How to Make a Metal Flower

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Start with a simple flower design before jumping to roses or tulips.
Start with a simple flower design before jumping to roses or tulips. (Image: meronn/iStock/Getty Images)

The beauty of flowers lasts but for a fleeting moment once nature takes over and they start to wilt and die. But with a little bit of imagination and creativity, you can have flowers in your home that never lose their splendor by making them out of metal. Simple items -- two aluminum soda cans -- can be used to produce a flower that adorns photo frames, sits in a vase or accentuates a pair of iron candlesticks. Even the most novice of crafters can successfully create a metallic flower. When making metallic flowers, wear gloves that protect your hands and fingers from cuts.

Things You'll Need

  • Nylon protective gloves with coated palm
  • 2 aluminum soda cans
  • Utility knife
  • Sharp scissors
  • Three 3 1/2-inch cardboard circles
  • Two 2 1/2-inch cardboard circles
  • Pencil
  • 2 binder clips
  • Metal punch
  • Hammer
  • 2 pieces of corrugated cardboard
  • Flat-nosed pliers
  • Curved-nosed pliers
  • Scrapbook brad
  • Spray primer
  • Spray paint (optional)

Put on your protective gloves. Lay the soda can on the work surface horizontally. Pierce the can under the top edge with a utility knife. Most cans have a shape that tapers then widens again at the top of the tan. Insert your knife at the top of the section that widens after the taper. Cut around the top of the can with the utility knife to slice off the top. Repeat for the bottom of the can, with an aluminum sleeve as the result.

Cut the side of the can with scissors. Open the can and flatten the aluminum. Repeat for these steps for the second can.

Trace with a pencil and cut three 3 1/2-inch circles and two 2 1/2-inch circles from the aluminum sheets.

Stack the circles on top of each other. Center the smaller circles on top of the larger circles and secure the sides with two binder clips. Next, set the circles on top of two layers of corrugated cardboard. Hold the metal punch vertical and straight with its tip in the center of the cut aluminum. Tap the top of the punch with a hammer until it pierces all layers of the aluminum.

Remove the binder clips and separate the circles. Make six cuts into an aluminum circle at an equal distance from each other to form petals, but leave at least a 1/4-inch buffer zone around the hole in the center. Cut the ends of each flap to form a scalloped petal edge. Repeat this for all the cut aluminum circles. Each circle should resemble a flat metal flower with six petals.

Pinch the side edge of a petal on one flower with the flat-nosed pliers to curve it inwards. With the round-nosed pliers, fold the end of the petals downward to give them more dimension and shape. Curl the petals using the round-nosed pliers to manipulate them into varying shapes so they aren’t all flat and look the same. Repeat this for all flower layers, playing around with the tools to develop different curls and effects for the petals.

Stack the three larger circles on top of each other and then add the two smaller circles. Thread a scrapbook brad through the center holes in each layer. Open the fastener underneath the bottom layer of aluminum to secure the petals together. Move the individual petals around so the layers stack neatly and they resemble the layers of petals in a flower.

Coat the flower with a spray primer and let dry thoroughly, which may take an hour or two depending on the humidity levels in the room. You can leave your flower white or spray it with a colored paint after the primer dries.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid using just any pair of scissors, as cutting metal dulls its blade. Choose a pair of craft scissors or miniature tin snips you can dedicate to the project.
  • Use cans with an interesting design and skip the primer and painting. For example, some green tea companies use decorative floral aluminum cans for their product.
  • Hot glue the flowers to metal or wooden stems for vase placement.
  • Glue beads to the middle of the flowers for a decorative stamen and pistols.
  • Use paper flower patterns to create other flower shapes.
  • Nylon gloves with a coated palm can protect your hands while making the flowers, but still gives you a wide range of mobility to handle small projects.
  • The edges of the aluminum can be sharp; apply caution when handling the metal.
  • When using primer and paint, work in a well-ventilated room.

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