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Picture of Soda Can Pen Holder
Make a pen holder from an empty soda can. Its easy to make, cheap and can hold a yearly calendar as well. My first entry. Also, I don't have a digital camera so I took the pictures from a mobile cam. Hope they're good enough.

Materials required:
Empty soda can
Knife
Some playdoh (or any suitable replacement)
Pliers (optional)
 
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Step 1: Cutting up the can

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Take an empty soda can. Rinse it out with water so that it removes any traces of soda left in it. Cut off the top off the can using a utility knife. Cut at a plane a little above the upper rim (i.e. the point where the cylinder starts). Also please be careful not to cut yourself while doing this. The easiest way to do it is to push the knife vertically in the top so as to make a hole. Then using the point where the knife meets the can as a lever, twist the knife so that it keeps on cutting more. Kind of how a can opener works.

As you can see in the picture, I had already started cutting the top of the can.

Now you have an empty can and its top. Dispose of the can top.

Step 2: Bending the rim

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The reason for cutting at a level above the rim is this. After cutting the top off, simply twist the part above the rim to make a smoother edge. The aluminium is soft enough to be shaped with the fingers. Again if you are not careful, you can cut yourself. Use pliers if necessary. The reason why I suggest using fingers is that you want to keep the can smooth and rounded. Excessive force from any tool will bend and disfigure the smoothness of the can. Also, the aluminium can can(?) crack under excessive pressure.

If there are any deformities still present, use your judgement to press and squeeze (the can) to make it as round as possible.

Step 3: Put some weight under the can

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Turn the can upside down. Take some playdoh (or any other suitable substitute), flatten it and stick it in the curved depression on the bottom of the can. This will provide some weight to the empty can and will prevent it from toppling over. Flatten it so that it doesn’t poke out from the bottom and the can stands firm on the table.

Step 4: Enhancements

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You can is ready to use. If you like the raw look, you can use it as it is. Otherwise you stick a blank piece of paper on the curved surface and decorate it as you like. Another idea is to print a yearly calendar on a piece of paper and stick it around the can. Here are how each of the variations look. The image quality doesn't do it justice. I'll try to upload high quality images as soon as I can

I have attached the calendar pdf. Print it at 100% scale so that it fits perfectly. Cut the page at the top left corner of January and keep cutting half an inch or so beyond December so that it fits properly.
avi9111 year ago

Periodic table +/ List of constants +/ formulae,ratios,identities.

I usually scrape the top of the can in a rough surface until it comes off. No need for sharp tools, just patience.
for a perfect smooth edge on the top you can sand the circle top part of the can until you see a cut all the way around, then get a screwdriver and put it into the hole you drink out of, pop off the inner part of the circle and sand the edges for about 5 minutes, takes longer but is just perfect for a pen holder and works great as a cup

hows that for a fast instructable
pizazz5 years ago
 Use a can-opener instead of a knife. works like a charm. I make disposable 'glasses' that way.
Plus when you use the can opener you are left with no rough edges.
Salsa7666 years ago
What didi you use to stick it on?

you can just use like.. double sidded tape.

fishermanfo5 years ago
cant cut through my stupid can
Using the playdoh as a weight is a great idea... but I still like my method for removing the top; I think it's a bit easier and definitely safer...

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Crazy-Cool-Can-Cup-Aka%3b-how-to-turn-a-pop-can/?ALLSTEPS
Punkguyta8 years ago
YAY! A hand guilloteen for my desk. Great instructable lol..
good times! I made this badboy but used blu-tack instead of playdoh! xoox
robonut6258 years ago
I've made a lot of these, but in a slightly different (and potentially safer) way. Yoy can take a regular file in your shop and simply file around the top lip of the can until you file it through. Then the top of the can comes off and you're done. This avoids having to risk cutting yourself on the sharp edges and the can looks just like it does when it's full! (I hope all this makes sense to everyone!) Anyway... good idea and good instructable, cafeboy!
Very creatable! That is cool, easy, and CHEAP! :-D
jtobako8 years ago
you may want to put the playdough on the inside of the can (with something on top to protect your pen tips). after a while, the playdough dries out and is no longer sticky so it falls off. at that point you could glue it back on, but not a lot of glues stick well to smoth metal.
cafeboy (author)  jtobako8 years ago
yup. that's an idea. I thought about the playdough falling off when it dries up. But I think glue would work, even on metal. I'll try it out though.
jtobako cafeboy8 years ago
rubber cement, epoxy or a non-drying clay (oil base clays-sculpy/ect will dry out) will work.
Several Asian markets and oriental restaurants near me do something similar to this but they fill it with uncooked sticky-rice. The rice is too fat to enter the pen tips and offers resistance to the pens and pencils so they don't have to rest on the bottom. It also doesn't spoil since it is dried, but once it is used for this purpose it can't be used for eating...at least not safely. Also, thanks for the PDF. I'm thinking of making one with the conversion tables for various weights and measures.
nerfster8 years ago
How this has to retain to pop can writing utenciles, I don't know. What in god's green earth do I do to get those ADS FROM GOOGLE POPUPS out of the corner of my screen? I'll be serching for internet legos or sumthin and that popup wil try to get me to buy a vending machine or an alein anial probe. It also gets in the way of pictures or buttons. PLEASE!!!!! Help me get rid of them!!
Spencer8 years ago
i have done this but used a can opener... much easier
bruc33ef8 years ago
I like this idea very much as a way to recycle soda cans! The Play-dough on the bottom also is a good idea, and we have an Instructables on how to make Play-dough:

http://www.instructables.com/id/EXL98NOVJLEUN32NYY/

cafeboy (author)  bruc33ef8 years ago
Cool. This is probably cheaper than buying playdoh which is anyway not available readily where I live.