Introduction: Reuse Cans for Cards With a Cricut Maker

About: Freelance writer and regular contributor of Hackspace magazine. I'm helping to set up a makerspace in Devon, England and was a director of BuildBrighton makerspace. I'm on a mission to make things we'd normal…

My boyfriend loves Coca-Cola®, so I turned one of his empty cans into a Valentine’s card. I've written the instructions for making it with a Cricut® because it can cut, score and write the card as well as cut the aluminium shapes. If you don't have access to a Cricut®, you can use scissors or other cutters such as a Sizzix® machine.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

    • Aluminium Can(s) - it's good to have some spares
    • Cricut Maker®
    • Computer with Cricut® Design Space installed
    • Cricut® LightGrip Mat
    • Cricut® Scoring Stylus
    • Cricut® Pen (I used Red - 0.4 Tip)
    • Scissors
    • A4 White Card
    • Glue (e.g Bostik or UHU® All Purpose Glue)

    Step 2: Prepare the Aluminium Cans

      Rinse the cans and leave to dry

      Cut around the top of the can with scissors

      Cut a vertical line down from the top to the bottom of the can

      Cut around the base of the can

      Spread the can out flat on the LightGrip mat. Tip: Use a scraper or brayer to apply pressure to help the can stick to the mat. You could also tape down the edges if necessary

      Safety warning: Be careful of sharp edges

      Step 3: Draw the Hearts in Cricut Design Space

        Open a New Project in Cricut® Design Space

        Go to the Shapes icon in the toolbar on the left side of the screen and insert a Heart

        With the Heart selected, drag the arrow button on the bottom right to resize it

        Create hearts of different sizes. I used 4 sizes with widths of approx. 1, 1.8, 2.5 and 3.5cm.
        Tip: The width and height resize proportionally, but you can turn this off by clicking the lock button on the bottom left

        Copy and paste the hearts to create enough for your card design. I used 1x large, 2x medium, 3x small and 7x extra small

        Click the Make It button on the top right corner of the screen

        Arrange the hearts on the virtual cutting mat so they will fit on the can

Click Continue

        Step 4: Add a Custom Setting for Aluminium Cans

        Connect the Cricut Maker® to the computer using Bluetooth or a lead

        Click Browse All Materials

        Click Material Settings

        Scroll to the bottom of the page and click New Material

        Type in a name e.g. Aluminium Can and click Save

        Choose the following settings: Cut Pressure: 325, Multi Cut: 2x, Blade Type: Fine-Point Blade

        Click Save and close the settings page

        Choose the Aluminium Can as the material

        Load the Cutting Mat with the aluminium, into the Cricut Maker®

        Set the pressure to: More

        Step 5: Cut the Hearts

        Insert the Fine-Point Blade into tool holder B

        Press the flashing Go button

        Once the machine stops cutting, unload the mat and remove the aluminium. If the blade hasn't cut all the way through, bend the aluminium slightly and peel the hearts away

        It's useful to have an extra drinks can to remake any hearts where the graphics are cut in a position that doesn't look right

        Step 6: Create the Greeting Card

          Create a new project in Cricut® Design Space

          Insert a Square from the Shapes icon toolbar

          With the square selected, unlock the proportions by clicking on the lock button on the bottom left. Resize the square so it becomes a rectangle. If you are using an envelope, make sure the card will fit. I set it to be 28 x 14 cm

          Insert a Score Line from from the Shapes icon toolbar and set the size to be the same as the height of the rectangle e.g. 14cm

          Select the Rectangle and Score Line and go to Align > Center

          With the Rectangle and Score Line still selected, click Attach at the bottom right of the screen. This tells the Cricut® to create the score line on the rectangle

          Click on the Text icon from the toolbar

          Type the message for your card in the text box that appears. Select a font from the toolbar at the top of the screen. I used a font called SignPainter

          Change the line type from Cut to Draw from the tool bar at the top of the screen

          Position the message on the Rectangle. The message should be on the right hand side of the score line in order to be on the front when the card is folded

          Select both the Rectangle and message and click Attach

          Step 7: Cut the Greeting Card

          Click Make It

          Place the A4 card on the cutting mat

          Arrange the greeting card on the virtual cutting mat so it will fit on the A4 card. Rotate the design or card if necessary

          Click Continue

          Click Browse Materials and choose Heavy Cardstock

          Set the pressure to: Default

          Click Edit Tools and select the Scoring Stylus and click Apply

          Load the Cutting mat with the card on it, into the machine

          Place the Scoring Stylus into tool holder A

          Press the flashing Go button

          When prompted, remove the Scoring Stylus and insert the Pen

          After the card has been drawn and cut, unload the mat

          Remove the card from the mat, by placing the mat upside down on a clean surface and peeling the mat away from the card. This stops the card from curling

          Step 8: Assemble the Card

          Fold the card along the score line

          Play around with the hearts to find a design you like

          When you have decided on a design, apply glue to the back of each heart and stick it on the card

          Heart Contest

          Participated in the
          Heart Contest