Turning Empty Soda Cans into Container Lids
Recycling empty soda cans is a great way to reduce waste and get creative. With a few simple tools and techniques, you can transform aluminum cans into useful container lids. This easy DIY project allows you to give new life to old materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide to making your own soda can lids. You’ll learn what tools and materials you need, how to cut and shape the aluminum, and how to attach it to containers. I’ll also share some tips and tricks I’ve learned from personal experience making these reusable lids.
So if you’re looking for a fun, eco-friendly project, read on to learn all about turning soda cans into container lids!
Needed Tools and Materials
To make container lids from soda cans, you will need:
- Empty aluminum soda cans – rinse thoroughly and remove any paper labels
- Can lid opener
- Tin snips or heavy duty scissors
- Safety glasses
- Sandpaper (coarse/fine grit)
- Permanent marker
- Containers with wide mouths (jars, plastic containers, etc.)
- Epoxy or strong glue
I recommend collecting a variety of soda can sizes and shapes to make different sized lids. Coca-cola, Pepsi, La Croix, and other popular brands all work well. Just be sure to wash and dry the cans thoroughly first.
The can lid opener, tin snips, and sandpaper will help you safely cut and shape the aluminum into circles. Safety glasses protect your eyes while cutting. Use the marker to trace circles on the flattened cans before cutting.
And you’ll need some containers with wide mouths to attach the homemade lids to. Glass jars, plastic containers, and more all work – just ensure the aluminum circles will fit snugly on top. A strong epoxy or all-purpose glue will adhere the lids to the containers.
Follow these steps to create usable tin can lids for jars, bottles, and containers:
1. Remove Tops and Bottom Rims
First, use a can opener to remove the soda can’s top lid. Discard or recycle it. Next, on the bottom rim of the can, look for the indented seam – this marks the edge. Run a can opener around the bottom rim to remove it.
Having both ends of the can removed allows it to lay flat and makes it easier to cut shapes.
2. Flatten the Aluminum Cylinder
Now the aluminum cylinder can be flattened into a rectangle shape. Place the can on a hard, flat surface. Press down on the can, flattening and smoothing it out with your hands.
Flattening the surface makes it easier to trace perfect circles. Take care not to cut your hands on sharp edges while flattening.
3. Trace Circles with Marker
On the flattened aluminum surface, use a permanent marker to trace circles in a variety of sizes. Make sure your circles are at least 1/2 inch from the outer edges. This allows space to attach the lids later.
Aim for circles ranging from 1 inch to 4 inches wide, tracing as many as possible. The attached container’s mouth size will determine the best lid size.
4. Cut Out Circles with Tin Snips
Next, put on safety glasses and carefully cut out the circular shapes with sturdy tin snips or scissors. Take slow, smooth cuts right along the marker lines.
Removing the excess aluminum leaves you with cleanly cut “lids” ready to be finished and attached to containers. Setting a cutting board or magazine underneath helps reduce noise.
5. Smooth the Edges
The cut metal edges will be sharp. Use coarse grit sandpaper to smooth out the edges all around each circle. This helps avoid cuts when handling the lids later.
Finish smoothing with fine grit sandpaper until you are happy with the texture. Wipe away any aluminum dust when done sanding.
6. Test Circles on Containers
Before permanently adhering the lids, test them out on your jars, bottles, and containers. Find the best size match for each vessel, where the handmade metal lid sits snugly against the mouth edges.
This allows you to match lids and containers accordingly before attaching them permanently in the next step.
7. Glue Lids to Containers
To attach the recycled soda can lids for real use, apply a strong epoxy or all-purpose glue around the lip of each chosen container. Then press the matching metal circle lid in place firmly for 30 seconds or so.
Hold steady until the first bond forms. Allow to fully cure for several hours before use. The unique metal lids are now ready to protect your containers!
Tips and Ideas
Consider adding a rubber gasket from an old metal lid around the edges to create a tighter seal.
For a smooth surface when gluing, scrub containers with coarse sandpaper first.
Wipe away any aluminum shavings before handling to avoid cuts.
Use spray paint or permanent markers to decorate your unique new lids.
Try mixing and matching lid sizes and shapes for more visual interest.
Look for printable label stickers to adhere to the tops for labeling contents.
With a few basic tools and creativity, you can upcycle discarded soda cans into functional and eco-friendly lids. It’s a great way to reduce waste while making fun homemade items. Experiment with different size cans and container pairings for unique results. Enjoy your DIY soda can lids!