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Embossed Aluminum Sunflower

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Grab some alcohol inks and dig into your recycle bin for this fun project. Make an Embossed Aluminum Sunflower from Heidi Borchers that you can display on your porch or in your garden. Soda can flowers never wilt and don't require any water, making them perfect for busy crafters.

Aluminum Can Sunflower
 

Materials:

  • Soda cans (I used large Arizona Tea cans for the large flower petals)
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors (I like to use dollar store scissors to cut apart my cans)
  • Craft foam
  • Embossing tool (stylus)
  • Flower petal, flower center and leaf patterns (I like to make my patterns from cereal boxes)
  • Alcohol inks (I used oranges, yellow and brown)
  • Brush (for alcohol inks)
  • Wax paper
  • Gloves
  • Rubbing alcohol (in spray bottle)
  • Aleene’s® Outdoor Adhesive™
  • Heavy jar (to hold center of flower to petals while drying)
  • Dowel stick (1/4″ diameter) for stem
  • Aleene’s Spray Acrylic – Gloss

Instructions:

  1. Use a craft knife to cut the top and bottom from the cans. It is easiest to cut the cans if you start your cut just below the top curved edge. Use scissors to cut down the side of the can and to cut off the bottom. (You can keep the tops and bottoms for other eco-crafting projects!)
     
  2. Lay cut piece on craft foam and use embossing tool to mark petals and leaves onto cans.
     
  3. Use scissors to cut out each shape. Be sure to round the edges and cut smoothly so that there are no sharp edges along the can pieces.
     
  4. Place printed side up on craft foam and use embossing tool to make several embossed lines in petals, flower center and draw veins in leaves. Turn pieces over and make more embossed lines. This will add to the detail and help the pieces to lay flat.
     
  5. Protect work surface with wax paper. Put on gloves. Apply alcohol ink by the drop to plain side of first piece. Use brush to move colors around until desired coloring is achieved. If desired, spritz with rubbing alcohol to create a mottled effect. Set aside to dry. Repeat for each piece.
     
  6. Turn flower center right side face down. Apply line of glue to right side of each petal and glue around flower center. Set jar on top of center to hold pieces in place while glue dries.
     
  7. Cut several soda can pieces approximately 1″ x 3″.  Place dowel stick on work surface. Lay pieces across dowel stick and press around dowel stick to create a bump in the center of rectangle. These will be used to help reinforce and glue the sunflower to the dowel stick. (See video above for full visual!)
     
  8. Place dowel stick on work surface. Press center line of leaves around dowel stick (this gives you more gluing surface).
     
  9. Lay flower face side down on work surface. Center dowel stick on back of flower. Apply glue to dowel stick and lay on back of flower. Apply glue to front of reinforcement pieces, lay over the dowel stick and glue onto back of flower.
     
  10. Glue leaves piece onto dowel stick. Let sit undisturbed until glue is completely dry.
     
  11. Take piece outside in well ventilated area and spray with Gloss. Let dry completely.

 

For a comprehensive video tutorial of this project, check out How to Make a Soda Can Sunflower.

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