Feeling a little guilty as you gaze at that post-Labor Day recycle bin? Try some of these beer can crafts to use them up!
Keeping America Beautiful estimated nearly 60 percent of aluminum cans were recycled in 2010. That’s a higher recovery rate than any other beverage container. It’s been noted that one recycled beer can saves enough energy to power your television for three hours. This is vital in preserving natural resources and lessening the amount of energy needed to manufacture virgin cans. But there’s more we can do to repurpose the billion more cans not recycled each year.
Related: Concert Venues that Recycle, Compost Sell More Beer
12 Creative Beer Can Crafts
1. Camping Stove: Using only a bottle of fuel, lighter and aluminum can, you can minimize waste all the while cooking over an open flame.
2. Patio String Lights: With only a few supplies and some elbow grease, you can turn two dozen or so cans into outdoor lighting décor.
3. Aluminum Can Lanterns: If you have more cans leftover after making the string lights, try adding some accents to your space with these pint-sized fixtures.
4. ‘Can’dle Holders: For outdoor or indoor usage, cans’ bases are the perfect size to snuggly hold candles in place. They then can be arranged to make floral-inspired centerpieces for tables or mantles.
5. Wall Art: Since much of an aluminum can be reused, try making inexpensive, multi-dimensional wall murals for a fraction of the cost of the ones sold in stores.
6. Metal Flowers: This design combines elements of hard and soft to add a feminine touch to any look. The flowers can be adhered to an alligator clip to be worn as a brooch or clipped to an headband as a fun accessory. Or add some “stems” to the flowers and create a beautiful bouquet for someone special.
7. Flower Magnets: If you’re not a fan of accessories, you may consider adding a disc magnet to your flowers to display papers and photos on your fridge.
8. Lamp plus Pull Tab Shade: Depending on your skill level, you can brighten your space with a vintage lamp made from a used beer can and top it with a lampshade made from pull tabs. I’m sure your friends will definitely want one as well.
9. Wreaths: Embellish your front door for any season with aluminum “leaves” adhered to a cardboard ring to make a decoration that will last for many years to come.
10. Christmas Ornaments: I realize Christmas is a few months away, but I couldn’t pass on a chance to share this colorful idea to transform cans into trinkets for your tree. The tutorial uses soda cans, but I’m sure beer cans would work just the same.
11. Cookie Cutters: This one is for kids only. Using only a can, scissors and glue, you can entice little ones to try new foods by making fun shapes using strips of aluminum. A helpful tip to remember is sand paper works well to smooth sharp edges.
12. Pull Tab Jewelry: Put your pull tabs to good use by making an array of accessories, including bracelets, earrings, necklaces and purses.
If you prefer bottles to cans or you are a wine drinker, here are some great tutorials to get you started making your own set of upcycled treasures.
Have you tried to making any fun beer can crafts? Which ones did I forget to mention? I’d love have your feedback. Cheers to a happy and safe holiday and fun crafting!
A version of this article originally ran at Sustainablog. Republished here with permission. Image credits: digitizedchaos via photopin cc, Urban Woodswalker via photopin cc, Antoine Ruedisueli via photopin cc
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