Introduction: Drink Can Craft

Make a dragonfly, butterfly, flower, festive decoration, plant marker or anything else flat out of drink cans. The cans are easy to cut with scissors.

Step 1: Sample Drink Can Craft

Here's a sample of what you can make using simple tools like scissors and a small blade screwdriver for adding texture.

Edit: In answer to a couple of questions the edges aren't sharp and don't need to be filed or sanded. But if you were making something with corners then that would be a little sharp. So just stick to curved things or cut just the slightest curve on any corners you do have.

Edit: The painted label can easily be removed with 320 grit sandpaper. I haven't tried any other grades.

Update: See for an excellent instructable that features a more 3D look and uses permanent markers to add color. It also has good butterfly patterns there to trace. Thanks clintonmc

Step 2: Materials and Tools

You'll need a drink can of course.

--Small blade screwdriver

Step 3: Prepare

Cut the can open. First of all 'stab' the can with one point of the scissors. Use this hole to get a start cutting around the top of the can. Then cut down the can to the bottom. Then cut off the bottom.

Roll out until it sits flat.

Step 4: Draw Your Design

Use a non permanent felt tip marker or soft pencil to draw on your design.

Step 5: Cut Out the Design

Cut around the outline of your design. You might be pleased with how it looks. Or if you want a more 3 dimensional textured look, go on to the next step.

Step 6: Texture Added

The designs come to life when a little bit of texture is added. This is easily done using a screwdriver.

Step 7: How to Add the Texture

Adding texture with a blade screwdriver improves the look of your designs. Not only does the texture look good, but it creates a slight curl in the tin which leads the eye away from the raw edge. And it looks a little more 3 dimensional because of the curl.

Here's what do do. TURN YOUR PIECE OVER SO THAT THE PLAIN SILVER SIDE IS DOWN. YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE LABEL SIDE. My animation show me working on the plain side but that's so you can see it better.

You will be making dents in the can. So you'll need to work on something slightly soft like a newspaper.
Place the screwdriver near one edge of your design. Lean on it from one corner of the tip to the other tip in a rolling manner. Then move the screwdriver so that one corner of the tip sits in one of the little holes you just made. Repeat the rolling movement. Keep doing this until you've gone all the way around or whatever looks satisfactory to you.

Step 8: How to Display

You can just sit them in the garden or inside on a table, but why not make them extra special using Rimar2000's method of stiffening wire

The method involves putting one end of a length of thin wire in a drill, I used a cordless one, and wrapping the other end around something solid like a nail sticking out of a fence. Then turn the drill on. The wire will twist and stiffen becoming quite springy. It will then support the weight of these little drink can insects or flowers. They will sway around in the wind.

Edit: In answer to a question I attached the flower to the wire with Blu Tac. A more permanent solution would be hot glue. Maybe even chewing gum would set nice and hard to form a good bond.

Step 9: Hearts

I've added these hearts in response to GodIsLove's idea. The thin outline heart would be particularly nice as jewellery. Lightweight but easily bent out of shape.

The two bigger hearts are 4cm/1&1/2inches across.

Step 10: Plant Markers

Thanks to wocket'sclever thinking I've now made some plant markers. The carrot sign was made using the screwdriver roll technique but with a smaller screwdriver. The radish sign was made using a pen. I just wrote on the back of the label and pressed quite hard. But remember you must write back to front. I used a pen that didn't work anymore.

I have now found that  SteveGerberhas already published How-to-make-durable-plant-markers/
His idea is for labelling buried bulbs. I'll be using my tags when I plant seeds in trays.

Step 11: Badges/Labels

Here's some more ideas of what can be achieved by writing on the cans with a pen.

Step 12: Festive Decorations

Thanks to mooseinakilt for the great idea of making snowflakes.

You could also make stars, bells or christmas trees. Cookie cutter shapes could be a good inspiration.

The snowflake is a bit fiddly to cut. I cut six really fat 'fingers' and then cut little side bits out of them. I'd say that most people could do a better job than I've done as I've never drawn a snowflake before (snowflake making is not a tradition in my country - Christmas time is hot here).

For texture I drew around the edges with a non working pen on the back instead of making indentations with a screwdriver.

There will be lots of small offcuts, so be sure to collect them all for disposal. I've left the corners on my snowflakes. You can round them off if concerned about them.