Introduction: Recycled Can Woven Cuff Bracelet

About: Co-owner (with hubby) of a mailing business in Boston, a struggling small business. Crafting and selling online is a nice diversion. (I sell on Etsy: and on Bonanza: …

I've seen many woven cuff bracelets made of fabric or paper. I wondered if a colorful soda can could be cut up and used, instead. Hmmmm...hence my version of a woven cuff bracelet. Overall time spent was about 1-1 1/2 hrs.  I actually worked on it, off and on, for about a week. Some trial and error as I went, but here is the finished product.
This is my very FIRST instructable! I visit this site frequently and am always amazed at the talent that abounds here. Please feel free to offer "constructive"(pleez) criticism, and/or ask any questions via the comment section.

Thanks for taking a look.

Step 1: Supplies

Gather your supplies:

A colorful can - I've used an Arizona fruit punch can(nothing like stating the obvious, eh?).
Xacto knife
piece of foam core board
piece of cardboard
piece of paper
push pins
drill with 1/16" bit
jump rings
lobster clasp for jewelry
two pairs of pliers
pop (pull) tabs from soda can
electrical or masking tape

Step 2: Supplies Cont'd.

Had a little trouble thinking ahead...and realized halfway through that I also needed these supplies which were not pictured in my first step (although they ARE listed):

jump rings
pull/pop tabs
2 prs. pliers
lobster clasp
drill with 1/16th in. bit
electrical or duct tape

Step 3: Make the Pattern and Cut Out Cardboard Backing

Measure and mark (I HATE measuring!) a 6" long x 1 1/2" wide rectangle on paper. This will be the size of the cuff bracelet. Cut it out and use it as a pattern/template to trace around on cardboard (trace 2) then cut out of cardboard.

Step 4: Cut the Can

Using an Xacto knife (or scissors), cut into the top of the can, just below the rim to cut off the top of can. Slice in a sawing motion around the top of the can.(If using scissors, cut around in short cuts)
Then cut vertically (with scissors) from the top to the bottom of the can. Next cut around the bottom of the can to get rid of that section of the can. You now have a curled sheet of aluminum.

Step 5: Flatten the Sheet

With the right(colored) side of the aluminum sheet facing down, slowly roll the sheet over the edge of a table, to flatten it out. I had to do this 2 or 3 times to get a relatively flat sheet.

Step 6: Cut the Sheet

Yes, the SHEET, not the...well...never mind!

Turn the sheet lengthwise, and starting 1/4' down from the top and 1/4" in from the left side (have I mentioned that I HATE measuring?), trace around the cardboard backing with a pen. Bear down so you will end up with an indentation.

Skip down 2 1/4" and trace the cardboard again (1/4" in from left side), bearing down with the pen as in the first tracing.

Cut out the top and bottom tracings leaving 1/4" all around (you already have 1/4" on the top of the first (top) strip).  The 1/4" is necessary for the step where the edges of the tin wrap over the cardboard backing. You'll see this a few steps from now.

You now have THREE pieces of tin. (see pic). The center piece has no indented tracings on it.

Take the top piece and cut off the left and right sides where the indention is. You won't need those me. Then cut small strips (vertically) all across this piece. Make them about 1/4" wide (once again...I HATE measuring! So, I just eyeballed it).

See the last pic here showing all of the strips I ended up with. (Note how you can see the 1/4" ends with the indentation from the pen tracing). Turn them all over so you can see the pattern/colors.

Step 7: Weave It

Using the piece of foam core board, line up the small pieces of the can that you just cut, and put a push pin in one end of them to hold them down. Leave just a tiny space between each strip. (NOTE: I'm using one edge of the board so I'll have a straight line as a guide. As you may have noticed...I HATE measuring!) Keep pinning down the strips until you have 6" in length. I ended up having a few leftover strips that I didn't need.

Now take your second piece of the can (the one you didn't trace the cardboard piece onto) and cut thin strips lengthwise. Make the strips about 1/4" wide. Start weaving the strips from right to left, under, over, under, over, etc. It helps to lift the top (unattached) of each vertical strip, in order to weave under it. As you finish each row, gently push that horizontal strip down towards the bottom.  If you've ever made a potholder in summer camp, well...this weaving technique is the same.

Once you get to the top, stop weaving horizontal strips when you have about 1/4" left (you'll see that indentation you traced at the beginning of this project).

Remove all pushpins. It's easiest to do this if you place one hand on top of the woven piece, while using the other to pull out each pushpin. I found if you twist them back and forth as you are pulling, they'll come out easier.

VOILA! You now have your woven strip for the front of your cuff bracelet.

Step 8: Add Backing and Put Together

Turn over your woven piece and place one of the pieces of cardboard on it. Center the cardboard. Start bending the can strip ends over the cardboard. Continue until all ends are bent over the cardboard, enclosing it.

Take your second rectangular piece of the can (the uncut piece), turn it over and center the cardboard piece on it. Fold all sides over the cardboard (this piece has indentations traced all around it, making it easier to fold it down over the cardboard).

Now place each rectangular piece back to back (cardboard side to cardboard side). Using electrical tape or duct tape, tape over the edges to attach both pieces to one another. I started out using yellow electrical tape, but decided I liked the red tape better.

Step 9: Add Findings to Keep It on Your Wrist

(Findings are things like: jump rings, clasps, etc.)

Lay the bracelet down, woven side up, and drill two holes on each (short) end. Make the holes about 1/2" apart. I didn't measure, because...repeat after me...I HATE to measure!

This next part...Sorry...I couldn't get pic's of it, since I was taking the pic's myself and needed two hands to perform these tasks. If you look at the pic's, I think you should be able to figure out what I'm about to jabber about...

Gently open up four jump rings and put through each of the holes. Take a pull tab (pop tab) and hang it over the two jump rings on each end (there are two openings on the pull tab - one over each jump ring), then using the pliers again, close up the jump rings. You now have a pull tab on each end of the bracelet.

Gently work on the bracelet to get a curve in it. I put it on my wrist and gently pushed it down under my wrist a few times. Work it until you have a good curve.

Using two more jump rings: open one and put it through one of the holes on the pull tab at one end of the bracelet, then close it. Open the other jump ring, put it through the the small loop on the lobster clasp, then through a hole on the pull tab at that end of the bracelet, then close it.

I found that fastening the lobster clasp BEFORE putting the bracelet on was the easiest way to do it. Since I was alone...and didn't have anyone to clasp it for me. My dexterity isn't what it once was. :(

And there you have it!

There are many different colors in soda and drink cans these days. If you see one with colors you love...use it!

Please be gentle with me! This is my first Instructable. I am, of course, open to constructive criticism. I am a bit tough skinned....but...

Thanks for viewing!