Introduction: Aluminium Can Roses

What do you do for flowers at a post-apocalyptic themed wedding? You make them out of metal cans!

My partner and I used aluminium pop and beer cans to make the centrepieces for our wedding in a bomb shelter. While our wedding had a post-apocalyptic carnival theme, these shiny flowers would look just as good at any industrial or rustic event.

The project was inspired by Martha Stewart's Crepe Paper Roses, but the final results look very different from hers!

For this project, you'll need:

  • Aluminium pop cans -1 per finished flower
  • Steel wool
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scissors
  • Wire (hanger wire is perfect) - 10" per flower
  • Wire cutters
  • Ballpoint pen and scrap cardboard
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Step 1: Clean Cans and Cut Into Sheets

Rinse any remaining pop or beer out of the cans.

With wet steel wool, scrub the paint off of the cans. Wear rubber gloves for this step.

I was going for a post-apocalyptic look, so I didn't mind if there were some traces of the labels left on the cans. If you want a cleaner look, you'll need to do more scrubbing. Alternatively, for a more colourful look, you can leave the labels intact.

Once the cleaned cans are dry, you'll need to cut them into a sheet of aluminium. With scissors, cut off the tops of the cans. Cut a seam down the side and then cut off the bottom of the can. Be careful as the edges may be sharp.

Unroll your sheet of aluminium and press it flat.

Step 2: Cut Petals

Draw a heart shape on a piece of cardboard and cut it out. This will be the template for your petals.

With a ballpoint pen, trace the heart shape onto the sheets of aluminium. You may find it helpful to put a foam pad under the aluminium while you are doing the tracing.

Once you have traced as many hearts onto the aluminium as you can (about a dozen), cut out the shapes with scissors. Be very careful during this step as the aluminium edges can be sharp.

Step 3: Attach Petals to Stems

Create the stems by cutting the wire into 10" lengths with wire cutters. If your wire is too thick to cut easily, you may need to bend it back and forth and then snap it.

The first petal is the trickiest. Bend back the round tops of the heart and then fold the heart in three, so it makes a small cone shape. Wrap it around one end of a wire stem and secure it in place with hot glue.

Bend back the tops of the next petal, fold it in half, then open it back up and attach it on top of the first petal set with hot glue.

Continue bending and gluing on additional petals, working your way around the flower, until your rose looks complete. I usually used between 10 and 12 heart pieces per flower.

For our wedding, our friends helped us cut and attach 1,440 or so metal petals!

Comments

author
kelligrewsguy (author)2016-08-30

Absolutely lovely job, gonna have to try for sure.

author
stickittotheman (author)2015-09-26

Do you have any recommendations other than steel wool?

author
Gabedini (author)stickittotheman2016-01-26

I haven't tried, but I would imagine that green scotchbright pads would work as well.

author
the Make Club (author)2015-10-08

we made a giant iron forest for our dinosaur robots!

author
phoray5 (author)2015-09-20

Great work, love the concept, and the final product, really looks great with the shadow effects of the light on the table. I have a couple of questions, if you have the time to answer them please, and thank you for sharing your idea.

Do we use the template of the heart at the Martha Stewart site, or did you have a different size heart template?. Do you still have that heart shaped template, and can furnish it, so others can get the same size, and effects that you had. Where the finished rose flowers proportional to the size of the stem, or did they have to be trimmed to fit in the jar at the table, and the final decorations of the table?

author
ModMischief (author)phoray52015-09-21

I drew the heart shaped template freehand, based on the Martha Stewart one and I unfortunately no longer have it in order to provide exact measurements. Hopefully the photo is helpful in creating your own template. The length of the wire stem varied slightly from one flower to the next, because I wasn't very precise with my measurements. I didn't have to trim the stems when arranging the flowers, but I did bend some of the wires a bit to get the look I wanted in each mason jar.

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author
stickittotheman (author)2015-09-18

I love it!!! These are genius

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Cheryl1410 (author)2015-08-30

These are amazing! Now to find some cans....

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ManiacalC (author)2015-08-28

I've been wanting to make some decorative metal flowers for a while but I don't have access to power tools. Thanks for an alternative. I'll definitely make these.

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JohnLaw (author)2015-08-27

Any way you could show photos of making each petal?

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ModMischief (author)JohnLaw2015-08-28

Thanks I have added a photo to the last step!

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geekrex (author)2015-08-28

awesome

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ThomasJ1 (author)2015-08-27

I will have to try that out! They look great... and the photos too!

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sabu.dawdy (author)2015-08-27

These are cute. I wish you could had posted images of pasting petals.

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coventrymakerspace (author)2015-08-27

I really like these, they are awesome.

author
katebuilds (author)2015-08-27

Nice :)

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tomatoskins (author)2015-08-27

You have some awesome friends that helped with that much work! Hopefully they are still friends after that. :)

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Bio: For more about my costumes, crafts and general craziness, check out my blog: http://modmischief.blogspot.com/
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