – a fishing barrel swivel with nice snap looks like this

 Necklace chain – you can buy a variety of styles and colors of jewelry making necklace chains, including the ball chain I am using here

 Jewelry hole punch like this one

 Recommended but not required – jewelry making  needle nose pliers like these

 Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.


Step by Step How to Make It Tutorial:

1. Wearing the gloves to protect your hands from the sharp metal edges of the cut aluminum can, use the tin snips to cut the top, bottom, and side of the pop cans using the diagram below.


Be careful handling the cut soda pop can. The edges may be sharp!

Since this is a recycled craft project tutorial, I’m recycling a photo courtesy of my food blog Lazy Budget Chef


2. While still wearing the work gloves, use the butterfly paper punch to punch 2 butterfly shapes from the aluminum can.

Recycled aluminum soda pop can craft ideas

Punch! Punch!

Caution: Be mindful when selecting/buying your butterfly paper punch for this project. While I really like the butterfly punch with all of the cutouts in the wings, It was a bear to remove the punched metal afterwards from the paper punch. When I switched to a butterfly paper punch with sold wings, I found that the punched butterfly didn’t get stuck inside the paper punch. Don’t be me. Use a paper punch with solid wings.


3. File the sharp outside edges of the butterfly shapes with the 4 way nail buffer block starting with the File side, then use the Buff side, Smooth side, and finishing with the Shine side.  I generally run each side of the block over an area 10-20 time(ish) before moving on to file down the next section on my aluminum can shape.

 4. Fold and unfold one of the butterfly shapes in half with the crease running down the center of the butterfly’s body.


5. Use the E6000 glue to glue the folded butterfly shape to the flat butterfly shape and allow the glue to dry.


How to make 3D recycled aluminum can butterfly

Tip: While E6000 Fabric Fuse glue (learn more about it here) is made for fabric I use it for just about anything I’d use regular E6000 glue for because E6000 Fabric Glue is low odor (yay!) and has the directional tip that makes it come in handy for not accidnetly smearing extra glue all over the place. E6000 Fabric Fuse wears like iron just like regular E6000 but without the smell.


6. Use the jewelry hole punch to make a small hold at the top of the butterfly's body.


7. Cut and remove the swivel from the fishing barrel swivel, leaving just the snap. We will be using this instead of a jump ring to attach our flying butterfly charm to the necklace chain.


8.  Using the needle nose pliers, unhook the snap, run it through the hole in the butterfly charm onto the necklace chain, and hook the snap back in place. Finally, use the pliers to crimp the outside edge of the snap to keep it from becoming  accidentally unhooked.


easy DIY aluminum can butterfly necklace

All done!

9. Wear it and look cute!

Looking for more creative ideas and jewerly making supplies? check out the following options - and more! - below!

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1 comment :

Carol, The Answer Is Chocolate said...

Brilliant and "green". My husband drinks a lot of Bubly, LaCroix etc. and the cans are so pretty. I hate just tossing them in the recycle. Featuring when my link party opens up!

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