Can-Do Recycled Necklace

Fifty percent of all cans are not recycled, which leaves plenty available for crafts, such as this pendant, fashioned from an Arizona iced tea can.

What you'll need:

  • Work gloves
  • Tin snips
  • Aluminum can
  • Ruler
  • Black permanent marker
  • Sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Spray adhesive
  • Balsa wood or basswood, 1/8 inch thick
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Wood stir stick
  • Plastic container
  • Resin and hardener (We used EnviroTex Lite.)
  • Two bamboo skewers
  • Small paintbrush
  • Bowl
  • Drill and 1/16-inch drill bit
  • 1 jump ring

See the RUBBISH! Reuse Your Refuse book for more projects like this.

  1. Wearing protective gloves, use tin snips to cut the top and bottom ends off the can so you are left with an aluminum cylinder. Cut the cylinder in a straight line lengthwise and unfurl it, resulting in a rectangle. Flatten the aluminum by gently working it with your hands. Tap down the edges of the aluminum, with a hammer, on a flat surface; this will help to keep it straight.
  2. Determine which part of the can you want to use for your pendant. Use the ruler and the permanent marker to mark that portion; cut it out with tin snips, ensuring that it is flat. Use sandpaper to rough up the back of the aluminum piece.
  3. Spray adhesive on the back of the aluminum piece and the sheet of balsa wood or basswood. Adhere the aluminum to the wood and smooth it out. (You may need to wait a moment for the spray adhesive to become tacky; see the adhesive's instructions for details.)
  4. Using heavy-duty scissors, carefully cut the wood around the aluminum piece. Work slowly to prevent the wood from splitting along the grain. Using the sandpaper, dull the sharp corners and smooth the sides of the pendant. With the black permanent marker, color the sides and back of the wood for a more finished look.
  5. In a well-ventilated area, use a wood stir stick to mix the resin and hardener in a small plastic container. (Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to ensure the resin will harden properly.) You need just enough to cover the top and sides of the pendant.
  6. Place two bamboo skewers parallel on a level, protected surface, and lay the pendant on the skewers. (This will prevent the pendant from sticking to the work surface.) Using a small paintbrush, apply a thin layer of the resin/hardener compound to the edges of the pendant. (Using too much resin will create drips and cause the pendant to stick to the skewers.) Use the stir stick to evenly spread the resin on the top of the pendant. Gently exhale on the surface of the pendant to help eliminate bubbles in the resin. Cover the pendant with a bowl to prevent dust particles from settling on the resin and allow it to dry. (This usually takes three days.)
  7. After the top of the pendant has dried, flip the pendant over and repeat the process to cover the bottom.
  8. After the bottom of the pendant has dried, drill a hole close to the pendant's top edge. Feed a jump ring through the hole you drilled and attach the pendant to the chain or cord of your choice.

See the RUBBISH! Reuse Your Refuse book for more projects like this.


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