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30 mins

Time for another tutorial!
This is making a colorful and funky piece of art with crushed aluminum cans. One of my very favorite things to do is to create something new and fun out of what normally would be thrown away--unless you recycle them, that is. This tute will show you how to recycle your cans is a completely different way. I can't remember exactly where I first saw this project, perhaps it was on Instructables? Anyways, get your supplies together and get painting!

Posted by Impybat from North Andover, Massachusetts, United States • Published See Impybat's 32 projects »
  • How to decorate a canvas. Crushed Can Art - Step 1
    Step 1

    You will be using a clean, empty can as your canvas for this project, so make sure you have rinsed it out and let it dry for a bit before starting. Peel off the label if there is one and remove as much of the residue as possible. You don’t have to drive yourself crazy with this part, since you’ll be coating it with the primer.

    Lay the can on a sturdy surface--outside on the pavement is good or a carpeting surface. Don’t ruin your floors for this project! Crush the can with all your might! Just make sure you are wearing shoes for this, otherwise you may get more than just a flat can. I used one of the many Amp cans I had laying around for this.

  • How to decorate a canvas. Crushed Can Art - Step 2
    Step 2

    Spread out old newspapers to protect your workspace from any possible messes.

  • How to decorate a canvas. Crushed Can Art - Step 3
    Step 3

    Paint your flattened can with the white primer paint/gesso. Follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions regarding proper ventilation , allowing the primer to dry for the recommended length of time. You can use this time to plan your design while the can dries. Let the inspiration for your design or theme come from the shape of the crushed can...or however you wish to decorate your can.

  • How to decorate a canvas. Crushed Can Art - Step 4
    Step 4

    Now that you have your idea in place, you may wish to sketch it out lightly in pencil on the can. When you’re happy with your design, paint away with the acrylics! Have fun and let your imagination flow.

  • How to decorate a canvas. Crushed Can Art - Step 5
    Step 5

    Mean Lookin' Fish

    After your painting is complete, give the can a couple of coats of varnish, either matte or glossy is completely up to you. Lay the can on the waxed paper to prevent it from sticking to the workspace or newspapers, if you still are using them at this point. Let the can dry in between coats for the recommended length of time on the package. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

    You can add a flat backed magnet to the back of your art can with the heavy duty glue if you wish and stick it on the fridge, or nail it to your wall, or else just prop it up against a counter or wall on a shelf.

Made this project? Share your version »


nina b.
nina b. · Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US · 5 projects
ha, this is so fun.. if i ever get to teach an art class i would deff do this.
Impybat · North Andover, Massachusetts, US · 34 projects
Thank you!
Ezme · Wantage, England, GB · 25 projects
thats awesome!
Tammy M.
Tammy M. · Chicago, Illinois, US · 5 projects
That is so cool!

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