Home Ecology 10 Best Ways to Reuse Aluminum Cans

10 Best Ways to Reuse Aluminum Cans

by Tracy Finke

It is possible to recycle aluminum over and over. It helps save resources as the process of recycling aluminum requires less energy than manufacturing new ones from virgin resources. By recycling the aluminum cans you have at home, you are helping the environment in many ways. Here are the things you can make out of aluminum cans and other ways to reuse them.

1. Light décor

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You can transform used cans into a beautiful light decoration. You only need the tabs of a soda can, the bottom and top hoops of a lampshade, and some basic tools.

Remove the tabs from the soda can and separate the cans for further recycling. You can sell them to a reputable recycling facility like langleyrecyclingkc.com or turn them into beautiful items.

You need at least 100 soda can tabs to make one chain mail lampshade. Aside from that, you’ll also need a plier, needle nose plier, side cutter, flat blade screwdriver, and bottom and top lampshade hoops.

2. Tea light holder

Another way to reuse aluminum cans is to make them into a tea light holder. If you are one of those, who love reading their favorite novel while surrounded by candles, this one’s for you.

Tea light candles create a relaxing, cozy ambiance for dinner parties. Your tea light candles can become a little more special with an aluminum tea light holder.

You need a soda can, a can opener, a 30 cm wire, sandpaper or pumice stone, a votive candle, and an Exacto knife to do this project. Since you need to slice the cans using a knife, it’s best to wear protective gloves beforehand.

3. Functional stove

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You can create a functional stove from two aluminum cans. Yes, it is possible! It might seem complicated, but the process is simple. You only require some basic materials that are usually found in your home.

A can stove is ideal for camping trips as it is very portable. You can also use it even in the smallest studio apartment there is.

Prepare a utility knife, two aluminum cans, and heavy gauge aluminum foil or flue tape for this project. You also need push pins or thumbtacks, a nail or drill, a thick book, a marking pen, a ruler, and denatured alcohol.

4. Holiday ornaments

After a year of waiting, you finally take out your favorite holiday ornaments. Only to see them damaged and no longer usable. Before this ruins your holiday mood, roll up your sleeves and recycle aluminum cans into holiday ornaments instead. It’s also a fantastic idea to bond and relax with your family.

You can start doing this project if you have scissors, aluminum cans, a nail, a cord, ribbon, sandpaper, and a pen. First, cut the aluminum can into the shape of your favorite holiday decoration, such as poinsettia, reindeer, and many more.

5. Wallet and wallet chain

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You can also make a wallet made of aluminum cans. But before you do this project, make sure to clean the cans and remove any sticky residue on them.

Also, be careful of sharp edges. What you’ll need for this project are a hobby knife, two aluminum cans, duct tape or packing tape, sandpaper, and a felt-tip pen.

6. Earrings

Yes, you can transform an aluminum can into a pair of earrings. An essential thing you should have is an artistic eye to do this.

On the other hand, the construction of this recycling project is straightforward. You may also use acrylic paint to make your earrings more beautiful.

You need kitchen shears, aluminum cans, a small-hole paper punch, and decorative paper punches for this project. You also need jump rings, earring hooks, flat nose or chain nose pliers, small charms, and a fine sharpie marker.

For your safety, wear protective gloves and safety goggles. Some of the optional materials you might want to bring are finish varnish and acrylic paints.

7. Tote bag

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Have you ever seen a tote bag with a flair before? Well, now you can. Most reusable bags are made from recycled plastics and recycled fabric, but a soda can may also be transformed into a tote bag. A beautifully crafted recycled tote bag can make your shopping trips more fun.

The things you need for this project include:

  • A paper hole punch.
  • At least ten aluminum cans.
  • Sport-weight yarn.
  • Sturdy fabric.
  • A size “H” crochet hook.
  • Scissors.
  • A sewing machine.

To do this project, you need some basic knowledge of crocheting and sewing. You can also use bamboo for its handles and T-shirt fabric for the lining.

8. Pen holder

It is frustrating when your favorite pen is nowhere to be found the moment you need it most. So, why not place them in a colorful pen holder.

You can reuse aluminum cans by turning them into a pen holder. If you want it to be colorful, you may cover them with construction paper and add some beautiful designs using paints, markers, and other craft materials.

Since aluminum cans are lightweight, it’s also best to glue a piece of wood or a magnet to keep it upright. The materials you require include a can opener, aluminum can, hammer, construction paper, and paint for this project. You also need scissors, glue, a magnet, and markers.

9. Firsthand recycling

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If you want to explore more possibilities in aluminum cans, try firsthand recycling. It involves melting down aluminum cans and reusing them. Then, you can transform your aluminum cans into whatever you want. Among the things you can do is make them into drink holders.

But before melting them, make sure to clean them thoroughly. Afterward, dry them and check for any residue left. You’ll need some crucible, aluminum cans, and heat-resistant gloves for this project. You’ll also need a kiln (electric, wood, gas) and molds to pour the aluminum and tongs.

10. Siding

John Milkovisch took reuse to another level when he covered his house with aluminum from cans. He turned aluminum cans into aluminum garlands, siding, and curtains for 18 years. With his efforts, his home became energy-efficient, lowering his monthly energy bills.


Recycling aluminum cans is not only a way to help the environment by reducing waste, minimizing carbon dioxide emissions, and saving energy. It can also be a fun activity for you and your family.