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You can make your own earrings out of soda cans with just a few tools and a little bit of time!  You'll amaze your friends and get compliments from strangers.  No one will believe these cuties started as soda cans!  You can make them as fancy or not fancy as you like.. add color, texture, shapes, or leave the design of the can on display to show through.

Please take a moment to vote for this tutorial while you're here!  These are super cute made with paper punches... imagine how great they could be made with an Epilog laser cutter!! 

Step 1: What You'll Need

You will need:
 A drink can
 A paper punch- Any shape you like will work.  If your shape is solid, without any holes in the interior design, you will also need a small hole punch.  (For the butterfly earrings, I used the EK Success Butterfly Layering Punch.  For the 'Please Recycle' Earrings, I used a 1” and ½” circle)
 A sharp pair of scissors
 A small pair of pliers
 A few beads… I prefer teardrop shape, which I find easier to wrap with wire, but use whatever you fancy.
 Jewelry wire.  It just has to be thin enough to fit through your beads.  I used 24 gauge wire in this demonstration.
 Earring hook findings

Optional tools for extra fanciness:
 An embossing machine and embossing folder
 Alcohol inks
 Felt stamper
     

Step 2: Cutting the Can

CAREFULLY!! 
Make sure the can is rinsed clean of any beverage residue.
With your sharp scissors, start cutting the can at the top, just below the curve to the rim.  
Remove the top of the can.
Cut down the side of the can.
Cut around the bottom of the can, just above the curve to the base.
You'll end up with one thin sheet of metal and the top and bottom of the can.  
Throw the top and bottom into the recycling bin.
Cut the long piece in half to make it easier to work with.
If the metal is wet from rinsing, dry it well.

Step 3: Optional Fanciness- Emboss

Place one piece of the metal inside the embossing folder and run it through the embossing machine per the manufacturers directions.  (I used a Cuttlebug.  The metal is inside the folder, between the two cutting plates, on top of the space.  It's rolled through once and comes out with this pretty design.)

You may have to play around with the embossing folders.  Some cut too deep and leave perforations in the metal.. that doesn't work well for earrings as they tend to break into bits when you punch out your shapes. The design in the pictures is from Cuttlebug and has worked well every time I've used it.

Step 4: More Optional Fanciness- Color

Make sure to place your metal onto a paper plate, piece of parchment or foil to avoid permanently staining your workspace.

Using Alcohol Ink, squirt your choice of colors onto felt stamping pad
Stamp the color onto the metal, overlapping as you go.  Keep stamping until you are happy with the blend of colors.

You only need to let it sit for a minute.  The ink dries almost instantly.

Step 5:

The cool thing about the layering punch is that you can cut three different layers of detail with one punch tool.
For this demonstration, I cut two butterflies out of uncolored, unembossed metal on the middle setting and two colorful, textured butterflies on the 3 setting.  
Simply slide your metal into the punch, look through the bottom to make sure your metal is in place and press down on the punch all the way.  It can be a little hard to remove the metal after you punch.  Just gently jiggle the metal.  The butterfly should fall out and the rest of the piece can be removed.  
(If everything gets stuck, don't freak out.  you didn't break the punch.. At least I haven't broken one this way yet.  Get a pair of tweezers or use your pliers if you can and pull out the metal.  Your butterfly may not make it, but a can should produce at least 8 butterflies, so don't sweat it!)


Step 6: Attach the Bead to the Bottom of the Butterfly

I like to place a bead on the bottom to give the butterfly a little weight and keep them hanging correctly.  (If you don't connect the shapes at the top and bottom, they won't stay together when you wear them.)

• Place the butterfly cut on the third setting on top of the butterfly cut on the second setting.
• Cut a piece of wire about 9” long
• String the teardrop bead on the wire, placing in the middle.
• Fold the wire in half, with the bead hanging on the fold.
• Thread the wire through the bottom hole on one of the wings, threading front to back.
• Bring the wire together directly behind the hole.  (Make sure you leave enough wire between the hole and the bead that the bead doesn’t stick out at a funny angle… you can make it as close to the wing or as far as you like, depending on your preferred amount of “dangly-ness”
• Once you have determined where you want the bead to hang, twist the wire once or twice to hold it in place.
• Bend the wires down toward the bead.
• Bring the wires down behind the bead with one to each side of the bead.
• Cross the wires and bring them to the front of the bead.
• Cross the wires in front of the bead and wrap them to the back… The most important part of successfully wrapping the wire is to make sure the wires are wrapping in opposite directions and that cross in front and in back. 
• Repeat this step until you have wrapped the top of the bead
• Twist the wires together again with several twists.
• Cut the remain loose wire off
• Press the twisted end into the wrapped wire
• If you can’t get it close enough with your fingers, use your pliers and apply GENTLE pressure to push the twist to the wrap.

Step 7: Attach the Earring Hook

This one should be a cinch, since you will do exactly what you did to attach the bead.
• Cut another piece of wire about 9” long
• String the earring hook on the wire, placing in the middle.
• Fold the wire in half, with the hook hanging on the fold.
• Thread a bead or two over both wires, moving them firmly next to the hook.
• Thread the wire through the top hole on the wing opposite of the bead, threading front to back.
• Bring the wire together directly behind the hole.  (Make sure you leave enough wire between the hole and the beads that the butterfly doesn’t stick out at a funny angle… keep the bottom bead and the butterfly fairly close, though, as you will need to wrap the wire completely up to the bead to make sure the hook stays snug.
• Twist the wire once or twice to hold it in place.
• Bend the wires up behind the bottom bead, crossing so that one wire is on each side.
• Bring  the wires to the front of the bead.
• Cross the wires in front of the bead and wrap them to the back.
• Repeat this step until the wire is snugly holding the beads between the earring hook and the butterfly.
• Twist the wires together again with several twists.
• Cut the remain loose wire off
• Press the twisted end into the wrapped wire
• If you can’t get it close enough with your fingers, use your pliers and apply GENTLE pressure to push the twist to the wrap.
Your earring is complete!!

Step 8: Make Another One!

To complete the pair, follow the instructions again, but use opposite sides of the butterfly from the first earring.  This will make them hang symmetrically.

Accept compliments and disbelief from friends and cashiers that you made these yourself out of a soda can!

Next, I will briefly, show you how I made the other pair, too... same skills with a few tweaks...

Step 9: & the "Please Recycle" Earrings.

This pair should be a cinch after the first pair!  Just a little wire wrapping and you have another fabulous accessory!

• Somewhere on your can, you should find a “please recycle” symbol.
• Using a ½” circle punch, cut out the symbol.
• Using a 1” circle punch, cut out a circle of UPC symbol, or any other part of the can you like.
• With a hole punch, punch a hole in each circle.
• Place the small circle on top of the large circle, lining up the holes
• Cut a 9” piece of wire, fold in half and thread earring hook onto wire, hanging from middle fold.
• Add a bead over both wires, pushing it snugly to the earring hook.
• Twist the wire and thread one side through the holes in the circles, from the back to the front.
• Add a bead to the wire that you threaded through the circles.
• Thread the other wire down through the bead, through to the back of the circles.
• Bring both wires up to the top of the circles and twist.
• Cross the wires and bring to the front, then cross and wrap to the back.
• Continue to wrap the wire until the beads are held snugly against the hook and circle.
• Repeat to make another and complete your pair.

Wear them and be awesome!
In other tutorials I have seen, they fold over a piece of sand paper and rub edges til rounded and smooth.
<p>hi, this is great, but how do you deal with the sharp edges after cutting with the punch. i have many 1 inch circles cut from some fabulous red textured cans but the edges are super sharp. </p>
I adore the butterflies! Do the earrings have any sharp edges? I was planning on making some as gifts but I don't want the recipients to get cut. Thanks!
<p>Great instructions ! thanks for sharing.</p>
They really come to life even more in reality. They are awesome and allow you to express your unique individuality however you choose!
Thanks for the tutorial! I have that punch I didn't know it could cut metal! <br> <br>Carmen L
instead of ruining your scissors, it's better to use tin snips or wire cutters (and a can opener works wonder on the top edge, especially if you use it around the OUTside edge)
Great idea, very cool.
Wow! Very cool! Thanks for sharing...
Wow!!! These are super cool. Good luck in the contest
Those are very cool. I really like the butterfly ones :D So gonna have to try them
Very cool, I also didn't know you can emboss aluminum cans like this. Thanks for sharing.

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