Festive Stars made from Recycled Drinks Cans

1st November 2011

I’m preparing for a couple of craft fairs (details coming soon) at the moment and decided to have a go at making some Festive decorations by recycling some drinks cans I’ve been collecting. I found this tutorial the other day and thought I could adapt it to me own needs. So here goes…

What you will need:

– Empty drinks cans
– Scissors
– Craft Knife
– Ball point pen or an embossing tool with a fine point
– Sharp pointy thing – not sure what the name of this tool is!
– Cutting mat
– Metal ruler
– Sticky tape
– Some thick card – I used a cereal box
– A pair of parallel pliers
– Fine sandpaper
– Spray paint and a large box
– Cotton Thread

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Step One

First you need to get a star shape printed onto paper or card and cut out. I used this as a template and just scaled it to the size that I wanted, printed it onto paper and then transferred the shape onto an old cereal box and cut it out.

Step Two

Next you need to cut the tops and bottoms off your drinks can and give the insides a good clean – I used a craft knife to do this as well as scissors – be careful of sharp edges!

Step Three

Put a bit of sticky tape (rolled up) onto the back of your cardboard star and stick this to the silver side of your can and draw around it – I use my sharp pointy tool to do this but you could also do it with a fine permanent marker. You then need to carefully cut out the star. I always cut from the point towards the inside of the star – don’t try and turn your scissors whilst cutting as you will tear the metal.

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Step Four

Silver side up you now need to score lines into the star using either a ball point pen or an embossing tool. It’s best if your pen doesn’t actually work as if you transfer ink to the metal you will have to spend time cleaning it off. Use your ruler to keep your lines straight and press quite firmly.

Step Five

Turn the star over and go over all the small lines from the center to the edge. By doing this you’ll see the shape of the star become more three dimensional.

Step Six

Begin pinching the metal gently and work around the star until the shape is formed. You can reinforce the lines by laying them against the metal ruler and pressing down firmly. I also use my parallel pliers to make the points more distinct.

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Step Seven

Make a small hole in one of the points for the thread – I use my pointy tool for this – then sand the other side down as you’ll get sharp edges.

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Step Eight

If you’ve used a ball point pen with ink, you’ll them have to spend some time with hot water and soap cleaning off the ink from the underside of the star.

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Step Nine

Choose whether you want to keep the starts as they are or spray paint them. I decided to spray mine gold and red as I’ve got loads of cans of spray paint that were donated to me by a friend years ago and I’ve never had a reason to use them before. I just sprayed the tops of the stars. I arranged them inside a large box and took this out to the garden so as not to get overwhelmed by fumes. I left them to dry for several hours and then carefully sanded down the edges of the stars to give them a distressed look.

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Festive Stars made from Soda Cans - A Tutorial from Milomade

Step Ten

Attach your thread and then hang them up wherever you like. I think they’ll look great on a Christmas tree or hanging from a mantelpiece. I think this is a great way to turn rubbish into something really special.

If you don’t want to go to all this bother, then why not come and visit my stall at my craft fairs this year as I’ll be selling the ones that I have made this weekend. I’m still not sure whether to sell them as single decorations or as packs of three as I have no idea how to package them.

Any ideas most welcome…

Also in a quandary as to how to display them for sale… better get my thinking cap on!

56 comments on “Festive Stars made from Recycled Drinks Cans

  1. Christina

    These are so cute! And eco-friendly too! You could even hang them outside to catch the sun!
    I think you’d sell more if you packaged them in threes. You could always tie them all together by their strings with a pretty ribbon… 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Jaime

    Love. LOve. LOVE. My first thought is that they would make a beautiful mobile/wind chime. Best of luck at the craft fair. : )

  3. Milomade

    I agree with you about selling them in threes. I was also considering packs of 5. I love the idea of using ribbon. Going to give it a go.

  4. lisa

    Love these! For display I would buy a tiny christmas tree and hang them from there!

  5. Debbie Emmons

    Love them. Great idea.

  6. lorraine mcfadden

    to display these – how about hanging them from dead tree branches?

  7. Milomade

    That’s a fabulous idea! Thanks!

  8. Deb @ PaperTurtle

    What a cute project and great tutorial! Thanks for sharing this!!!

  9. chelle

    Thank you!! Have a Merry Christmas!

  10. Jennifer

    How about hot gluing two of the stars together….might make the points less pointy and also more 3-dimensional?! It would make these beautiful on both sides. Just a thought…

  11. Milomade

    Nice idea but I think it’d be quite tricky as each star is individual so it’s hard to find two that would match perfectly, plus because of the bending of the metal they don’t always lay totally flat. I’ve made most of mine with the can pattern on the top side, so that when spray painted, I can rub back a bit of the paint and reveal a bit of the pattern – so this means they’re silver on the back, so not so ugly. If you give it a go – let me know the results.

  12. Sarah Jane

    Lovely tutorial! Thank you for sharing!

  13. Bonnie

    Hello! I am a writer for Crafting a Green World and was hoping to feature this project on our site. I tried to contact you through your “Get in Touch” page, but the form claimed I must be spam haha. If you could contact me at your convenience at the email address above so I could give you more details, that would be great! Thank you!

    -Bonnie @ CAGW

  14. Milomade

    Email sent…

  15. Rachael Maricle

    Phenomenal idea that I will be doing today. I am from TX and have these starts all over my house! I believe the “sharp pointy thing” name that was evading you is Exacto (X-Acto) Knife.

  16. Lindsay

    This is brilliant! What an excellent idea, and great tutorial. Thanks!

  17. Milomade

    it’s not a knife – it’s like a builders awl – a pointy thing that you use to make holes in things, but more accurate and precise – I use it to score lines in metal when making jewellery etc

  18. Jennifer Ressmann

    Hi! I love to reuse, too. And, these are really fun. Can you tell me – do you sand the sharp edges a lot? – I always worry someone will get cut. Ha – especially me!

  19. Milomade

    I don’t sand the edges at all. The only sanding I did was for the hole that I made – You could sand the points of the star but to be honest I don’t think it’s necessary. I made hundreds of stars for craft fairs and didn’t cut myself on the metal once.

  20. Milomade

    I just noticed you’re in Colorado – I sent an order from my shop there the other day – what a nice coincidence.

  21. Kristin

    These are so cool, i would prob spray them black first then the color u want so when u rub off some of the top color u see the black underneath instead of the can colors. But very cute idea!!

  22. Jamie B

    Hi, Your handmade metal stars are gorgeous!!! I hope that it is okay, I just finished a soda can crafts round-up and just couldn’t resist featuring your gorgeous soda can stars! They look so good, I would have never guessed they were made using soda cans! Anyway, you can see the soda can crafts my round-up here:


    Thank you again for sharing :0)

  23. Milomade

    Wow – what a fantastic write-up! Thanks for including my project and linking to so many other interesting ones – will have to try some of these out.

  24. Vicki

    Where do you get parallel pliers that you used on the soda can stars? I really want to embellish them and do my Christmas tree in them this year. LOVE YOUR STARS.

  25. Lynn

    I love it. They look great. Great recycling project.

  26. Marie Williams

    I love these. I am planning to make them. I want to see how they will look with two attached together so both sides look the same.

  27. Milomade

    Let me know how you get on. If love to see the results.

  28. denni

    I have many of the large type of stars that I have purchased to use in the decorating of my two little boys room. I wanted small stars but I could not find any in the sizes I wanted. I seen these and I went to town making many different sizes. I took the tab top off of the can then used some great epoxy glue to attach them to the backs of the cans. I also painted some glow in the dark paint on all the different sizes. Now the kiddos room really looks like outer space moving all over the walls and some of the smaller stars are hanging from the ceiling. I loved the fact that I didn’t have to put out a lot of extra money to make the room of their little boy dreams.

  29. Credence

    A good way to sell anything is by making people want to save money! So a good starting point is an idea like 2 for 3 dollars 3 for 5 dollars or 5 for 10 dollars! Plus that’s a pretty good deal on beautiful handcrafted decorations!

  30. Melinda

    Love the stars. I’ve been looking for unique projects to make and really think these look nice!

  31. Kathy

    I was just wondering (as I am anxious to try these myself) if you used sandpaper on the labeled side of the pop can, if it would remove the paint? I know that it would mar up the aluminum but if you did it in different motions (swirls, back and forth, etc.) it could make a really neat texture to the front if you wanted to keep them silver. I’ll give this a try and see how it turns out, but just wanted to share my thoughts……Love the stars and can’t wait to make some.

  32. Sheila L

    I am thinking of making these and drilling a hole in the center of the star and getting a set of Christmas mini lights and poking one light in each star!! I may have to hot glue the star to the lights. But I don’t think so! I think that would look so awesome especially if they were painted gold or silver with a light dusting of glitter!!! What do you all think??

  33. Milomade

    I think it’s a super idea – make sure you post a link to your finished item when it’s done!

  34. Milomade

    I think it might look cool to texture the metal using sandpaper – I’ve not tried it myself as I just use the sandpaper to get rid of the pointy edges – you might end up with swirls scratchy patterns with remnants of the original can designs showing through which I think would look lovely and shabby chic. If you try this, will you post up some photo’s and send me a link as I’d love to see how they turn out!

  35. Midge12

    I love this idea, so cute. But I can’t keep my cans from splitting and coming apart. Any tips?

  36. Milomade

    You must be pressing too hard with your ball point pen, or your pen has a very fine point and that makes it sharper and so the metal splits more easily. I’ve made hundreds of these stars now a not had one split yet! You don’t have to press very hard to score the metal. Try again and just go gently.

  37. Angela

    Wow! You make it look so easy! I’d love t o try it!
    Thanks for the great tutorial! 🙂

  38. Tara

    very cute!
    These would also be nice decor for independence day 4th of July RED WHITE andBLUE. Can also see these as rustic decor for beach theme. AQUA , WHITE, TAN.
    Thanks. I am going to give these a try.

  39. Milomade

    Hi there – Thanks for the ideas. The majority of visitors to my blog are from America and so I’m always looking for input/insight like this as the 4th July is not a holiday we celebrate in Scotland. Will put it in my diary and add a note to find out more…

  40. april lucas

    I just found your website and love the stars. I posted your link to your page on my blog so my friends can try it out. Thanks for a great idea.
    Take care,

  41. Milomade

    Hi April – hope you and your friends have lots of fun trying out this tutorial – hope you post up piccies for all to see!

  42. Alice

    Thank you so much for being unselfish to share how you make the bautiful stars. I have wanted some but did not want to turn the money lose for them. I saw another sight for them and she wanted $10.00 to download instructions. Thanks a million. will start on mine tomorrow.

  43. Milomade

    I love to recycle and if I can encourage as many people as possible to follow in my footsteps to turn their trash into the treasure, that’ll make the world a better place. I don’t share all my secrets, but I’m glad I’ve shared this tutorial as so many people love it and I’ve had so much positive feedback. There is the added bonus in that in you don’t fancy doing the fiddly, time consuming work yourself, you can hop on over to my shop online or visit my studio and buy some already made. Let me know how you get one and if you post images on your blog, share a link!

  44. Kudzu

    thank you for sharing! my daughter drinks lots of canned drinks, lol, i’ll have to try this out >3

  45. Larry

    I am amazed as what people can come up with for ideas. I was at a craft show this past fall and there was a lady there that made butterflies out of Plastic soda bottles. She cut them out and they have a natural curve. Then she paints them and they are adorable.

    As for the sharp thing that you have been using is called an “awl”. I am sure that most craft shops carry them but if not I know that Menards, Loews, Home Depot or any hardware store should be able to help you.

    Thanks for sharing.

  46. andrea

    Cool idea, thanks for sharing!

  47. Phyllis

    The sharp pointy thing you refer to is a type of mechanics pick there are actually 4 different shapes of the one looks just like a dental pick

  48. kaye

    Just getting into crafts with a group of self minded irish ladies.I do a lot of cut paper work and have started to make woven paper clutch bags some of which I have sold.
    Keep up the good work

  49. Naomi

    These are beautiful. I want to try making them. I have a question, though– are the edges sharp? Thanks.

  50. Milomade

    They are, but I don’t think I’ve ever cut myself whilst making these stars. You just have to be careful. Look out for a new tutorial coming out in December on my blog that’ll show you how to make 3D stars from cardboard.

  51. Mary Barber

    Can’t wait to start making some of these. I will spray them to look like rust.

  52. W. Harris - Recycling For Money Expert

    OMG, you are so creative. I absolutely adore the stars, they are so colourful ! This looks like a very enjoyable experience which I can have with my son. I believe the 10 steps will be easy to follow and have already picked the perfect place for the decoration.

  53. Marianne

    These are awesome! I’ve tried it myself, but they tear apart… What am I doing wrong?

  54. Milomade

    You’re probably pushing too hard when you’re scoring your lines and folding too hard. You have to be gentle for it to work.

  55. Freda

    “Windswept, Cliff side studio in Scotland”
    That sounds heavenly.
    And the stars are wonderful!

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Evie Milo t/a Milomade :: All Rights Reserved