Monday, December 2, 2013

Red Neck Soda Can Ornaments { A Tutorial }

I just love homemade Christmas ornaments, each one seems to have a story behind it. Either a memory from a past Christmas, or the person who made it, or the little toddler who proudly stamped his hand or finger into a humble dough shape and mailed his grandparents. 
Homemade ornaments in our home are also where we like to use up bits and pieces of craft supplies, or in this case, our household recycling.

I started making these around 10 years ago and they've always been a hit and a fun conversation piece on our tree and have also made some really unique gift toppers and garlands. 

What started out as an experiment of doing haphazard origami on tin cans (a good cure for boredom on a long winter's evening) became these shiny, festive stars.

For years I sold these on etsy and in local shops, and they were even featured on HGTV and in a Christmas edition on People Magazine. 

This year though I decided it was high time to share the fun and offer a tutorial on how to make them yourself. (If you like!) 

You will need: 

A well rinsed Soda Can. (or Pop can, if the word "Soda" makes you cringe.)
A pair of scissors with a sharp tip. (Or a pair of blunt tipped scissors AND an utility knife.)
A cardboard circle cut about 2 inches in diameter (Or a two inch circular scrapbooking paper punch)
A piece of wire, or an ornament hook. 

After rinsing out your can, using either a utility knife or a pair of sharp tipped scissors, pierce the side of your can near the top and cut the top off. I try to keep the puncture area somewhere that I don't want to use for an ornament. Somewhere like the UPC symbol, or ingredients etc.

Cut straight down the side, and then cut remove the bottom.

Flatten out the can. Now you should have a rectangular piece. 

Position your cardboard circle (or paper punch) in the area of the can that you would like to use for your ornament. You will need to cut two circles, so decide before cutting where you'd like them. (Main Logos etc)
Now either trace around the circle with a marker before cutting, or cut around the circle. (Or punch it out with a punch.) Do this twice so that you have two circles.

Now it's time to fold your star:

A couple of last minute tips:
You can make these smaller, or larger. Just keep in mind, the smaller they get, the harder they are to fold.
On thinner cans, avoid pressing your creases too hard or you might get a split.

Have fun, and enjoy!!


  1. Great tutorial, well explained and all! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for saying pop. Running to the recycle bin now.

  3. These are so pretty! Love the recycling to make something nice.

  4. Hi Corrabelle! I love that!!! Truly. They are so rad! And What a great way to upcycle!
    And if you get a sec.....Please come on over to my giveaway today. I'd love to see you there.

  5. These are adorable and sparkly! How did your hole punch hold up after using it on aluminum? I'm thinking of purchasing a one for this project, can you make any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. It actually keeps the punch really sharp! If my punches start to feel dull (after using paper etc.) i punch a few cans and it sharpens them right up!

  6. These are awesome. I stumbled on to your blog through following a few links here and there, to tell you the truth I'm not 100% sure how I got to your blog, but I'm very happy that I did. I've looked at some of your post and found them all to be pretty cool. I'm very happy that I found your blog and will be following it as you seem to be very crafty and full of wonderful ideas. Thanks for creating this blog and all the wonderful post.

  7. I really love these! I have tried to make them several times but every time my can split in the star tip. how do you do it? You make it look so easy. (Sorry fro my English, I'm from Denmark.) Thank you for this post!!

    1. If they're splitting, you're probably pressing /pinching your creases just a touch too hard. You want a solid crease, but not quite as much as you would with paper.
      Also, thinner cans do split more easily as well.
      I hope that helps!!

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  9. Super visual tutorial and thank you so much for sharing the instructions. -Brenda-
    P.S.: As I am hearing impaired; I appreciated you including the instructions, size of circle etc.

  10. Dear Corrabelle,

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