How to Make Recycled Soda Pop Can Bracelets & Jewelry

by heather

Recycled Bracelets

Recycled Bracelets

Now that winter has settled itself over most of the country, you might be looking for some cool at-home projects to pass the time. Or, you might be looking for some easy homemade holiday gifts.

Well, these recycled soda pop can bracelets fit both of these bills.

My friend Ronin (who runs an awesome blog all about shipping container homes) sent me this idea over the weekend. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to share it with all of you. I haven’t tried to make them yet, but you can bet it’s on my “to-do” list this week.

My Best Guess For Making These Recycled Bracelets

Ok, bear with me here. I don’t have exact “instructions” for making these cool recycled soda can bracelets. But, Ronin did share some useful tips for making them, so here goes!

First, soda cans can be cut easily with scissors but the edges are sharp, so be careful!

Rolling the Edges…

There are several different ways to deal with the sharp edges once you have the basic shape cut out.

  • The most basic thing to do is simply roll them inward. Again, I haven’t made these yet so I don’t know how hard this is. But aluminum is pretty pliable so I don’t think it’d be that difficult.
  • You can buy heat shrink tubing at most craft supply stores. These come in a variety of colors and, once heat is applies, will shrink on the edges. This would not only protect your skin but also give the bracelet a cool effect if you picked a contrasting color.
  • You can also buy thin  rubber tubing to handle the edges. Simply cut a slit in the tubing and carefully slide it down both sides of the bracelets. A few drops of superglue along the way will keep it in place.

Options…

These bracelets would make great gifts once you get the hang of making them. And with all the cool cans out right now, this would be a great way to recycle/repurpose some of them!

Think of those cool Arizona green tea cans, with the cherry blossoms! That’s definitely the one I’m trying first.

If you decide to roll the edges inward you could also play around with kinking the metal. I Googled “recycled soda can bracelets” and found some stores that had done this (theirs, of course, were selling for $39!). Anyway, the effect was really cool looking.

Last Word…

I’ll definitely upload some pictures as soon as I get my first bracelets made. Have any of you ever done anything like this? If so, do you have any tips or design ideas to share? I’d love to hear them!

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Surviving and thriving on pennies November 16, 2009 at 10:28 pm

What a great idea. This will be a great gift to give to anyone.

suzanne February 6, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Hi I was wondering if you could tell me how to make one of these really cute bracelets, I am wondering how you get the edges like that ? that would be wonderful…. thanks…..

heather February 8, 2010 at 9:43 am

Suzanne, My husband actually made one this weekend. He wrapped the edges around a metal coat hanger and then pressed down with needle nose pliers. It wasn’t easy the first time, but I imagine if you did a few you’d get the hang of it. He used a Mountain Dew can, (one of the new ones made with real sugar, with the hillbilly on the front) and it turned out really cool! Good luck, and please let me know how it goes!

Elise November 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Hi! This looks great. How would I use the het shrink tubing? How do I apply heat once i put it on the bracelet?
THANKS!

jessica November 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Also check out http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Bracelet-out-of-a-Pop-Can on help cutting the cans and some of what their trying to explain above.

jessica December 12, 2010 at 6:45 pm

can you put up better directions?

Brittain January 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Yes, I am still confused on what the silver edge is made out of. Is it the can or an additional medium used to create the effect?

ALSO, I created a practice bracelet and it was super flimsy. How do you make it MORE STURDY and less flexible?

Thanks, I really love these!

lilly April 11, 2011 at 9:42 pm

To make them more comfy i put colored duct tape on the back and edges.

Hallie July 1, 2011 at 9:16 am

they look really awesome! I tried making one the past night though and it was very difficult. Here are some things I recommend when making one:
1. The aluminum is extremely sharp so wear gloves when cutting it.
2. I had made mine to wide so i would recommend making it 1 inch to 1 1/4 of an inch wide
3.deffinitly use the hanger like how heather said
4. the shrink tubing is also sounds like a really good idea to …even though i have not tried that yet…..mine keeps poking me.

I hope this helps….ask if u have any questions

Pbthhh July 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

In the picture those bracelets are silver or some other type of harder metal making it sturdier so just rolling the popcan would still be flimsy so I’m trying ways of making it sturdier for my own bracelet 😀

Brittain July 11, 2011 at 2:37 am

Hi all, still looking for a way to make these sturdy. Just the can alone does NOT work. It’s too thin, too flexible, won’t form fit to the wrist.

Thoughts on how to do this?

sophie September 29, 2011 at 11:56 am

You might want to try sheets of craft metal to help with the flimsyness or solder/wrap craft wire around/into the edges to help with shaping, and band of leather, felt or fabric can make it more comfortable.

Jennifer October 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I have made several since seeing this website. They are simple to make, however they do not come out as smooth as the picture shows. You have to bend the aluminum to shape it to fit your wrist and it ends up with a creased or crumpled appearance. If anyone knows how to do it and get the smooth look in the picture I would love to hear about it. I hole punched the 2 ends and tied the bracelet together with ribbon. This holds it on my wrist and helps it to keep its shape. Aluminum is flimsy and easy to mold, but easy to tear and lose its shape. The ribbon helps the bracelet to hold its shape and stay on.

Kelli November 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

If you really look at the photo you will notice, the soda can is actually an inlay. The cuff is made out of a sturdy metal and has been pre-shaped. The can is just cut and affixed to the inside of the cuff. That is why you are having such difficulties making a more rigid bracelet.

Barb November 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Yes. I agree with Kelli. As soon as I saw the picture I noticed that the bracelets were not just made from the can. Super cool idea. And they look great. But seem a bit difficult to do.

Teresa November 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm

wondering if you can either rivet or even glue the cut out can to an inexpensive strip of aluminum or nickel silver cut in the same shape… I have some bracelet bending pliars, I have never used cans but they help shape copper, etc without folding or creasing… this is on my to do list to try!

Jennifer Martin November 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm

What about buying cheap bangle bracelets at a garage sale or thrift store and shaping the soda can around the bracelet? Then it would be sturdy and shaped correctly.

Jodie December 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

When I really look at the picture of the bracelets here, it looks to me like they were made of some sort of sheet metal first and the tin cans were cut and placed inside the rolled edges. I think that’s why they’re so sturdy and smooth

Jodie December 6, 2011 at 11:05 am

Just noticed kelli saw the same……..and I totally agree!

Janie December 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I think the inlay part is another can like water chestnuts come in.

Sheila December 10, 2011 at 8:28 am

attach the aluminum to “slap bracelet” and that should help keep the shape. I have not tried to make this at all but i did use slap bracelets to attach flowers to for the mothers for wrist corsages in a wedding. Worked great.

April January 3, 2012 at 8:12 am

I bet you could solder the edges. That’s what I will try.

Stephanie Howerton January 5, 2012 at 10:41 am

These are so coooooool! I want to make one right away!

Jenn January 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Already made two of those! the first one came out… ooooookaay
but the second one I made it kind of like a ring? but it was too big for my
finger 🙁 hahaha, got a lot of tiny scratches on the tip of my fingers
but oooooh well 🙂

Johana February 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm

The silver inside was rolled upward, and then folded under. By the thickness I believe two cans were used(which would make it much sturdier. My mom and I used to make these… 😀

Monica February 20, 2012 at 8:24 am

The ones pictured are definitely not made cheaply (or atleast any way I could do it!) Here’s my tutorial of how I have been making them! http://arizona.todaysmama.com/2012/02/coke-can-bracelet/

Elsa Cox April 13, 2012 at 4:02 am

I think it’s wire rolled wrapped and rolled on the edges.
This should also help it keep it’s shape.

Mary O'Loughlin April 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I’ve done several things with soda cans and I found these great sissors at the local hardware store . The edge of the sissors is slightly textured and when it cuts the can there is no sharp edge , it’s as if it’s already been sanded. The sissors were not very expensive , I believe under $10 . With these there is no need to do anything to the edge unless you want something decrative. I do not know what the original use of the sissors is for. Have fun

Honey May 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I made these and “folded” the edges over a thin ruler 2 times to get a smooth edge. I also added a rivet to each end and put a magnetic clasp to keep it on. It worked out nicely.

Susan May 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I’m wondering if you could use a Pampered Chef can opener on the edges – it leaves can edges turned under and no shape edges…just a thought….

maggie May 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I appologise in advance for typeing my concerns….but PVC is cancer causeing

Belinda July 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I made these using flashing. I cut the flashing larger than the can and folded over the edges. You can use two sided tape to hold the can in place while folding over the edges of the flashing. I then took PVC and shaped the cuff to the size and shape I wanted.

Kendra August 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm

these bracelets in the pic are a super cute but def not an easy diy project the way they did it, i will be experimenting with hot gluing lace to the edges and soldering a support to the inside of the bracelet, it all goes well it will be in my etsy shop 🙂 etsy.com/shop/RaLaCe feel free to ask for tutorials <3

katie November 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm

to dull edges use a sanding block & sandpaper.

Creative Maniacs December 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I am posting a link to your website on my FB page Creative Maniacs. I also craft and thought these bracelets were cool. Thanks for sharing . Creative Maniacs @ FB

jojobones July 3, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Yes – it’s very clear from the pictures that the quality of these bracelets is more than just a cut up can with a turned up edge. These are silver bracelet blanks with a lip and the soda can was cut and inlaid.

Kaysha August 4, 2015 at 6:40 pm

I have not tried this yet but try using cookie cutters. Go to this site
http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/47-unexpected-things-to-do-with-cookie-cutters
Just cut the can to fit in here and glue it in place.

Kaysha August 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Scroll down to #41 when you go to that link.

Sneha Gupta June 25, 2016 at 12:48 am

Thanks for sharing your ideas, it is very nice piece of information. I will surely try this at home. Without wasting or throwing out the aluminum cans it can be used in different ways as you have mention one of it. It can be the good source of gifts to my friends.

Patricia Perez-Hinojosa August 5, 2016 at 6:17 am

The one who made this ones should be a genius. I’ve tried to make one for my blog tutorial and… Well. Not that cute! Quite messy in fact hahaha but nice to try. Hope next time will be better. I’ll try the hanger thing. Thanks for the inspiración

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