50 Days of Summer: How to recycle your refreshment tin can

A step by step guide to recycling your beverage tin can into arty and funky jewellery.

Did you know the cool drink tin cans thrown in the dumpster can be used for creating really beautiful eco-friendly jewellery? In fact, there are several different types of jewellery, like fashionable bracelets, unique necklaces, stand out earrings, and trendy key chains to name a few, that can be made using soda cans, plastic bottles, bottle caps, even paper and magazines.

Wondering how this type of unique recycled jewelry is created. Let’s look at a step by step approach to recycling beverage cans.

Step 1: Collecting and rinsing beverage cans

The first step is to collect beverage cans of different sizes and colors. They need to be rinsed properly in water and then dried completely.

Step 2: Cutting of cans

Once the cans are dry, the most crucial step begins. They need to be cut and flattened. Cutting involves opening the cylinder completely and removing the top and bottom of the can. The top and bottom of the can could be used for accentuating the eco-friendly jewellery. The cylinder of the can needs to be flattened so it can be used for integrating designs or cutting out shapes.

Step 3: Cutting of shapes

Cutting to form different shapes is one of the toughest and time consuming aspects. Different types of high precision tools like jewellery pliers, grommet setters, hole punchers, and other equipments are required to give it the desired shape. For example: If a bangle needs to be made from a tin can, then the cylindrical part of the can is required and if a locket needs to be made then any part of the can would be useful.

This process relies completely on hand cutting and it always pays to draw a shape before it can be cut. The popular shapes cut in beverage cans include flower, star, butterflies, heart, leaves and much more.

Step 4: Mixing and matching colours

Mixing and matching colours is the next step. The colour depends solely on the type of jewellery and the design shape. For example: if a butterfly earring is the intended design then a bright mix of colours like blue, green orange would be useful. It will make the design stand out. If a bangle is being created then there are two options – the body of the bangle can be painted in a hue of colors or external colorful shapes can be pasted on the bangle with a contrasting background. Since, the core material is aluminum; it helps in bringing out all pastel and metallic colors.

Step 5: Using accessories

Once the colouring of shapes and body is complete, it is time to use accessories. There is a huge assortment of accessories that can be used to accentuate the final design like beads, frills, mirror glass, coloured stones, plastic, paper, metal objects, etc.

Step 6: Ready to wear

The final step in this handmade process is determining the type clasp or hook or lock that needs to be integrated. Since this is recycled jewellery, the clasp or hook can also be created along with the design. It can vary from something as simple as a hook and eye clasp for earrings to a s-hook clasp for a necklace. The design is now ready to be worn and flaunted!

Photos courtesy:  Cangles

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