In this fun tutorial we are going to recycle some of those soda pop cans! If you love those pretty metallic looking aluminum spinners you’ve seen at garden supply stores you will love this. Here is the one I made around 2021 or so….using LaCroix water cans (I thought they were pretty looking)
All you need is a couple of cans just like those, and a few other tools, and you can have a pretty, shiny version that will dance in the breeze at a fraction of the cost.
For this tutorial I will be using 2 8-oz V8 cans. I washed them out real good with dish soap and rinsed as V8, being a veggie juice, leaves some residue behind, to be sure.
For this you’ll need two 8-oz soda cans
Pair of pliers
Sturdy thick gauge wire (18-20 gauge can work well)
Optional – Assorted beads
After they were washed out …you know how cans made of aluminum tend to be very crinkly when empty, since we’re going to be altering. Them there’s a hack I learned of that makes this easier. I also used this tactic in another art project and it made it a lot easier.
Take both cans and fill them halfway with water and put them in the freezer for awhile (several hours will do) They don’t have to be frozen solid, but it needs to be less than full since it will expand as it freezes.
After this happens use your xcto knife and start at the top and carefully cut off the ringed part where the pull tab is. May be best to do this over a sink. I wore gloves because they were cold, obviously. You may get all the way around except for one half inch (as I did) in which case a pair of sharp craft scissors were useful in removing the last remaining side. I let the m thaw at this point and left them in the sink to do so.
Now you’ll need a measuring tape, the actual diameter circumference of the can is almost 8.5 ” Use your tape to mark off incremental measurements all around the cans. It does not have to be perfect and the exact number you’ll have may vary.
Use a Sharpie pen (preferably a fine tip one -they’ll be more precise) to mark the incremental lines, you can easily use some rubbing alcohol to wipe off the marks afterward.If you make the marks all half an inch you;ll probably end up with 16 marks. Be sure and make marks from top to bottom too.
For the first one I used tape of a sheet of paper, I had a total of 17 .Use your scissors and cut along the lines (carefully, the sides will be a little sharp.) so you will end up with a number of spokes like a wheel. Bend them back slightly.
Next -you can use an awl for this, I prefer my cordless drill, make a small hole in the center of each can end.
Be sure you measure each can correctly, if any of them have slightly uneven thicknesses it’s no big deal but make sure each can has the same number of spokes when you finish. The tricky part – Take your pliers and bend the end of each spoke down a little. (picture 1) do this with each spoke. 2. Take each can and one spoke and line it up with another spoke from the other can and slide them together. they will look hinged together.
Next (3) use the pliers to bend the corner and crimp the end so they will not come loose. Repeat this with all spokes and their counterparts, lining up the spokes from one can with the other can spokes..
This is what you;ll end up with….I use d some bling in the wire, so it would show in the middle, too, you don’t have to do that like I did, unless you really want to. Use your wire to thread through your final design.
A crimp bead can also work well for this purpose, to keep the finished design together firmly.
For the end of the wire, you can use colorful decorative beads to adorn the end, twist the end over so the beads will not fall off.
Take the top end and twist it so it can double as a hanger. You are all set now. Hang out in your garden or back porch patio and see how cool it looks!
Wait for a breeze, but it will look good either way. I’ve heard that anything metallic looking will repel birds. I kinda hope not, cuz I love songbirds. I offer them seed so my backyard is very bird hospitable.
If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may also enjoy my other windspinner how-to’s as well!