Monday, 1 March 2010

Tin Can Stars Tutorial

Ever since I blogged about my tin-can-star mural in June 2009 I promised to do a tutorial. I kept on putting it off because I haven't done any tutorials before and the whole idea seemed a bit overwhelming.
Not any more! Here it is at last:

This tutorial shows you how to make the stars. You can then use the stars to make anything you want from mobiles to Christmas decorations.

You will need:

Empty soft drink cans
Utility/kitchen scissors
Star template (download and print)
Permanent marker
Sharp object. I used an awl, but a thick needle or nail will also work
Flat nose pliers

Step 1:
Cut the can open.
Start by forcing the one edge of the scissors into the can near the top rim and away from the logo. Cut all around.

Cut from top to bottom. Make sure you keep the logo intact by cutting on the bar-code side of the can.

Cut off the bottom.

This is what you have now:

You can now clean the inside of the can to make sure your work surface and hands don't end up all sticky.

Step 2:
Trace the template onto the can with the permanent marker.

Make sure you place the template over the logo and in such a way that you can fit two stars onto each can.

Step 3:
Cut out the stars.

Step 4:
Score the stars.
With the logo side facing up, line the ruler between two opposing internal corners. Use your sharp tool to mark a straight line. Make sure you don't cut right through the metal. Repeat with the other internal corners.

Flip the star over. With the logo side facing down, line the ruler between two opposing sharp points. Score as before. Repeat with the other sharp points.

Step 5:
Hold the star between your fingers and fold on the lines.

Repeat the folding along all the lines.

Use your sharp tool to sharpen the corners and edges.

Step 6:
With your flat nose pliers pinch the sharp points of the star to flatten them and to bend them slightly upwards.

Step 7:
Hold the star down on the work surface and push a hole through the flat ends with your sharp tool. You can put a cutting board or cork tile underneath.

That's it!

If you want the metal side of the star to be on top you have to change the scoring around. The shorter lines (between internal corners) on the metal side and the longer lines (between the sharp points) on the coloured side.


Strikkelise said...

What a great tutorial! Thanks. I left a stupid comment on you original post not realising there was a tutorial yet. (found you via Whipup)

folksmith said...

those are so cute! thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I just love this idea!! thanks for sharing your template with us.

Sharon said...

Thanks for sharing your tutorial - YOU are a star!

Rachell said...

I think these are so neat, thinking of doing some with beer cans and making a garland for my basement bar room, maybe I will put it up with some little Christmas lights.

ChezChani said...

I love this! The only bad thing is now I'll have to drink sodas.

Ansie said...

Hi ChezChani

I am glad you love it. You don't have to drink the sodas. Just ask your local bar or restaurant to save the empties for you. That's what I did.

Diane @ InMyOwnStyle said...

I love finding ways to re-use and re-cycle. This is a great idea and tutorial. I found you from One Pretty Thing.

Melinda said...

That is really cool. I like it. :)

Christie said...

That is so cool. I want to do this with our 6th grade class. :)

sita said...

thanks a lot for the tutorial. You're great!

Fátima said...

Great tutorial. Thanks a lot for share it! I'll try it as soon as I have a good number of cans...

Susan Crabtree said...

these are AWESOME!!

ChezChani said...

The bars and restaurants use guns here mostly. I will start looking for soda drinkers now.

Banaghaisge said...

And I posted your link to all the groups I am on so you may get an influx! Thank you again for such a clever idea.
Can I swap some Arabic cans for Aussie ones? Not that they are going to be too different, being in English as well...
However, can hunt out some Passiona cans!

katie said...

yes - i posted on the original via whip up - and now you have posted the tutorial - thank you - I admire your patience!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I , too, would like to get Arabic and Israeli soda cans and use them together as part of my Channukah display. Thanks for the tutorial!

Lu said...

Que idéia linda!!!!
Obrigada pelo tutorial...faço bolsas com os lacres, mas não aproveitava as latinhas...

MARIBEL said...

Hermoso, Gracias por compartir

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elisabete said...

lindas suas estrelas e o seu passo a passo

katia said...

Que coisa mais linda , vou postar em meu blog ok bjuss !!

FedericcaSu said...


vou fazer também,obrigada por mostrar a todos.

deus abençoe kharin

Anonymous said...

i dont spik english

Daisy said...

This is a really neat idea! I love the idea of recycling and living green. This project fits right in with that way of living. Your whole blog is great.

Sandra - Brasil said...

Adorei !!! Sou brasileira , professora de Artes e amo artesanato!
Grande abraço.Meu email: