Monday, January 17, 2011

reindeer: prepare to die(cut)!

possibly the coolest thing that's ever happened to me whilst shopping was the day last december when i popped into my (semi)-local scrapbook store, creative inkling, and the lovely edie explained how i could use my cuttlebug on flattened-out soda pop cans*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! needless to say, i RUSHED home and tried it and she was sooooooooooo right: it's super easy to do, it looks AMAZING, and it's basically FREE!!! (if you'd like to see additional examples, there are some here!)

now, when i say, "i tried it" what i actually mean is: i drank the soda, i washed the can, i got a very sharp knife, and i prepared to plunge it into the side of the can... at which time, lovely husband jeff, his head filled with flashback images of my well-known klutzery & previous trips to the emergency room for stitches, stepped in and shouted, "NONONONO! I will do that!!!" and then later, when i decided i needed elebenty million more for mass-production of xmas cards, he did it again, and i photo-ed the steps! :)

#1: puncture the can with a razor knife

#2: use stout kitchen shears or tin snips to cut the ends off
#3: BEWARE!!! you've just created a weapon!!!
#4: beware the tiny razor-sharp splinters of metal that are everywhere you've been working!!!
(please refer to overly dramatic photoshopped illustration below!!!)

#5: use a paper towel or cloth to smooth and flatten the can
#6: adhere the flattened cans to a sheet of cardstock you've run through an adhesive machine(this is an optional step, though we discovered that it makes for much safer & sturdier metal diecuts!)
#7 (not shown!) do the actual diecutting!!!(this is done exactly the same way you diecut anything else, which is why i didn't take a photo; in the cuttlebug, with a tim holtz/sizzix steel-rule die, you use only the two "B" plates (without an "A" plate) for your cutting sandwich; the only other tip i have is to place the metal side down on the die, the edges will curl under slightly which looks better and makes for a smoother/safer diecut reindeer edge.)

#8: enjoy a lovely snack! reindeer chips, anyone??!?! :)
and there you have it, the complete (& overly illustrated) directions for lovely (& economical) recycled reindeer! as you can see in the illustrations below, i used soda cans plain:

i used soda cans with some clear stickers (when the cans had dents or scratches that showed):

i used some shinier crafting sheet metal:

and i even tried using copper alcohol ink (with a sponge dabber) as a tint, which was a bit fiddly...but looked WONDERFUL!

in addition to using this technique with the sizzix steel-rule dies, i also tried it out with a nestie (quite carefully, fearing it might blunt the more fragile dies) and it worked perfectly! be sure to read the directions for YOUR diecutting machine, and make sure you're using the correct sandwich for thick materials like chipboard, but otherwise it's pretty straightforward!
i hope you'll try out this technique and leave me a link so i can come and see YOUR essperiments! :)

*if you are virtuously soda-free like some people, you can also use thin sheets or rolls of craft metal, like this kind from ten seconds studio; or perhaps a neighbor or friend will save cans for you?


  1. Gorgeous cards :) thanks for sharing the lovely idea with the cans
    xoxo Sioux

  2. excellent...what a fabbie tut...thanks to your lovely model:) Love the comparisons of different reindeer and dude, I wish I drank soda:)

  3. Soda free? Well, that's just crazy talk! LOL

    I love this, as soon as I started to see the process (btw, pretty darn hilarious warning there - but probably well deserved for someone like me) I wanted to guzzle a soda and try this out. The results are FANTASTIC!!! So elegant and chic!

  4. Being another non-soda-drinker, I'll have to go with the craft metal sheets, which have already been added to my OMG I MUST OWN THIS list. thankyouverymuch And now I also NEEEEED this TH die. *shakes fist*

    Nice tutorial - and a lovely hand-model, to boot! :)

  5. Oh wow, what a GREAT tutorial, I have one of those reindeer card from you, precious!!!! : )

  6. You are one clever or should I say genius crafter!! That is insanely brilliant and I love those reindeers! Hubby was so kind to show us a step by step prep & thanks for doing that!! A set of stunning reindeer Christmas card!!

  7. I just re-read your title again, "prepare to die(cut)" that is just too funny, Pixie Lauren, can you see me rolling on the floor right now? Thanks for a good laugh this morning, especially so when I had to get up at 6 AM, PLUS sending Randy to the east coast for 4 days!

  8. SERIOUSLY...That is how you made those amazing reindeer!!! I am beyond impressed!!! Thank you and your fab hubby for this fantabulous tutorial!! *Those cards are to die for! Yes, pun intended!

  9. So amazing!!!!!! And I can't think what else to say except Wow. These are simply fabulous, Jo x

  10. You KNOW I love these ... so cool ... all those cards are brilliant ...

  11. Thank you sweet girl for a great tutorial. I do look at all your post to get lots of inspiration, just busy busy to leave a comment on all of them... Hugs hugs...


  12. You ROCK! Thanks so much for ths - it's fantastic!!

    Ps. Have you seen this?

    Apply!! I know they're looking for a card goddess so OBVIOUSLY I thought of you! ♥

  13. Girl, you are crazy! Love it! :) The reindeer look FABULOUS!!

  14. This is awesome! I need a cuddlebug!!!

  15. AWESOME!!! have tons of soda cans but no TH dies (yet!) i am so glad you showed all the steps as i need pics to follow *grin* and your hubby was super sweet to do the cutting :)

  16. looove it lauren! fabulous tute! and your cards are truly amazing. love the reindeer chips ;p'.
    ohmygoodness, i'm so behind on my jingle belles cards :(. booo! hope i can get my Christmas card mojo back. have a lot of projects on my to do list...
    thanks for sharing and hope you're having a great week!
    *hugs* steph :)

  17. Luv your blog name. So clever and funny. Luv, luv, luv this project. Thanks for the tutorial.

  18. Thanks for the cool tut. Thank your model for us. Your cards are, of course, amazing. But I still don't think I am brave enough to attempt cutting into soda cans.

  19. Holy crud!!! How did I get so behind in comments?? I've read through all of these posts (quickly), but didn't comment. Totally not cool! I love this tut on how you did your deers. They are so pretty. I'd totally cut myself. I can see it now. lol

  20. Thanks for sharing this! Did you know that you can also send them through your machine in an embossing folder? Then use a couple of different kinds of acrylic paint. Awesome!

  21. Those are just beautiful! Thanks for the directions!

  22. so gotta try this! Hope my DH helps me out too or the ER isn't busy... WHAT NO GLITTER????? Your cards are awesome! Love those deer!

  23. WOW! I am in love with this look! :) Just gorgeous and I laughed like crazy when I read your post, because, my husband would have had to do the same thing! LOL:) Turned out lovely, I can't wait to try! :)


the *BEST* part of blogging is the comments, dontcha think? thanks for taking time to leave one! ~♥~