Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Soda Can Butterflies

My studio has emerged from the underground to our outdoor space during the summer. Last week I shared my plastic bag pillow, this week I am showing you my soda can butterflies. Don’t you just love it when you can recycle things that would end up in the landfill? Okay, as HR reminds me, they too will end up in the land fill at some point; but it is still fun to reuse and, if you don’t count the paint and other supplies, it saves money, right?

When I saw soda can butterflies on the internet, I thought “Perfect for the garden fence!”  When I saw how easy it is to cut the aluminum cans and how well they take paint and markers, I became addicted. Let me show you what I mean.

First find some empty soda cans (don’t drink that stuff; it is just chemicals with no nutritional value.) Rinse them (if they are not from your family, I would say wash them well.) Using tin snips to get started make a cut to take off the top. After you get it started, you can switch to a pair of old scissors (I wouldn’t use good scissors for this.) However it works best for you cut away the top and bottom and cut down the can so you will have a sheet of aluminum. See what I mean about it being easy to cut!

Trace around a butterfly image (I got mine from the internet) with a Sharpie; with scissors, cut out the image. To make the embossing work well, put the cut-out on something soft like foam, put image on top of the cut-out; use a blunt pointed instrument (mine was a knitting needle)  trace the lines of the butterfly which will emboss it in the metal. To get good marks, I flipped mine over and traced the embossing marks, flipped it again and retraced the marks on the top side.

Now the fun begins!
Wipe the side you plan to use with rubbing alcohol

On this one, I used the color side of the can, filled the outer edge with a black Sharpie, and called it finished.

On this one I used the blank side of the can, filled it in with a yellow Sharpie and a black Sharpie on
the edge. I love how the yellow looks translucent!

I really like the way the Sharpie looks, but am wondering about alcohol inks and Lumieres . I am on the lookout for tossed soda cans!  Maybe I will fill the fence with butterflies!


  1. I LOVE THIS. And you know how much I love to decorate a fence. Great idea!

  2. This is just the bling I need for my shed

  3. this is very very very cute!!!! i think you need some bees, too!!! (and maybe a bird?)