Green Crafting: Recycled Aluminum Can Brooches


It’s amazing to me what the right tool can do for you- and in this case, the tool is the Cuttlebug  This little hand-cranked gem can help you transform old aluminum soda cans into cool, kitchy blooms that you can wear as pins!

For this craft, you will need:

  • Aluminum can, rinsed well
  • Craft Blade
  • Household scissors
  • Cuttlebug machine
  • Damask embossing folder (or embossing folder of your choice)
  • Adirondack inks in your favorite colors (optional)
  • Scalloped Circles Nestabilities dies
  • Black Glitter Foamie Sheet (optional)
  • Brads
  • Pinbacks
  • E-6000 adhesive

The first thing to do is to deconstruct your soda can. Using a craft blade, slice into the can just below the neck. Using a sawing motion, slice off the top of the can. Then use your household scissors to cut down the length of the can. You’ll be surprised how thin that aluminum really is!

recycle crafts 2010 020

recycle crafts 2010 021

Once you get to the bottom, just cut around the can again to separate it from that hard “foot”. You’ll end up with a nice sheet of aluminum to use! Cut this piece in have length-wise.

Place one piece of your aluminum in your embossing folder and run it through your Cuttlebug machine. Repeat with the other piece. You’ll get something that looks like this:

recycledcraft3 001Now, if you like (which I do) you can color your aluminum with the alcohol-based Adirondack inks. They are the absolute great for adding color to non-porous surfaces, or you could use Bic Mark-it’s, too. If you are inking up your aluminum, dab on your colors as desired.

While they are drying, cut out some Foamies! Using the second-largest Scallop die, cut out a flower:

recycledcraft3 002

Foamies cut like butter!Foamies cut like butter! 

Now, using the largest and a “middle” size die- (you choose), run the aluminum through the machine and cut 2 scalloped flowers. You are going to be amazed at how easy it is….

Makes a great cut, no rough edges!Makes a great cut, no rough edges! 

Amost done….now, using your craft blade (and a protective mat or scrap cardboard underneath) make a little “X” in the middle of your large aluminum flower, the foamie flower, and the smaller aluminum flower. Use your flower brand to push through all of your layers, smallest to largest, and then open the prongs in the back to hold it all securely.

Using E-6000, glue on a pin back (or a strong magnet, if you prefer.)

Other options:

  • Color the center of your flower brad w/ a sharpie marker and use some Mod Podge Dimensional Magic for shine and dimension, or add a drop of Stickles glitter glue.
  • Cut a smaller foamie flower and glue it on top of your flower brad and top with a rhinestone.
  • Add 4 or 5 layers to make your flower more fabulous!
  • Eliminate the foamies, and instead cut more soda aluminum. Alternate layers of “plain” aluminum with the printed sides to make it more obvious that your are using recycled aluminum.

recycledcraft3 005

This article is an updated version of one that I wrote for as a member of their design team.

About Jenny

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.



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