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Monday, October 4, 2010

Recycled Ornaments

I recently had an opportunity to review Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry for the Beadwork site at BellaOnline. It's a very inspiring book, and it inspired these ornaments.
It's made using a bottle cap, an empty soda can! I'm linking the tools I used to their pages on Amazon, it's an affiliate link, but mostly I'm linking them so if you want to know exactly what brand/type I used, you can see it. All of these punches should be available at your local Michaels.

You'll need:
An empty and rinsed out soda can
Old scissors you can cut a can with or tin snips
A bottle cap- also cleaned
An image- 1 inch square- 300 ppi looks best because you can get more detail in it. Print on cardstock or thick photo paper and seal with acrylic clear spray
2 inch punch- I used a 2 inch circle punch
Decorative punch- I used this star
Metal punch or a hammer and nail
1/16 inch hole punch or any hole punch really. That was just what I had at hand
Wire, string or decorative yarn
Decorative beads if you'd like
Eyelets or brads- I recommend brads, more on that later.
Dimensional glue- the clear kind that you can cover an image with
An old phone book - I use one for almost all my drilling and punching to protect the surface I'm working on.
Sandpaper or nail file

Cut the top and bottom off the can, then cut the can open. By the UPC is a good place to cut if you want to center designs for your ornaments. Flatten it by running it across the edge of a table working against the curve. It won't flatten the can completely, but it will be pretty close.
Punch out the 2 inch shape and the decorative shape. If you have any sharp or rough edges, smooth them with the sandpaper or nail file. My punches are punching out the shapes pretty cleanly and need very little finishing.
Punch a hole in the middle of the large shape, and in the middle of the bottle cap, and put them together with the open side of the bottle cap out. I used an eyelet on mine, but because of the thickness of the bottle cap and how it bowed slightly when I punched it, I plan to use brads next time. The dome part of the brad would be on the back of the can piece, and the little arms spread on the inside of the bottle cap.
Cut the image out using the 1 inch circle punch, a 1 inch circle punch will fit perfectly into a bottle cap. You can do fan ornaments like my daughter and I are making, or you can do pictures of your children. It would be a good grandparent gift!
Glue the image into the bottle cap, and cover with dimensional glue. You can add glitter or all sorts of little inclusions at this point. 
Let it cure according to instructions. 
After it's cured, punch a hole in the top of your decorative shape, and the top and bottom of your framing big shape. Use wire, thread or yarn to connect the pieces and make a hanger.
If you want to decorate the metal, you can use paint markers, or let your kids design them and color them after you cut out the pieces. 

My daughter wants a full set of the Doctors for our tree. This is the art for them, click on the image for the full sized 300 ppi version. Personal use only please!


  1. This looks like a very cute craft.... :) And fun to make too!

  2. This project is great! Easy projects are definitely a favorite during the holiday season and this craft really fits the bill. You should definitely check out 25 Easy DIY Christmas Crafts. Have a great day!

  3. I have posted your photo ornament link on my site. If you would like to link back it would help both our sites. Please let me know if that's okay. Thanks, Noreen.


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