Aluminum Bottle Tumbler Cup & Cook Pot for an Alcohol Stove




Roll a rim on an Aluminum Bottle to create a Tumbler Cup, or a Cook Pot for a backpacking stove.

This instructable walks through the process of making a mouth-friendly edge on an aluminum bottle turning it into a Cool Reusable Metal Tumbler Cup.

The steps outlined here are, stand-alone, instructions to make a complete Metal Tumber from an aluminum bottle; suitable to use as a lightweight tankard for all your favorite beverages.
(I recommend the chilled kind. Remember science?...aluminum is an excellent heat conductor; you don't want hot cocoa burns on your fingertips as well as the tip of your tongue!)

However... those of you familiar with the Aluminum Bottle Backpacking Stove,
( ) will also recognize the technique demonstrated here, as a means for creating light weight cooking tools to accompany an alcohol stove.

The video below shows these Aluminum Bottles & Tumblers in use as a lightweight backpacking cook / storage system.


Step 1:

I have gotten inquires about the availability of this style aluminum bottle.
The bottles are obviously used for beer (and I know at least one soft drink) however, availability of either (or any for that matter) varies by region.

As an added note: I had reservation about posting an instructable that featured an alcohol container as it is not appropriate for all. I would have perfered to use a soft drink bottle however due to availability in my area, I only have found the beer bottle variety.
But ultimately, its the aluminum bottle that we're interested in, not necessarly the beverage. Dispose of the contents as you deem appropriate, or seek out empties through another source.

(Along the same lines: I am pretty sure not everyone who has built a bar-b-que from a steel barrel personally bought, and consumed the 50 gallons of Crude Oil inside to get to an empty drum.)

Step 2: Cut the Neck Off

Cut the neck off the bottle at the location shown in the picture. It should be at the full diameter of the bottle; below where the neck starts to taper.

Aluminum bottles are a thicker gauge than aluminum cans so utility knives won't work.

I use a hack saw to cut the bottle. Cut around the diameter rather than trying to cut straight through. The saw teeth will catch on the edge of the bottle and leave ragged edges.

Step 3: Start the Flare

The edge of the bottle needs to be rolled back on itself 2 times this tuck the sharp edge under the second roll and away from contact during sipping.

Start to flare the edge of the bottle. A 1" diameter wooden dowel works well.

Start by placing the dowel in the bottle so it is resting on the bottom. Rotate the dowel around the edge of the bottle.

Use a "stirring" motion as you press the dowel outward against the bottle's edge.

Gradually pull the dowel up off the bottom of the bottle while stirring to increase the angle of the bend.

Step 4: Rolling the Edge

Flare the bottle with the dowel until the bottle has a flange as shown.

At this point, place the bottle on a flat surface. A soft wood surface works well. The bottle will slightly press into the soft wood giving it some grip. This helps keep the bottle from slipping while rolling.

Tilt the bottle it so that only a portion of the edge is in contact with the wood. Press down on the bottle and rock it in a circular motion; keeping only a small portion of the edge in contact with the wood at any given time.

The second photo shows the rolling in a sequence of pictures

Do not try to do all the bending in one rotation.

Gradually increase the downward pressure on the bottle as you roll it around several times. You want a nice controlled edge without any kinks or variation in flange length.

The third photo shows the flange after rolling

Step 5: Increase the Roll Angle

As the Flange starts to roll back on itself, gradually increase the angle of the bottle slant while continuing to rock the bottle around

Eventually you will be rolling the bottle almost on its side to get the cut edge of the flange as close to the bottle's side wall as possible.

Step 6: Closing the Edge

Use the wooden dowel to finish working the cut edge of the flange against the bottle side wall.

The edge needs to be "tucked in" for the start of the next roll. The goal is to not collapse the cross section of the rim with a hard crease. The edge wants to curl inward.

Step 7: Second Roll

Start to flare the rim for the second roll.

Use the dowel to flare the rim just like for the first roll. Then rock the cup on a flat surface just like before.

Be careful that the first fold does not coming unrolled as you start the second flare and roll. The cut edge needs to be tucked into the second roll.

Reference the second picture.

Step 8: Finish

Again use the dowel to finish pressing the second roll tight against the can.

Adding just the start of a third flare, will help to close the gap between the sidewall and the second roll.

Stretch the rim by placing the dowel in the bottle and repeat the stirring motion. This will bring the rim back from any "out of round" bending that might have occurred.

The stretching also increases the "hoop tension" on the rolled rim to finish pulling it tight against the side wall.

The photos show the finished product with a tight fitting rim.

Step 9: Ready to Use

You now have an aluminum Tumbler cup. Just fill it with your favorite beverage. The heavier wall thickness of aluminum bottles adds just the right amount of heft to the feel.

The finished Tumbler won't crush or have that "oil can" flex like aluminum cans. They feel, and look like any other tumblers you could use and store in your cupboard.

Go ahead, make a whole dinner service worth of them!

Step 10: Additional Camp Use.

This Tumbler also works as a Storage Cover and Cook Pot for an Aluminum Bottle Alcohol Stove.

The video in step 1 shows both of these in action.

There are designs for aluminum can cook pots however they don't compare to the strength and durability of an aluminum bottle.

The Stove Instructable found at this link.

Note: Because the cooking pot also stores the stove, the bottle was stretched to fit over the stove before the edge was rolled.



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66 Discussions


4 years ago on Introduction

this is great. my girlfriend drink a lot of coconut water, which comes in heavy steel cans, and I've always felt a bit bad that they just go to waste. they should totally work as tumblers like these heavy aluminum bottles, with the added benefit of being magnetic and even stronger. definitely have to try this.


These are awesome!!! But you shouldn't cook in them, aluminum gives off really bad chemicals when heated. But still they are awesome and are probably fine for occasional use!!

spark master

9 years ago on Introduction

incredible, I thought you would need to fire the rim first, it might even be helpful. I wish I had gotten into making these BEFORE the bottles became extinct! 

can't really get them  here on LI w/o extreme expense, and if you do not like Bud, (me), or can't drink anymore anyway , (me) , then y'all screwed. I would love to try this out . Anyone out there know of any place out here that sell it on premise , so I could try to scrounge them ??



8 replies

In Pennsylvania I first saw the aluminum bottles at the local bar for a special event. Mostly I don't see them at the bar but now the beer distributer sells Bud alum. bottles by the case. I suggest checking at your local drinking establishments, that is if you're still allowed to enter.

Hi Limb Reaper, DAD BURNIT IT! I found your reply the day I got back from Pennsylvannia !! AARRGGHH I even passed two beer distributors. I gotta say I hate Budweiser so I would never have bought the stuff, do they have Deposit bottles there? sparkie

Ha, I'm hot a big Bud fan either. No we don't have any deposits in my area North of Pittsburgh. I suggest buying a case and gifting it on the condition that the receiver returns the bottles to you.

I did almost this very thing.

Having wanted the bottles for awhile to make the various Ible goodies, I finally found them at the local Safeway.

Bought a case for our anniversary BBQ and just told everyone to put the bottles back into the box when they were empty.

Still got a bottle sitting in my fridge waiting for someone with different tastes to visit, but I got my bottles. :D

Wow! This was such an old post I almost forgot about it. I haven't messed with the stoves for a while. My design ideas ran their course I guess. I'm still sitting on a handful of the good bottles just in case though :-)

Wow! This was such an old post I almost forgot about it. I haven't messed with the stoves for a while. My design ideas ran their course I guess. I'm still sitting on a handful of the good bottles just in case though :-)

Hi, Good Idea, gone flat. Anybody I know that I would willingly give a caser of beer to (at a very high price), would not be caught dead with a Bud in their hands. All of us drink german stuff. This week a big special by us is buy a case of Hoffbrau October fest, get a 1 liter Stein (glass, not clay :-( ) free. I have two now, (or soon will, they owe me one). I may buy a few (if I can find them) and just dump them out. I can drink maybe two then they destroy me, bad hamngover or futzie head next day. Drink the Deutch stuff, no worries. I just wish I had gotten your email B$ I left PA , I passed two beer distributors on way home. Of course in PA one must buy "cases" from a beer distributor, here in NY it is wacko, but I can buy onsies and twosies in a BD. ttfn sparkie


7 years ago on Introduction

Venom Energy drinks come in thick aluminum bottles, as a non-alcoholic alternative, also it's made by Dr Pepper Snapple so it's widely available.

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Venom are one of my preferred crafting bottles as well. The resealable top is a huge plus. And they aren't as narrow as the beer bottles.

However the bottle is not nearly as sturdy as the Bud and Coke bottles. Also, and this is my main reason for seeking out other sources than Venom, they do not have a bottom shape that allows them to be used effectively as a die.


6 years ago on Introduction

I contacted Budweiser HQ and gave them my zip code. They provided me with the names of places to purchase their beer in my local area. You might want to try the same with coca-cola, pepsi-co, coors, etc.


6 years ago on Introduction

Dollar Tree sells cheapo aluminum water "bottles" guessed it...$1! Yeah, I would rather go this route than to choke down a budmiloors!


8 years ago on Introduction

a few matching pairs of these would make a great inexpensive wedding present if you have friends that are big drinkers. We have friend who are HUGE drinkers and wish I could have made them some for their recent wedding.


9 years ago on Introduction

What kind of lining is in the aluminum bottle? Doctors and food safety specialists often say not to store food or beverages in opened aluminum containers, or re-use the containers because the aluminum may leach out. Aluminum consumption is linked to Alzheimer's Disease. However, if the bottle has a protective lining, it should be ok to re-use.

3 replies

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I believe most metal food and beverage containers are sprayed with a food grade epoxy coating to prevent contact (and chemical reactions) between the food and metal.


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Some cans are lined with BPA. The use of BPA has become a huge debate. The food packaging industry is clearly for the use of BPA as it does exactly what you two are stating, however the flip side of the debate mothers, doctors have begun to voice their experiences with it. Canada has begun to ban the chemical in all food grade containers. It's sad to come to know that since a lot of things in this world can cause cancer, it would be extremely difficult to stay away from everything that is "cancer causing." I'm against BPA use, but I am TOTALLY for these aluminum tumblers!!! Good job, I've always wanted to know how to roll an aluminum lip like that!


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

My understanding is that the entire industry is phasing out that type of plastic liner for all types of cans. I think I saw a news story on that only a few weeks ago.