September 3, 2008

Kitchen Table Crafts: Metal Juice Lid Ornament

I love recycling nearly as much as crafting (kinda sad, huh?) so when I was making limeade for some unexpected guests the other weekend, I had an "aha!" moment. I keep a few of those frozen concentrated mixes on hand in the freezer for when I'm in a pinch and want to offer visitors something more than the customary water and iced tea we drink around here. As I was opening the can, I remembered a craft my mom used to do with us when I was little.
She would save the metal lids throughout the year (we had tons, since I have 4 brothers who were sugar addicts) and around Christmas we'd make ornaments for our tree and as tags for presents for teachers, grandparents, and others. These lids are perfect because they don't have sharp edges like ones you get from steel cans.

This craft requires a hammer, so you may want to do it with more mature kids. It doesn't require heavy pounding, just a few little taps so you could try it with younger kids. I remember loving the chance to use a hammer as a child. I felt so grown up, and hey, who doesn't like to pound things every once in a while.

What You'll Need:
  • juice can lid(s)
  • hammer
  • long nail or awl (if you're fancy!)
  • stack of newspaper (for padding)
  • pretty ribbon
  • tape
  • paper
  • pencil/pen
  • Optional: Shoe polish or brown acrylic paint and a paper towel and a clothespin for helping hold the nail

What You'll Do:
1. Trace the lid from the can so you have a circle to draw your design in. You could draw it right on the metal lid if you wish, but then you have to wipe it off in the end.

2. Cut it out and draw your design. I chose "S" for my son's name. You could also print letters or images from the computer or take a design from a coloring book. The simpler the image, the better it will turn out.
4. Tape the paper to the metal lid. You don't have to use red electrical tape like I did! It was the closest thing available.

5. Here's the fun part. Take your hammer and nail and begin tapping holes in the tin, following the lines of your design. It may be easier to pinch the nail with a clothespin that has some tape on the inside (to hold the nail in place better). This would prevent little fingers from being smacked. Do this on top of a stack of newspaper so that you don't puncture your table.
6. If you peek under the paper, it will start to look like this:
7. When you're done, your design will be seen as a series of tiny dots. Be sure to poke a bigger hole at the top for threading the ribbon into. Caregivers might want to do this step.
8. Here's the finished result with a pretty ribbon for hanging.

9. OPTIONAL: If you'd like to "antique" your ornament, put a dot of brown paint or brown shoe polish on a paper towel and rub it into the dots. It'll make your image "pop" a little bit. Do this on top of the newspaper because it might bleed through the back. Rub off any excess paint. And of course, do this before you put the ribbon on so you don't get paint on it.

10. There you have it! I've chosen to hang mine on a doorknob, as I think it looks quite charming.
If I find some more time, I'll finish all the letters of my son's name and string them together to make a little banner for over his window.

Enjoy and happy crafting!

13 comments:

  1. What a cute idea!

    We give our girls customized ornaments every year in their stockings, and these would be perfect for this year! Now I just have to decide whether to do their first initials or their middle names: Joy, Grace and Faith. Of course, at this price, I could do BOTH!

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  2. Oh that is SO cute! I like the idea of the banner also. Geez, just about everything can be recycled. It's just in the figuring out...
    That red and white tablecloth sure is purdy!

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  3. LOOOOOOOOVE this idea! Send me more...would you like to be a guest blogger on my site?

    I added you to my list of favorites.
    www.kidsbeddingblog.com

    Vicki B

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  4. Hey, that's a little brilliant! Love it. Gonna have to steal it. *grin*

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  5. Very cute! I save these too. I've made many things from them, but never thought to punch holes in them. Do you put anything on the back to protect fingers from getting cut where the holes were punched through? Maybe make two and glue them together so there's no sharp back? thanks for the inspiration, gives me several ideas!

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  6. I remember making these as a kid - tons of fun!

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  7. that is such a cute idea! im loving the ribbon you used, once my kids get out of their cribs and into beds in their own rooms,i will definitly keep this in mind!

    And thank you for leaving me a comment, your blog is really nice!! i enjoy reading you posts. hopefully ill get the hang of this soon!

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  8. That's really cute! I've always wanted to do this, but never gotten around to it. I think I'll do it as a Christmas craft this year.

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  9. What a great use for juice tops! This would make a great link for Twice-the-fun-tuesdays at havingfunathomeblog.blogspot.com

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  10. Thanks so much for posting this. I've been looking for a cute, yet easy, craft for my 9-year-old Cub Scouts.

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  11. This is an awesome idea! We always buy frozen juice to reduce packaging, and I never would have thought to recycle the lids this way. I'm going to try a couple of these, and I'm going to make some monograms for my daughter's room too. Thanks for the idea!

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  12. I LOVE this idea! It is so creative. I'm thinking of making one to use as a gift tag for a gift basket.

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