How to Make Aluminum Can Artwork


Turn trash into art by reusing old soda cans to create art sculptures instead of throwing them out. There are many things you can make out of soda cans, but whether you are making a shark or a life-size human sculpture, you need to use the same techniques. To attach the pieces, you will need a special kind of adhesive which is strong and flexible. All the tools you need can be obtained from a craft store.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Gloves
  • Knife
  • Cork-board mat
  • Rubber mallet
  • Dry erase marker
  • Scissors
  • Awl or ballpoint pen
  • Sanding block
  • Epoxy adhesive
  • Draw the plans for your soda can art sculpture on a piece of paper. Mark down the dimensions for each shape you need for the sculpture. For example, if you are making a soda-can shark, you will need to cut out many small triangles to make the teeth, as well as the fins and jaws.

  • Put on a pair of thick gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges. Cut around the top and bottom edges of a soda can with a sharp knife to remove the top and bottom. Place the remaining rectangular piece of can, silver side up, on a cork-board table mat and flatten it with the help of a broad rubber mallet.

  • Trace shapes on the aluminum with a dry erase marker that will be a part of the art sculpture. Cut the shapes out with the knife or a sharp, strong pair of scissors. Rub off the rest of the marker on the edges with a dry cloth.

  • Etch line details on the colored side of the shapes with a pointed tool such as an awl or an empty ballpoint pen. This creates an embossed, or raised design on the silver side of the shapes.

  • Sand the edges of the shapes with a sanding block to remove burs and to make sure you don't get cut while handling them. Sand the colored side of the shapes to remove the color and the silver side to emphasize the raised designs.

  • Assemble the shapes to form the sculpture and glue them together with epoxy adhesive. Glue only two or three parts together at a time and let them dry overnight. Continue until your soda-can sculpture is finished.

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