No-Weld Versatile Decorative Flower Made From an Aluminum Can




Can art has been a fascination of mine because it's amazing what people can create from a soda can.  Coca-Cola is pretty major in my home state, Tennessee, and you can find soda can roofing on bird houses, wind vanes, and all sorts.

Also, I'm a soda fiend and generally don't drink much coffee or tea which means a lot of my caffeine comes from caffeinated sodas.  Consequently, there are always aluminum cans at my house which my husband is now collecting to make big bucks or something.

This Instructable shows to make a flower that can be used as yard art, a present decoration, or a seed packet (or small gift box).  The materials are inexpensive and common in many households, and there are minimal skills necessary.

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Step 1: Materials

You will need the following for all projects:
  • Soda Can (cleaned and dried)
  • Spray Paint
  • Scissors (that you don't care about)
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Cotton Ball

For a yard art flower, you will additionally need:
  • Glue Gun
  • Metal Rod

For a present decoration flower, you willadditionally need:
  • Ribbon
  • Wrapped Present

For a seed packet, you will additionally need:
  • Seed
  • Gift Tag with String

Step 2: Creating the Center of the Flower

Remove the bottom of the can leaving approximately 1 cm attached at the point where the bottom tapers.

Note:  It'll look rough, but don't worry.

Start making small cuts at the top of the newly removed can bottom.  As you cut, pull the scissors down and towards the center of the can bottom.

Continue until the entire rim is cut at a 0.5-1 cm separation.

Gently and carefully press the slits towards the center of the can bottom.

Remove the "Best By" date printing with nail polish remover.

Step 3: Make the Petals

Cut the body of the can into strips.

Tip:  I usually work in halves and half the halves until it looks the way I'd like it to.

Fan out the rough petals.

Taper the ends.

Bend the center, slightly, of each petal lengthwise.

Curl the tips of each petal.

Push the tab back into position and move the opener over it.

Step 4: Paint

Spray paint the center portion of the flower and the "back" of the petal portion their respective colors.

Allow to dry.  If necessary, repeat with more coats.

Paint the "front" of the petal portion the paler color.  The buttery yellow was the paler color in this example.

Allow to dry.

Shake both cans of the "front" colors very well and have ready to use.

Paint the "front" of the petal portion the paler color again and quickly apply the second color to the center allowing the colors to mix and bleed into one another.  In this example, I reapplied the buttery yellow and then sprayed the peachy color.

Allow to dry.

Step 5: Make a Yard Art Flower

Do steps 2-4.

Press the metal rod between two petals.

Note:  This might require slightly tearing the can and manipulating the metal slightly.

Glue the rod to the petal portion of the flower.

Press the center into place.  It should pop in and stay, but if it wants to move, apply a bit of glue to the underside and press.


Step 6: Make a Present Decoration Flower

Do steps 2-4.

Cinch ribbon between two petals and press the center of the flower into place.

Tie ribbon around the present.


Step 7: Make a Seed Packet

Do steps 2-4.

Add seed to the center of the flower.

Note:  If the seeds are small like poppy seeds, you will need to glue the tab into place.

Add the ends of the gift tag string to the center.

Pop the center of the flower into place.


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    16 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Have you tried soup cans making the flower spin on the rod for your front yard


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Fab idea AR I will make some if these for my garden for sure. Great stuff :-)


    9 years ago on Step 6

    how did you do your paint technique? i absolutely LOVE it.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks again! I describe the process in Step 4. You have to be quick and have the paint ready to go when you're trying to blend the colors because spray paint dries quickly. If it doesn't work the first time, let it dry and repeat with a second coat. If you aren't all that great at spray painting, practice the technique following the directions on the can. Smooth, even, and don't gob the paint or else you'll get runs. Patience (and multiple coats plus dry time between) is key. It also helps if it's a warm, dry day.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Did this the other night, although not yet painted. LOVE it. Easy peasy, and not as sharp as you'd think. Tried curling them but not a fan, i like them best flat like you have them. Nice.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! And you're right - it's not really sharp. Once it's painted, the edges are very smooth. I curled the tips just a bit, but I didn't curl them to form a loop. Just slightly to make it look more natural.

    Very cool, and nice-looking too. Between this and the pop tab chainmaille, it almost makes me wish I drank soda in cans (usually I just stick a krazy straw into a 2-liter and call it good). I'm totally voting for this one.

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! It looks quite bad until the petals are formed and the paint goes on. If you can keep the faith till the end, you'll be pleased. I've been making these for over a year, and it consistently works.