How to Make a Soup Can Sculpture

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Things You'll Need

  • Soup cans

  • Plywood square large enough to serve as a base

  • Sketch paper

  • Pencil

  • Duct tape

  • Craft wire, 14 gauge or larger

  • Drill

  • Epoxy

Some of the most renowned sculpture artists of the modern day are known for creating works of art using materials that would otherwise be recycled or thrown away. Empty soup cans make for a sturdy structure in a sculpture while providing a medium that's instantly recognizable to nearly all viewers. While you can make a soup can sculpture in any shape and size you like, planning for structure and shape will help you get the results you want.


Step 1

Sketch out your sculpture's design on paper. Start with an outline of the overall shape, then decide which parts of the sculpture will be made from which types of cans. Do a second sketch that shows each can; if necessary, do several sketches from different angles (don't worry if you don't consider yourself good at drawing; just sketch with rough rectangle shapes to give yourself an idea).

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Step 2

Create the bottom layer of cans for the sculpture. Lay out the cans without attaching them to figure out their positioning, then attach them to the wood using epoxy after you're sure how you want that bottom layer to be.


Step 3

Build the sculpture using duct tape. Attach the cans to one another using pieces of duct tape to start; this will allow you to work out where you want to put them and move them around, perfecting your design before you make the fixtures permanent.

Step 4

Take photos of your taped design from multiple angles. This will help you remember where you positioned the cans as you disassemble, then reassemble, your design.

Step 5

Replace the temporary connections with permanent wire ones. Remove the tape and reconnect the cans by creating nail holes in the sides of each can at the points where they touch other cans. Poke wire through these holes to connect the cans, twisting the wire in place to secure them.


Step 6

Secure the cans further with epoxy. If any of the cans wobble or dangle in a way you don't like, use epoxy to make their positions or angles permanent; the wire will provide the strength of the design's structure while the glue secures the finer points of the shape.