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What to Do With Your Old Soda Cans

I love everything weird and colorful in this world and I try to live a life that will make the world a little better once I'm gone.


Don't let your aluminum cans go to waste

What can you do with your used soda cans? pop cans? beer cans? What are your choices? Think your have two options: trash it or recycle it? I assure you, there are many more options than that. People worldwide are using aluminum cans in creative and amazing ways. Find out how to release the potential that lies within a used soda can.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle. With aluminum cans too RECYCLE is too often limited to cans with a deposit, and REUSE is forgotten altogether.

Make a Christmas Tree - Mountain Dew Christmas Tree

Mountain Dew with its green and red colors, are perfect for a Christmas Tree. Check out this amazing Mountain Dew Tree, which has its own myspace page. Standing at six feet tall, it is comprised of about 400 Mountain Dew Cans, and one 2 liter bottle.

Run Your Car on Hydrogen

Okay, so not really practical, and not a project for the average person. But, hey, if you are the science experiment type, then give it a whirl.

What do you do?

Soda Can Tab Chainmail Armor

Soda Can Tab Chainmail Armor

Make a Suit of Chainmail Armor

Using a couple hundred soda can tabs and some wire, you can make for yourself a custom fit suit of chainmail.

This will be perfect for the next Renaissance Festival, or any a role-paying event. Make a suit for Halloween!

How To Make a Soda can Tab Chainmail

Soda Can Crafts

Soda Can Crafts

Project Ideas

Aluminum Can Craft Ideas

This site has some of the most amazing aluminum can projects that are within the range of possibility for most crafters. Included in three e-books are step-by-step directions on making hundreds of wreaths, ornaments, centerpieces, floral arrangements, handbags, baskets, wall art, and more.

Several samples projects are provided for free on the site such as Easter Lilies, Fireworks, and Star Ornament, among others.

Aluminous Publishing's Aluminum Can Craft E-books
Recycle aluminum soda beverage cans to wreaths, baskets, Christmas ornaments, wall hangings, pull-tabs purses with full-size patterns, pictures and instructions. Download, recycle and create.

Make a Soda Can Hat - Knit an aluminum can hat

Learn to make your own aluminum can hat from the Tin Can Alley. They have a tutorial for two styles of hats, a bag and a tissue cozy! Apparently there is a long tradition of this handicraft.

Another pattern is available at

If you are not one to crochet, then you may want to pick up one of these hats:

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Aluminum Can Fact:

You can make 20 recycled aluminum cans with the energy it takes to make one new aluminum can from bauxite ore.(Community Recycling, Belington, Washington)

Cover Your House with Aluminum (Can) Siding - A new whole new take on aluminum siding


Architect Richard Van Os Keuls, a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, has put up new aluminum siding on his house. Well, the siding is new, the aluminum is not. In fact, it's not really "siding", it actually covered in aluminum can shingles...flattened beer and soda cans laid over each other, covering the exterior of his house.

Make a Pop Can Stove - A backpacker's handy burner

Build your own stove with just two soda cans and a few common tools. Being lightweight and cheap, this is a great item for backpackers and campers.

Learn more about the stove at this lens: Pepsi Can Stove. Graphics showing the physics of these is available at wikipedia.

Other Soda Can Ideas

  • Soda Can Mini Golf - remove the lid from a soda can, and cut a few 1/2 inch lines vertically going around the top, fold them back (so it is not sharp). Next go out in the back yard and dig holes to fit the cans. You have a mini golf course ready to play!

Other Pop Can Ideas


Make a Shark


Despite the fact that the deposit system used in some states includes only carbonated drinks, and therefore excludes canned lemonade, iced tea, bottled water, etc., do you think that the system of paying a deposit is appropriate.

Pop Top Purse or Belt

Novica connects artists worldwide this shoppers equally as worldwide on eBay. Through Novica, Neide Ambrosio has the outlet to sell these amazing and hot handbags made with soda pop tops. Amazing!


Aluminum Can Fact:

An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now.

A recycled aluminum can be made into a new aluminum can in as little as 60 days, and then be recycled again over and over.

A nickel may not mean very much to you, but it means a lot to some.

Many local boy scout troops collect soda cans for fund raising.


Donate your aluminum cans to Habitat for Humanity:

Make an Airplane


Make 'Em Dance

Become a better videographer by directing your very own soda can stop motion animation. Very Sesame Street; very cool.

More Ideas


Recycle - Recycle Recycle Recycle

If you don't think that any of these projects are for you, or that you simply won't get to them, then the very least you can do is recycle your cans. Whether your state has a deposit system or not, recycling aluminum cans may be more important than you realized.

These are just a few reason why you should recycle your cans:

  1. The mining, processing, and manufacturing necessary to produce aluminum cans are responsible for large quantities of toxic solid wastes, the widespread destruction of wildlife habitat, and the displacement hundreds of thousands of indigenous people around the world. (Container Recycling Institute, 2002)
  2. The energy needed to replace all the aluminum cans wasted each year is equivalent to 16 million barrels of oil-enough to keep a million American cars on the road for a year. (Container Recycling Institute, 2001)
  3. A recycled six-pack of aluminum cans could save enough energy to drive a car five miles. One can equals the amount of energy a can half-full of gasoline would produce. (San Diego County Office of Education 1991. RAYS - Recycle and You Save.)
  4. Aluminum cans comprise only 1.4% of a ton of garbage by weight, but they account for 14.1% of the greenhouse gas impacts of replacing an average ton of garbage with new products made from virgin materials. (Container Recycling Institute, 2001)

Please let us know what you are up to with your aluminum cans. Do you know any interesting or amazing projects that we haven't yet discovered?


Ammon Beardmore on February 23, 2015:

The Chain mail looks great. I imagine it would be quite light also.

US-Massage-Therapy on July 14, 2014:

Wow! We used to crush them horizontally so they grabbed our shoes and would dance around in a tap-show manner. :)

Marcel White on February 12, 2014:

Some great ideas, no doubt. But I'm not skilled enough to reuse so I must keep on reducing and recycling.

r_anand on February 06, 2014:

very good post about reuse of soda cans

ColettaTeske on January 19, 2014:

This is a great list of ideas!

VioletteRose LM on January 09, 2014:

Great ideas to use the soda cans!

Tom Christen from Switzerland/Ecuador on November 04, 2013:

very nice and interesting lens! Great job! Thank you for sharing.

KathyZ1 on October 22, 2013:

Nice lens

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on September 10, 2013:

Interesting ideas to use old soda cans. Great lens!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on September 05, 2013:

I recycle mine but after reading your lens I may start turning them into cute sharks and airplanes.

anonymous on September 04, 2013:

Can not find instructions for Lotus Tealight made from an Iced Tea Can when clicking the link from your page.

jura on September 03, 2013:

I do recycle my sofa cans bit I see some great ideas on this lens .

Anja Toetenel from The Hague, the Netherlands on August 21, 2013:

Those are really great ideas, Kab! Such an inspiration. In the Netherland cans are not recycled so you gave me some lovely alternatives. Thank you!

sierradawn lm on August 20, 2013:

So fascinating! Now I want to go make lots of the stuff you featured here. They are all so clever and beautiful. This Lens is A+++++!!! In California recycling is the law so everyone has to do it.

steadytracker lm on August 19, 2013:

My grandpa used to make the airplanes out of them. Of course that was before Michigan started their $0.10 per can deposit program. A great lens. Thank you for sharing it.

mina009 on July 17, 2013:

Very interesting and creative lens!

Klinetka on June 26, 2013:

I always recycle cans - I think we should all do so

shana273 on June 11, 2013:

Great lens! I have always recycled cans, but now I learned how to reuse soda cans.

anonymous on May 07, 2013:

Love the siding on the house!

bender2003 on May 04, 2013:

I need a Mithril made from soda can tabs !

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on April 16, 2013:

I would like to make an airplane I saw at a street fair out of recycled cans.

Jordan on April 12, 2013:

This is one of the coolest lens i think i have seen!

Fridayonmymind LM on April 05, 2013:

Some amazing ideas. It takes some creative people to come up with these sorts of ideas.

anonymous on April 01, 2013:

awesome lens, I think that recycling cans is good for the environment

geosum on March 30, 2013:

Very interesting. And I just put mine in the recycle bin and miss out on all the fun.

DuaneJ on March 28, 2013:

Very useful resource. Thanks!

anonymous on March 26, 2013:

I would have never known about these other BRILLIANT uses for aluminum cans had I not stopped by here! I am definitely going to try making some of great things with my soda cans.

(Love the airplane and the shark) and the purses...and the armor much of it!

TapIn2U on March 22, 2013:

Amazing! I never thought I could save used cans and recycle it. Great ideas! Sundae ;-)

Meyani on March 20, 2013:

nice advise, learn something new from you related to soda cans

LorLinda from Denver Colorado on March 18, 2013:

very interesting lens learned a lot never even considered all this that you shared thanks for sharing it.

Kerry Voronoff from Sydney, Australia on March 18, 2013:

Definitely bookmarking this one. My son would love to make that airplane! Although soda cans will have to do.

AnimalHouse on March 15, 2013:

Wow! there are a lot of things to do with your soda cans! I find the pop top purse or belt to be really nice. :) Great lens!

katiecolette on March 11, 2013:

I really like the idea of using soda can tabs to make a suit of Armor. Since we rarely drink soda, it would take us forever to collect that many tabs :)

InfoCoop on March 05, 2013:

Love this lens! Especially like the aluminum can siding. I'm submitting this as my Quest today for a "green" lens

DebW07 on March 04, 2013:

You've got plenty of great ideas for aluminum cans; my two favorites are the Christmas tree and the shark. I enjoyed this very much!

PinkstonePictures from Miami Beach, FL on March 04, 2013:

Recycling is the way to go

debra-cornelius on March 04, 2013:

Great lens! We recycle cans but some of these ideas are very amazing!

TopReviews2u on February 19, 2013:

Great lens for ideas on recycling. Love the pop top purse and belts made from soda pop tops.

miaponzo on February 15, 2013:

Wow! Who knew that so much cool stuff could be made out of soda cans!!!

ChroniclesofaWa on February 10, 2013:

I didn't know you could recycle your cans in so many ways. :)

anitabreeze on February 04, 2013:

This is very cool. I have seen the airplanes before, but that's about it.

kerryhrabstock on February 01, 2013:

My old friend Darryl used them as "wallpaper." That is, he lined all his walls, top to bottom and side to side with cans. He was a professional baseball player and most of those cans were beer cans, but it was impressive nonetheless. Wonder what ever happened to him.

miller83 on January 30, 2013:

Love the lens.

Random thoughts2 on January 24, 2013:

Now that is called a true creativity.

Liked your lens and you are welcome to visit my lens.

clothing4boys on January 15, 2013:

Oh my! What an amazing Reuse& Recycle craft lens. Absolutely fabulous!

Terry from Spain on January 15, 2013:

I'm big into recycling whatever I can and you have some great ideas here that I'll use. Thanks!

HappyAlison on January 02, 2013:

How creative! Nice lens.

Takkhis on December 29, 2012:

Great idea!

Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on December 28, 2012:

Lots of good creative ideas here! I liked the aluminum can siding the best.

ZenSquid on December 24, 2012:

Very interesting lens!

Jo-Jackson on December 21, 2012:

Very creative ideas. Much more fun than putting them in the recycling.

James1978 on December 18, 2012:

We don't really any choice here in the UK. Virtually every single item has to be recycled nowadays.

Ajeet on December 17, 2012:

It all gets down to "recycle recycle recycle!"

TedWritesStuff on December 16, 2012:

Genius.. with a little 'can do'...

kabbalah lm on December 16, 2012:

Interesting lens. Thanks

one SquidAddict on December 11, 2012:

Amazing ideas for things to do with old soda cans. I have seen belts and handbags before, but I can't believe someone has actually covered their home with them!

laurenrich on December 10, 2012:

I recycle my aluminum cans.

healthimage on December 09, 2012:

Have to agree with Sam on this one. I haven't touched soda for over a decade and two good things happened. 1: I lost weight and feel great. 2: I don't contribute to the world's mountain of empty soda cans (and feel great)!

iSamR101 LM on December 06, 2012:

Cool ideas, but here's a crazy thought for you...stop drinking soda (it's not healthy)!

jmatts1 on November 29, 2012:

Great lens with so many awesome ideas. I've always recycled the cans but I might try some of these artistic ideas. Check out my new lens if you get a chance:

Baddew Fibes on November 22, 2012:

So many ideas, so little time. I've earmarked the soda can shark as my first project.

Judith Nazarewicz from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on November 17, 2012:

Great lens!

Freestuffer LM on November 13, 2012:

Interesting lens

CristianStan on November 07, 2012:

I've always thought about saving my soda cans, but I never drink enough soda per-year to even make a bag full. Water rocks for me!

anonymous on November 03, 2012:

great lens :)

GeekGirl1 on November 03, 2012:

back in high school, we used to donate the opener of the soda so that they can build wheelchairs for the physically challenged people. thanks for the share! i love the armor idea :D

Rankography on October 31, 2012:

great lens. Very unique. Blessed

anonymous on October 30, 2012:

That dragon is gorgeous!

spids1 on October 26, 2012:

Great lens very well written.

InSearchOf LM on October 24, 2012:

Very good ideas here. I love the chain mail armor and we just went to Texas Renfest - it would have been cool to wear one. Bookmarking this page for inspiration and ideas and showing it to my son.

anonymous on October 21, 2012:

Great ideas! I recycle mine at the moment, but might need to try something new!

rooshoo on October 21, 2012:

That chain mail armor just blew my mind. Whoa!

Jogalog on October 20, 2012:

At the moment i just recycle them but I'd love to do some sculpting if I had the right tools to do it with.

wendyfinn on October 19, 2012:

Some really fun ideas. I think I like the tea light holders best.

danadavies lm on October 18, 2012:

interesting read! Thanks for the lens:)

HolidaysDex on October 16, 2012:

You are some very creative ideas on how to recycle soda cans - thanks.

one dental on October 15, 2012:

This post is awesome! Never knew there were so many ways to reuse aluminum cans!

anonymous on October 15, 2012:

Chainmail armor... I don't even... That's the best idea ever.

randomthings lm on October 13, 2012:

That is amazing. I LOVE the purses made out of poptops. I did make an art project with my poptops. I collected poptops for a year and then glued that quantity of poptops (700 or so) to have a visual representation of how much pop I drink per year. It was astounding. It stopped me for a while...but I'm back now..until I quit again.

pearls2cents lm on October 11, 2012:

It is interesting to know there are so many ways to get creative with aluminum cans. I have a soda pop top bag and love it!

dragonlildragon on October 08, 2012:

very amazing lens, wow so many ways to use the soda cans.

anonymous on October 08, 2012:

Interesting, who know you could do so many things with soda cans

ksktika on October 04, 2012:

very interesting

OUTFOXprevention1 on October 04, 2012:

Wow! some interesting stuff!

anonymous on October 01, 2012:

Your comments and liking my lenses

anonymous on October 01, 2012:

I don't know that such nice things could be possible with those cans . Thanks for sharing such creative lens keep up the good work

justmelucy on September 29, 2012:

Now I can use my cans in new ways. Thanks for sharing.

anonymous on September 27, 2012:

I use aluminum cans to make goggles for steampunk costumes. I think I'm going to start collecting pop can tabs so I can make armor for ren faires too!

Kerri Bee (author) from Upstate, NY on September 26, 2012:

@Diana Wenzel: If you shingle the dog house, you've got to send me a photo! :-)

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on September 26, 2012:

Congrats on your Purple Star! Well-deserved.

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on September 26, 2012:

Love the creativity displayed here. I often wonder what I could do with all of the aluminum cans that I collect on my daily walks (picking up the litter left behind by others). Right now I recycle them, but you have sure given me lots of more imaginative ideas. I may use some to shingle a dog house that I am currently building.

ClinicalResearchColumbusOhio on September 25, 2012:

very interesting ideas!

anonymous on September 23, 2012:

Many great ideas. thanks for sharing.

Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on September 20, 2012:

Wow you have lots of great use for cans, thanks for sharing.

Scanabella on September 14, 2012:

Holy Cans Man! WOW!

KristoferPurple on September 14, 2012:

Great ideas!

kgdunst on September 10, 2012:

Wow this is very creative. This len sparkle'd me.

sunny saib on September 10, 2012:

Nice videos.. ;)

sunny saib on September 10, 2012:

Nice videos.. ;)

Dianeyp LM on September 08, 2012:

I love the purses! great lens

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