how to make beer can christmas ornaments
‘Tis the season to celebrate your love of the brew by creating Christmas ornaments out of your used beer cans. By re-purposing your old cans, your tree will become beery merry this holiday season.
Decoration 1: Beer can seasonal cut outs
Aluminum lends itself well to being cut and even molded into shapes of choice. All you need to do is choose festive options for the shapes.
- Wash out the beer cans and allow to dry. Use as many cans as you wish to make ornaments. Depending on the size of the ornaments, you should get around 2-3 ornaments per can.
- Design the ornament shapes. Use graph paper and sketch out the holiday shapes to be used for ornaments. If you’re stuck for ideas, plenty of templates can be downloaded from online sites for you to trace around. The main thing is to keep it really simple. Cut out the designs on paper or card. Typical ornament designs include: Angel; snowman; star; Santa; reindeer; stocking.
- Example: You’ve chosen an angel. The template can be as simple as a circle for her head and a triangle for her body, with two triangles for wings. Your children can draw it for you.
- Cut the cans open using tin snips (aka tinner’s snips/aviation snips) or similar heavy duty cutters. Watch your fingers, as cut aluminum is sharp. If you want to remove splintered edges or sharp bits, it is possible to sand the edges but be careful while doing this. Wearing heavy duty, pliable gloves is advisable when cutting and sanding. Then flatten the can to allow for the designs to be cut out.
- Adhere the design template to one part of the aluminum sheet using poster tack or rolled up tape for temporary fixing. Then cut around the design using the tin snips and a sharp pair of scissors for the more tricky parts.
- If you have additional parts, these can be glued on, especially where it’s too tricky to cut out the whole design but a lot easier to cut out basic shapes and glue them into formation. Heavy duty super glue will work best to bond the pieces.
- Hole punch or pierce a hole at the top of each ornament. Thread some string or ribbon through and tie a knot to create a hanger.
- Hang each ornament on the tree. If it looks great, make some more.
Decoration 2: Santa and his sleigh
A very jolly Santa would approve of this hilarious use of beer cans to form his sleigh and reindeer.
- Wash and let dry nine beer cans. Eight become the reindeer and one the sleigh, so if possible, make the sleigh can different from the reindeer cans.
- Assemble the reindeer cans. On each reindeer can, make a mark about a quarter way down from the top of each can. You will be creating a hole here through to the opposite side of the can and in the exact same place on each can, to enable a dowel rod to be passed through all of the cans to keep them together.
- Check that each mark is at the exact same height on every can. It helps to use the first can as the indicator.
- Cut out a hole in each can at the mark. Make the hole big enough to fit the dowel rod through.
- Push the dowel through four of the cans, leaving even spaces between each can (so that reindeer aren’t invading one another’s personal space). Push the other dowel through the other four cans.
- Join the two teams together.
- In the two front and two back cans in the rows of cans, make a mark about halfway down each can at the place where the cans would face each other when placed side by side. The marks must be exactly opposite each other, to ensure even joining, both ends.
- Pierce holes at these marks and insert a piece of dowel about 3 inches (7.5cm) in length into the cans on one row.
- Next, slip the dowel into the holes of the cans in the other row to join the two rows together. It’s a good idea to add a dollop of glue too, to ensure the dowels don’t shift when the ornament is hung or displayed.
- The reindeer are now assembled. You’ll get to decorate them shortly.
- Attach the sleigh.
- Find some strong wire and cut into two pieces about 4 inches (10cm) in length.
- Pierce a hole into each can at the end of the reindeer set and insert the wires, one into each can.
- Turn the sleigh can onto its side, lid end facing the reindeer. Then pierce two equivalent holes into the lid of the sleigh at to evenly spaced places in the middle half of the lid circle.
- Check that the sleigh is held firmly to the reindeer––it should be hovering about halfway against the upright reindeer cans, in the air.
- Make the reindeer cans look like reindeer. Pull up the can tabs on each reindeer can. Attach antlers made from paper or wooden craft cut-outs. Stick a few tiny pompoms or glitter glue on to brighten them up. Ribbon can be zig-zagged across some of the antlers too.
- Add a red pompom nose to one of the reindeer, for Rudolph.
- Decorate the sleigh. Glue some cotton wool onto the can for Santa’s seat. Then glue a Santa figurine onto the cotton wool. Behind Santa, glue on some gifts. These can be made simply by wrapping small cubes of paper or card with Christmas paper.
- Add the reins and a hanger.
- For the reins, glue two long pieces of string either side of the front of the reindeer sets and bring the string up to Santa’s hands (or as near an approximation of his hands as possible given your figurine).
- To hang the ornament, attach a long piece of string tied to middle of the dowels in the reindeer sets and to the end of the Santa sleigh (you can use heavy duty glue or pierce two small holes in the end of Santa’s sleigh and thread the string through and tie a knot).
- Hang in the tree. Check that it sits evenly––you might need to make a few adjustments to the hanger piece. Jolly good.
Decoration 3: Beer label love
- Pay homage to your favorite beer by making the beer label the whole point of the decoration. The great thing about this decoration is that you don’t have to go all crafty in order to worship your favorite brewsky. All you’ll need is a few can tops, some felt fabric and your favorite brew label.
- Cut out a large felt fabric circle. Consider using the same color fabric as your beer can; for example, if you’re doing Pabst Blue Ribbon, go for royal blue felt fabric.
- Make the circle at least the same size as the bottom of a beer can, enough to hold the sticker proudly in the center.
- Carefully either cut out the label off your beer can or peel off the sticker from a beer bottle. Either way, make sure the logo is fully intact.
- Stick the label to the center of the felt. Use super glue for an aluminum label and a glue stick for a beer bottle paper label.
- Use the glue sparingly for the beer bottle label, to avoid any potential for bleeding through.
- Gather a dozen to a dozen and a half beer can tabs. Encircle the fabric circle with the tabs to create a circular border. Glue in place with super glue.
- Place the last tab at the top with the opening pointed upward. This tab will hold the ornament hook in place. Use super glue to hold it in place.
- Thread a piece of ribbon or string through the upward tab. Tie a firm knot to create the hanger.
- Hang the ornaments when fully dried.
Decoration 4: Beer can angel tree topper
This beer can angel will shine at the top of your tree.
- Wash and let dry the beer can.
- Draw the shape of a dress, wings and head onto the can.
- With great care, cut away all of the unmarked portion of the can, leaving the dress, wings and head design attached to the top and base of the can. Discard the cut out portion.
- Gently push the wings forward so that they are not still curving backward.
- Cut out the base of the beer can to allow it to slip over the tree. This can be done using a can opener or the tin snips.
- It’s up to you if you’d like to completely remove the top of the can or leave it as part of the final ornament. Experiment with what works best. A halo can be made by gluing on a golden or silver colored pipe cleaner shaped into a halo.
- Hang on top of the Christmas tree.If you don’t want to cut out the shape in this way, another alternative is to use two beer cans. One can will form the body and head, the other will be cut to make wing shapes:
- Cut off the base of one of the cans. This will be the body of the angel and the open end is slipped onto the top of the tree.
- Draw two wing shapes on paper or card. Cut out the design to use as a template.
- Cut open one of the cans using tin snips. See Warnings below about sharpness. Flatten the can.
- Attach the templates with poster tack or similar. Cut around the wings. Discard the unused portion.
- Glue the wings to the back of the can, at the top portion.
- Tilt the tab at the top upright. This becomes the “head” of the angel.
- Attach a golden pipe cleaner halo to the tab. Stick the angel at the top of the tree.
- Hang on top of the Christmas tree.
Decoration 5: Lazy person’s beer ornaments
Feeling too lazy or too drunk to really get into this crafting caper? Here’s the simple solution that won’t take long. Simply finish your brew, attach a string to the can and hang at will.
- Wash out the can before hanging on the tree. Use hot soapy water and a clean dish cloth to do the job.
- Carefully poke holes at the top sides of the can in order to receive the string. You can use either a pair of sharp scissors or a very sharp shish-kabob skewer.
- Thread a wire or string through the holes on the sides of the can. Be sure you have enough string to go through the can and then tie at the top.
- Attach a hook to the top of the string. Once you’ve attached a Christmas ornament hook to the top of the string you will be ready for placement on the tree. Consider turning the can so you can see the label.
- Go whole hog and create a wreath made from beer cans. Use a fresh wreath and wrap crafting twine around each empty beer can to affix it to your wreath. Don’t forget the bow.
- Be careful when working with a cut can as the edges are extremely sharp and can slice your hands or fingers. Heavy duty but pliable gloves are recommended and edges can be sanded to reduce sharpness. Safety goggles are also recommended when cutting aluminum, in case a sharp piece flies off.
- Do not attempt cutting cans when drunk. Seriously.
- Sharp pieces of aluminum offcuts are not appropriate to throw into the recycling bin for sorters to hurt themselves on. Either fold these up with care into safe blobs of non-sharp aluminum before recycling or wrap in newspaper and discard in the normal garbage.
Edit Things You’ll Need
- Beer cans (as many as you want)
- Tin snips or similar
- Sharp, strong scissors
- Paper/card for templates
- Poster tack
- Hole punch or something to pierce cans with
- Ribbon or twine
- Heavy duty glue (optional)
- 9 beer cans, 8 of one type, 1 different brand or color
- 2 lengths of dowel, long enough to fit four cans each with gaps between
- 2 lengths of dowel approximately 3 inches/7.5cm in length for joining the reindeer sets
- Heavy duty glue
- Santa figurine
- Reindeer antlers (made from paper or wooden cut-outs – check craft stores for the wooden version)
- Cotton wool
- Glitter glue, ribbons, pompoms for decoration
- Small paper gift cubes (decorated); make or purchase from the dollar store
- String or ribbon for reins and hanger
- Beer cans or bottles, with suitable labels
- Beer can tabs
- Fabric such as felt
- Scissors to cut fabric
- Tin snips if using cans
- Ribbon or string for hanger
- Super glue
- Beer can
- Tin snips
- Super glue
- Golden or silver sparkly pipe cleaner
- Clean beer cans
- Scissors or shish-kabob skewer for piercing holes
- Wire or string
Edit Related wikiHows
- How to Make Christmas Ornaments with Dough
- How to Make Your Own Christmas Ornament
- How to Make Cinnamon Cookie Ornaments
Edit Sources and Citations
- http://www.sloshspot.com/blog/12-23-2008/Last-Minute-Christmas-Decorations-for-the-Bachelor-Pad-93 – research source
- Read on wikiHow
- Email this Article
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