Cups From Cans: Instant Recycling





Introduction: Cups From Cans: Instant Recycling

This instructable will show you how to make a cup from an aluminum beverage can.

Reasoning: My apartment complex does not participate in recycling, and I do not often see a process where recycled material goes from trash to goods in a simple process. So being an industrious engineering college student I thought, " I don't have any cups, but I do have cans."

So knowing the construction of the can I knew that the top hem would not be sharp and perfect as a drinking cup.


Step 1: Know Thine Enemy

Before we remove the top of the can we should first realize how the construction of the can allows us to do this.

Since cans are made through a deep draw process and then a hemming process the can can be carefully disassembled.

Step 2: Rip It Good

So now we know how the can is constructed, we can now rip the top off. If you can remove it in a circular motion the can will tear along its hem.

Once the top is torn off, the hem will still be attached by its lower half and epoxy.

To get the lower hem off you must rip the lower hem so it will dislodge itself from the underside of the hem.

Once that is finished you must bend the inside top flange upward and outward. Just make sure that the flange from the can stays intact.

After the hemmed part is bent upward you can peel the lower hem downward and off of the can.

Now that your Hem is off the can, all you have to do is wash it out and and remove the epoxy.

The can is finished!

Recycling at its easiest. Their also dishwasher safe!



    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest

    10 Discussions

    ooh and bargs rootbeer is the BEST props for bargs

    dude just use a manual can opener soooo much cleaner, faster,easier

    I have used a similar method in making various cannons from soda cans but yet there is an easier way! just get a plain ol hand operated can opener it will fit the top of the can and also leave a smooth edge.

    1 reply

    I can verify this. If the can opener lifts the rim a bit you can just use some pliers to pinch it back down.

    This would be a great way to do away with those obnoxious red plastic cups that are thrown away by the thousands after a weekend of college drinking games! Write you school newspaper a you could get front page :)

    Yeah, a can opener works too. You can even use it on both sides to make a pipe.

    Nice recycling, but there's an even easier way to do it, with less tools and work! Just use a regular can-opener around the the hem to cut along the v-shaped crease on the picture in step 1! That's an easy way to get cups while on music-festivals, f.ex. Anyway, a nice Instructable!

    1 reply

    I might have to try that, but a can opener is hard to come by for a college kid! :)

    is it still sharp around the edges when ur done cause i wan to try this with a monster can

    1 reply

    Nope, you are only getting rid of the upper hem, the lower hem is still intact.