Sure we can make jewelry from aluminum cans. But if you were thinking that such jewelry will not be the kind of bling you like, think again. Kalmbach Publishing just sent me one of their latest releases,  Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry by Helen Harle. The designs Helen came up with are truly delightful and inspirational!

The book features 21 project designs ranging from simpler projects to statement pieces like my favorite, the wisteria necklace. I marvel at the author's creativity as she uses simple paper punches to cut out the metal shapes. An aluminum can, once cut open, is quite a large piece of sheet metal and thus will yield many pieces.

Helen, who is a life long crafter from Devon, England,  must also be a splendid gardener because many of the projects are floral inspired - rose, fuchsias, daisies, snowdrops and wisteria. For the simpler projects, the cut out pieces are transformed into charms, links and small earring findings.

Where her designs really shine are the layered creations. The pieces are not soldered or fused but riveted together using simple eyelets. For one project, she also sewed together some pieces with beading thread and needle!

There were a few issues the author could have mentioned but did not. Firstly, if you are going to cut up cans, I would highly recommend you wear protective gloves.  Fortunately, these work gloves now come in women's sizes! She uses a short blade knife to hack into the can. Other metal workers I know use tin shears which you can get from the hardware store. The author uses a needle punch to make holes in the cut out shapes which necessitates cleaning out the scrap bits from the hole.  If you have a metal hole punching pliers or tool, they will be easier to use.

This book is so inspirational, I have been rooting in my recycling bag for cans. I also checked out the soft drink section of the local supermarket! Definitely a must for eco jewelry and crafting enthusiasts!


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