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Silver Bells Wreath

Alice Lund makes a silver wreath for the holidays using aluminum cans.

Alice Lund experiments with plain old soda cans, finding ways to use simple tools such as scissors, pliers, ice picks, hole punches and tape to create stunning handmade ornaments and other decorations. This project is a wreath created from eight aluminum soda cans using simple household tools.

Materials and Tools:

8 aluminum cans
1/2" wide ribbon (15" in length)
2 bolts and 2 plain nuts
1 soda can pull-tab
ice pick
red and green permanent markers
2" diameter PVC pipe
tin snips or old scissors
2 jingle bells
2 acorn nuts
10" square sheet of cardboard or a cereal box
hole punch
needle and thread
pencil and paper
leaf pattern
floral wire
aluminum tape (optional)


1. Poke a hole in the neck of six aluminum cans using an ice pick (figure A). Push tin snips or old scissors though the hole and remove the top.

Trim the neck of the can completely off (figure B).

Cut down the side and along the bottom (figure C) creating six aluminum sheets approximately 4" x 8" and six can bottoms.

2. To flatten the aluminum, place the aluminum curved side down on the table. Place the edge of the ruler on the aluminum and pull up. Continue several times in different directions.

3. Cover the painted side of the aluminum sheets with aluminum tape (the aluminum tape is optional because it will not be seen). Color the sheets green with a permanent marker (figure D).

Cut each sheet into four equal rectangles approximately 2"x 4". To cut 24 leaves:
- Cut one end of the rectangle into a point.
- Round the other end of the rectangle.
- Cut small notches along the edge of the leaf (figure E).
- To give the leaves shape, fold each leaf down the center then open the fold.
- Fold and open the leaf from each notch in the edge to the center of the leaf.

4. Cut a large circle 10 inches in diameter from the cardboard. Use a large dinner plate to draw the circle. Using a small plate 7 inches in diameter, draw a circle in the center of the large circle and cut it out creating the wreath base about 1-1/2 inches wide.

5. Make 12 evenly spaced lines around the wreath base. Place the cardboard circle on a sheet of paper. Draw the inside circle and cut it out. Fold the circle in half and then in quarters and then in thirds creating 12 evenly spaced sections. Use the creases in the paper to mark the sections on the cardboard. Poke two holes approximately 1/2 inch apart in every second mark.

6. Poke two small holes in the pull-tab of a soda can. Bend the pull-tab slightly. Sew the tab to back of the cardboard next to one of the marks.

7. Staple the leaves in pairs with the base of each leaf lapping and the tips approximately 2 inches apart. Staple the pairs of leaves evenly around the cardboard wreath. Staple the first leaves to the left of the pull-tab stitches. Staple the second set of leaves to the right of the first set and then continue around the wreath in this manner. Staple the last leaves under the first. Lift the top leaf in each set and staple each lower leaf to the cardboard hiding the staple under the top leaf (figure H).

8. Trim the can bottoms to the center curved bottom creating six buttons. Color the buttons with the red permanent marker (figure I).

Poke two holes in edge of each red buttons approximately 1/2 inch apart (figure J).

9. Cut six 5-inch lengths of floral wire. From the back of the cardboard wreath, push both ends of the wire through the holes. Push the wire ends through the holes in the red buttons. Twist the ends together to secure the buttons to the wreath (figure K).

Silver Bells

1. Poke a hole in the neck of two aluminum cans. Push the scissors though the hole and remove the top. Trim the neck of the can completely off.

2. Sand the paint off two aluminum cans. Place the PVC pipe inside each can for support. Trim the cans to 3-1/4 inch tall. Divide both cans into eight sections. Note: Because the can measures 8-1/4 inch around, it is best to make a paper band to mark the sections.

Cut a strip of paper 1" x 8-1/4" long. Fold the paper in half. Open the fold and fold the ends toward the center. Open the fold the fold the ends to the previous fold. Continue until there are eight evenly spaced sections in the paper. Wrap the paper band around each can. Use the creases to mark the sections of the can.

3. Draw eight lines down the can. Punch a hole in the center top edge of each section. Draw a line on both side of the punched hole to the bottom of the can. Cut the can down the side creating eight spokes with sloped sides (figure L).

4. Poke two small holes in the bottom of each can. Attach the jingle bells to the cans with thread.

5. Screw the plain nuts on the bolts all the way to the head of the bolt. Weave the spokes on to the bolt weaving the first, then fifth, second, sixth, eighth, fourth, seventh and third spokes in that order (figure M). Screw on the acorn nut to secure.

6. To shape the bell, press each spoke inward at the base of the can. Start with the last spoke that was placed on the bolt and then every second spoke after that. Press the remaining four spokes. This will give an even shape to the bell.

Attach the bells to the wreath.

7. Poke a hole 3-1/4 inch from one end of the ribbon. Poke a hole 4-1/4 inches from the other end of the ribbon. Unscrew the acorn nuts. Push the bolt in one bell through a hole in the ribbon. Screw on the acorn nut to secure (figure N).

Slide the ribbon through the pull-tab on the back of the wreath. Push the bolt in the second bell through the second hole in the ribbon. Screw on the acorn nut to secure. Hang one bell an inch below the other. Gather the ends of the ribbon up to the pull-tab and secure with a needle and thread (figure O).

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