• Make of the month

    Christmas Gingerbread Man Garland

    We love making things from old soft drinks cans, or ‘soda-can sculptures’ as they are known. The only problem is now we can’t stop collecting cans (especially any that are limited editions) which isn’t too good if you’re trying to de-clutter!

    This Christmas garland is relatively simple to make, and an unusual bonus is that as it can get wet (or snowed on?!) you can display it outside. Try hanging it on a tree, over your door, or maybe even on a gate. And don’t forget to send us a picture of your fab festive results via Facebook or Instagram so we can add them to our website Gallery.

    garland

    You will need:

    Materials

    2 or 3 Coca–cola cans (or more if you’d like the garland to be longer than ours)
    Wire and beads – we used a selection from Hobbycraft and Tiger

    Tools

    Scissors – we used Fiskars small Classic Universal Purpose scissors and the Fiskars Hand Punch.
    Gingerbread Man cookie cutter – or make your own template to draw around. And you’ll need a pencil to draw onto the can.

    How to make it

    Step 1
    Take a soda can and drink the contents! We chose Coca Cola cans as the red and silver look very festive – see Fig 1. (There’s even a pale gold one, and a new green Coca Cola ‘Life’ can that’s a perfect holly green!)

    Fig.1

    Figure 1

    Step 2
    Pierce the can near the rim with the tip of your scissors and cut around the rim until the top comes off completely. (See Fig 2). It may help to wear gloves to protect your hands at this stage – the tin can be very sharp, so please take care.

    Figure 2

    Figure 2

    Step 3
    Cut down the length of the can, then cut around the can so that the base comes off. You should now have a rectangular sheet of tin to work with. Gently roll the sheet in on itself to get the ‘spring’ out of it, and to make it as flat as possible (see Fig 3).

    Figure 3

    Figure 3

    Step 4
    With a pencil draw around the cookie cutter or your template onto the tin. Press as heavily as you can – even if the tin won’t mark easily you can still follow the pencil’s indentation. Then use your scissors to cut out the shape of the gingerbread man (see Fig 4). Our garland was made with six men in alternating coke colours (diet tins and full-fat!)

    Figure 4

    Figure 4

    Step 5
    Punch a hole in the arm of each man for the wire to thread through (see Fig 5). We used the Fiskars Hand Punch (in the shape of a tiny star).

    Figure 5

    Figure 5

    Step 6
    Start by making a loop in the wire so that you can hang the garland, and then thread some beads onto the wire – we chose eight small red and green beads, interspaced with two larger silver and gold beads between each man (see Fig 6). It’s up to you what colours and sizes of beads you use, but it works well to keep it Christmassy!

    Figure 6

    Figure 6

    Step 7
    When you come to threading on your first gingerbread man, make sure you insert the wire from front to back, so that the wire always remains behind his back, out of sight (see Fig 7). You should always have a large bead adjacent to the hole in his arm too, as a smallish bead may slip through.

    Figure 7

    Figure 7

    Step 8
    Continue threading the beads and gingerbread men until your garland is the length you want it to be, and then finish as you began with a row of beads followed by a loop on the other end.

    Ta-da! Your work of art is complete!

    Watch Julie & Wendy making the Gingerbread Man Garland below:

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