Introduction: Make a Flower Out of Aluminum (soda Can)

I discovered this idea at a Girls in Engineering Expo. I thought it would be interesting to make my own.

This being my first instructable, please be kind.

The main part of this project is creating flowers that do not need to be watered and don't die.

I used various cans from a graduation party that we had so they were also of various sizes.

Edges in this project will be sharp, please use caution.

Step 1: Supplies

To make Aluminum Flowers you will need

- Soda cans
- Newspaper (not shown)
- Scissors
- Flower cut outs (you can choose one of the patterns I uploaded or find your own online)
- Pen
- Wire
- Nail
- Sand paper (not shown)
- Pliers
- Hammer or wrench

Step 2: Cut the Can

Take your soda can and put it on some thick newspaper. Take an Exact-o knife and cut a line in the can (I recommend taking the scissors to finish cutting) around the top as close are possible without making it difficult for yourself. Repeat on the bottom.

You now have a can without a top or a bottom. Using scissors, cut down the side so that it can lay flat (though it will curl up).

You can take the can and put it under a few large books but it didn't work very well when I did it. I even left them there for 2 days, they still curled up.

Be warned: Edges will be SHARP!!!

Using a cut out, print onto paper and cut it out. Adjust the size of the flower to your desire.

Step 3: Trace!

Using the cut out you've cut out from the paper, lay the cut out onto the piece of aluminum. Trace with a pen, press hard just in case the ink is being fickle.

Lay the flowers as close to each other as possible. Do not overlay the flowers or cutting becomes a problem. Trace the larger ones before the small ones. The smaller ones fit perfectly in the empty spaces created by the large flowers.

After all of the large flowers have been traced, trace the smaller ones.

You will smudge the ink, no matter how hard you try not to.

Step 4: Cut

It is time to cut. This is a difficult step and is not one for small children to do. The edges will be sharp so proceed with caution .

I like to cut the small ones first. These are more difficult to cut because they are smaller. I like to start on the side and cut around the flowers that way. Once you have cut all small ones out, you are more then half way through. Take a break to do a victory dance.

The larger flowers are much easier to cut out. Just make sure not to cut off any petals.

This step is tedious and takes the most time.

Step 5: Get Rid of Those Sharp Edges

As you may have noticed, I keep repeating that the edges are sharp. I learned this by slicing my finger. So I decided that I no longer need to worry, I will just sand it. This step is difficult as well.

What you need to do is take a piece of sand paper and fold it. Rubbing along the edge, repeat until smooth. Move to the next side. Do not forget to sand the tips of each flower.

This is tedious but I feel it is a very necessary step.

Step 6: Clean Off the Ink

Now that you have cut out the flowers and made them less dangerous, it is time to take off the ink.

It makes it look prettier and that is the only reason for this step. If you do not care, move on to the next step.

Put the flowers on a flat and hard surface. What you will need is some detergent, a wet sponge, a bowl of water, and some paper towels.

Put the detergent on a wet sponge and scrub away from the center of the flower on a hard surface. This cleans off the ink as well as helping to flatten the flower.

When the ink is off, toss it into the water to wash off the detergent then dry with the paper towel.

Step 7: Punch a Hole

Now comes the really fun steps, or so I think.

You now have various sized flowers that you will lay on top of one another but first they need a hole punched into them so that they can be strung together on a wire. To do this, take your nail, your flowers, and a hammer (I used a wrench because it was close) and walk over to a patch or dirt or grass.

You can easily use your hand to punch a hole in a single flower or you can take like sizes and punch a hole in all of them in a single stroke; it is up to you. 

(Single flower)
- Take the flower and put it on the ground
- Place nail in center or as close to the center as possible
- Push down on nail with hand or strike the nail with a hammer
- Voila!

(Multiple flowers)
- Take the same sized flowers and set them on one another. Line them up as close as possible.
- Place on the ground, adjust if necessary
- Place nail in center or as close to the center as possible
- Push down on nail with hand or strike the nail with a hammer
- Voila!

Step 8: Add the Wire

I have no idea what wire I am using. It is some left over from a previous project of someone in my house. It can be bent with your hands but I find using pliers easier.

I cut a piece about 7 inches long. I'm not being precise just what looks right. About an inch from one end make a loop and clamp tight. This will stop the flowers from travelling along the stem.

Slide the flowers onto the wire. I like 2 large flowers with a small flower. Place the larger ones on first then the smaller ones.

Curve the wire up so they do not come off. Make a second loop to close off the end. If you want it to spin in the wind, make the space between the clamped loops longer. Clip the excess off then clamp off the loop. This part requires some skill but it is pretty easy.

Once the wire is added, you have a flower. Congrats!

Step 9: An Additional Step

I thought that adding a curl would be cute.

I took a screwdriver and wound the wire around it to produce a little spiral.

If you are putting the flowers into the ground, make sure the soil is soft enough not to bend up your wire.