Introduction: Aluminium Can Roses

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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!

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