DIY Leaf Brooch From a Soda Can




About: I love upcycling trash into treasures, especially creating small things like jewelry and gems.

Greetings to the crafty nerds out there!

I always wanted to own the leaf brooch from Lord of the Rings, the Leaf of Lórien, but I didn't want to buy one.. So I came up with my own version!

It almost looks more movie-accurate than the bought ones too (if I do say so myself) and it is made from a soda can! I am a bit obsessed with them actually. I might have a problem.

So let's get right into it ~

Step 1: Materials

  • soda can in any colour
  • scissors (nail scissors work well) that can get dull
  • broken pen(yes, finally there's a use for them!)
  • any fabric as a surface for embossing
  • loaded hot glue gun (you could probably use clay if you don't have one)
  • wire in a silver colour (about 1 mm thick)
  • acrylic paint (metallic green, I mixed it)
  • brush
  • matte nail polish (or mod podge etc.)
  • map tack or other sharp needle
  • safety pin (or even better: brooch pin)
  • (paper and pen)

Step 2: Draw/Print a Template

Let's be honest, normally I would never do this part.

But it made my leaf look a lot less crappy. You can use references from the interenet or use my template as a guide if you want.

Here you can download a printable template if you need it:

Step 3: Cut the Can

Stab the can with scissors or a utility knife (you can let out any aggressive energy at this point) and cut out a piece that's a bit bigger than the template.

Step 4: Flatten Out the Metal

The piece will be a bit curved, so take a round object, like a marker, and use it to bend it the opposite way and flatten it out.

Step 5: Trace the Template

Tape your template to the metal with the silver side facing up.

Then take a pen and go over all the lines once, not more than that.
Remove the template and you can see that the lines were lightly embossed into the metal.

Step 6: Emboss the Metal

Now you will need an empty pen. Just when you need one all the pens suddenly work! Oh, the irony.

Go over the lines you just made, then turn around the leaf and "colour in" the spaces in between the lines to create the elevated parts of the leaf.

Repeat turning around the leaf and going over everything until you are happy with the depth and shape of the leaf, but don't exaggerate because the metal can tear if it's stressed too much.

You can cut a bit of metal away whenever the metal bends too much, but don't cut too close to the leaf. It will make embossing harder.

Step 7: Cut Out the Leaf

Now it's time to cut out the leaf shape.

This is pretty much like cutting any other material, but I find it most tricky to make all the corners look good. Also, make sure to round off any sharp edges.

Step 8: Paint

Next, we're gonna paint the leaf with metallic green acrylic colours. I mixed silver, black, green and even gold together.

Important: The layers should be thin to make the next steps work. I used no water to dilute the first coat, but for the second one you can use some to make the paint smoother.

Two thin coats should be enough - if not, apply a very thin third coat.

Step 9: Scratch 'n Seal

To get the veins of the leaf, we are gonna scratch off some paint with a map tack.

I scratched the edges first and then proceeded with the actual veins, looking at references.

To seal everything, I coated the leaf with matte nail polish (matte to get a more movie-accurate result). You can use other matte seals like mod podge too, or if you don't mind the shininess, white glue or regular clear nail polish.

Step 10: Glue on the Vines

The leaf part is done (yay!), but for the whole package we need the beautiful vines.

We need three pieces of wire, two arches that cross over and one wire that connects the top and bottom part of the leaf.

If this makes no sense at all, I recommend to watch the attached video tutorial.

Hot glue the wire in place and make sure you have enough space for a pin.

Step 11: Glue a Pin On

Then glue the pin into place as well, making sure that it still opens and closes, but is secure.

Step 12: Paint the Back

The last step is to colour the back. I chose silver acrylic paint and I think it looks almost like it has been soldered. Although I admit it still looks a bit bad, haha. But it's only the back, right?

As an alternative to hot glue maybe clay could be used. That might even look better.

Now your brooch is done!

You can also wear it as a pendant and make some for your friends, so they can let you know when they get kidnapped by orcs.

May the stars shine upon your faces!



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    17 Discussions


    11 days ago

    Very nicely done! I like that you paid attention to the detail of the movie prop. Chances are the may have created their original in a similar way. Then may have cast it for duplicates. I have made movie props before and it's amazing what you can pass off on camera.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 days ago

    Thanks so much! Making movie props sounds like fun :) And super interesting!


    1 year ago

    What a great job! Really looks fantastic. May I make a suggestion? With all of the work you've put into this, instead of using hot melt glue to attach everything, try using a great product called JB Weld. It almost acts like metal in a tube. If you mix up enough of it, you can fill the entire back of the brooch; not only attaching the wire vines and the pin, but strengthening the entire leaf as well.

    Great job - thanks for sharing! May the Light of Eärendil shine upon you!

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you so much! I have never heard of the product, sounds very useful. Will look out for it!
    May it light your path as well!


    1 year ago

    So smart! I've only made windmills out of mine to keep the squirrels away. I love this!

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    That is creative too ;) Thanks a lot!


    1 year ago

    I loves it, I wants it. I think I'll make one. Thank you!

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    Beautiful work. Well Done.


    1 year ago

    This is great project with a lot potential for items beyond your broach ( which is quite attractive.) I especially loved your image of "required materials." you are clearly inventive and thorough! Might just make one for my wife for Mother's Day. Nice job and an excellent instructable. My personal thanks.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for the lovely comment! I'm glad you like it and hope you have fun crafting!


    1 year ago

    I love it! I've been experimenting with working with tin (and other metal) cans myself and I really like the way you've finished this project, so thanks for the tips :) Also I've seen the lotr movies so many times that I can't watch them anymore lol and I always liked this pin a lot because it's leaf shaped, so again; I truely love this project it turned out very nice!

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you Gadisha :D
    Haha true I have seen the movies so often as well! Glad you like it!