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Smashed Soda Can Animals



A smashed soda or aluminum can becomes a funny cow, pig or bear. This is fun activity by Heidi Borchers of Inspired at Home and a great way to teach kids about recycling. For more great crafts for kids, check out our 22 Summer Crafts for Kids eBook.

Smashed Can Cow

Materials (for 3 animals):

  • 3 aluminum soda or cola cans
  • Matte spray paint: peach, white, brown
  • Acrylic paints: peach, lavender, turquoise, rose, yellow, white, brown
  • Paintbrushes
  • Cotton swab (cotton removed from one end)
  • Scraps of felt: off-white, tan, brown, rose, red, black, pink, white
  • Aleene’s® Original Tacky Glue™
  • Scrap of black paper
  • 1/8” diameter hole punch
  • 2 (3/8”) wiggle eyes
  • 1/16” wide satin ribbon: 1 (8”) length lavender
  • 2 (1/2” diameter) brown bear eyes
  • Fine-tip permanent black marker
  • 12” length of ¼” wide print ribbon
  • 2 (1/4” diameter) black beads
  • Patterns


  1. Referring to photo for shapes, use your hands to gently flatten 1 can across the center, keeping opening on top in position for mouth. Then use your foot to slowly crush top and bottom of can, being sure to maintain proper positioning of opening. Repeat with remaining cans. Spray paint each can with 1 coat of spray paint. Let dry. Using acrylic paints, paint each can with a second coat of paint. Let dry. For pig, paint flowers on can by removing cotton from one end of cotton swab. Dip end into paint and dot on the flower center and petals, referring to photo for colors. Let dry.
  2. Transfer patterns to felt and cut the following. For pig: from off-white, cut 1 tail, 1 legs piece, 2 ears, and 1 nose; from tan, cut 4 hooves. For bear: from brown, cut 2 arms, 2 ears, 1 snout, and 2 feet; from rose, cut 2 cheeks; from red, cut 1 tongue; from tan, cut paw pads for each foot; from black, cut 1 nose. For cow: from black, cut 1 tail and 4 hooves; from pink, cut 2 cheeks and 2 inner ears; from white, cut 1 horn/ear piece and 1 legs piece. From remaining black felt, refer to photo to cut 5 spots.
  3. For pig, curl tail piece and glue in place. Referring to photo, glue remaining felt pieces in place. Punch 2 black paper pieces for nostrils and glue in place. From black paper, cut and fringe 2 small squares for eyelashes; glue in place. Glue wiggle eyes in place. Tie lavender ribbon in bow and glue in place. Let dry.

    Smashed Can Pig
  4. For bear, slightly overlap edges of slit on each ear and glue ears in place. Referring to photo, glue remaining felt pieces and eyes in place. Using marker, draw a line down center of snout (see photo). Tie print ribbon into bow and glue in place. Let dry.

    Smashed Can Bear
  5. For cow, referring to photo, glue felt pieces in place. Punch 2 black paper pieces for nostrils and glue in place. Glue black beads in place for eyes.

    Smashed Can Cow


Heidi’s Designer Tip: For a cute addition to the cow, tie a jingle bell onto center of 8” piece of narrow ribbon. Tie ribbon in bow and glue in place under cow’s neck.

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Reviews More Reviews

Oct 26, 2012

Why use soda cans? Don't you get money back for them when you take them to get recycled?? I usually get over 50 bucks for 6 months worth, so I really don't see the point of wasting a dime to make these animals...I wonder if mashed up metal would work better...


Jun 13, 2011

am I the only one who thinks this is kind of creepy? these animals look like they have been hit by a truck. they do have a pretty good attitude, smiling, after being hit by a truck, but why aren't they made from whole empty cans? that way they aren't as disturbing to look at. Elaine


13 Ratings

May 2, 2011

I attempted printing the pattern for the Soda-Can-Animals and in only partially printed and also printed way too large for the actual craft project. Any recommendations as to how I can correct this problem so I can finish my cow? Starzyk23@aol.com


Jan 27, 2011

I Love Love Love the Piggy! I collect pigs & I plan to make myself one of these! Great idea! Thanks a bunch.


May 6, 2010

The smashed soda can animals are a cute and creative project. Someone was concerned about the sharpness of the tab ridge on the top of the can. Rightfully so! To make this a bit safer, dab a bit of Elmer's glue on the tip of your finger and run it around the edges. BE CAREFUL!! Do this a couple of times and this will eliminate the sharpness. Happy creating!!


Apr 17, 2010

I clicked on the pattern icon but only showed part of the bear pattern.


Feb 9, 2010

I think the edge of the mouth on the can might be sharp could cut the kids. What could you put on it?


Dec 9, 2009

I L O V ED this pattern I only whised you had more aminals. Linda


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