I pursued my dream of turning trash into treasure...at least in my mind.
Last summer I delved into Pinterest and was inspired to make yard art out of metal cans.
I became obsessed with salvaging cans.
It took about 65 hours, but I cut 300+ cans and made over 100 flowers in assorted sizes to sell at a craft booth at a local festival.
I'm proud of how they turned out and really enjoyed the chance to be creative while making something artistic from garbage.
And most importantly, I'm relieved that I'm still able to use my right hand!!
Can acquisition & prep
Several local restaurants and a summer camp saved their large food service cans for me. And our nearby recycling center was happy enough to let me scrounge through their bins looking for cans of various sizes.
Our family accumulates plenty of drink cans, so there wasn't a shortage of material to work with!
Once I acquired the cans, I removed the labels and ran them through the quick cycle in my dishwasher.
Aluminum cans washed and ready to be cut
I sat out on my back porch for hours and days busily cutting cans like crazy.
I cut each can into strips to make petals.
Aluminum cans are easy to cut with ordinary scissors, and the cut edges are not sharp.
Steel cans are HARD to cut so I bought a $15 pair of tin snips to use for them.
If I attempt to mass produce can flowers again, I will consider purchasing electric snips or shears.
(I took a video showing how to cut a can, but it was 8 minutes--way too long and boring. Not like these next 2 videos. Ha! Watch some YouTube videos like I did and you can figure that part out.)
Cans cut and in the midst of hole drilling
Video of painted cans and my
(reluctant to be on video) daughter drilling holes.
Cans in the process of being spray painted.
For the aluminum drink cans, I only painted the silver interior of the can and left the outside exposed.
I painted silver shank buttons various colors
to put in the center in order to hide the wire.
Any one else out there figuring out how to creatively divert garbage from the waste stream? Go for it!
Holes drilled through the center of each can to thread wire or cable zip ties.
I layered two or three cans together and assembled them into flowers. I used galvanized wire and stainless steel zip ties. For some flowers I attached them to steel rods I'd painted green.
This is my favorite version. I call this style "Fringed Flower".