13 Creative DIY Projects Using Drink Cans – MUO – MakeUseOf

Don’t dispose of those old drink cans just yet! You can use them to make any of these genius DIY projects.
Run on several cans of energy drinks per day but don't like to trash them? Does your household go through several cans of soda every week? You're in good company if you answered yes to either question but don't know what to do with the cans now piling up in your home. Don't dispose of them yet: here are 13 genius ways to put drink cans to good use.
Got a stack of beer cans you've been holding onto with the aim of eventually taking them for recycling? Put them to good use by building a beer can solar space heater. And you will indeed need a stack because this project requires 128 full-size (500ml/16.9oz) beer cans. They'll be part of a hot air chimney and will facilitate airflow. In addition to the cans, all the supplies you need are highlighted in the Instructables guide.
Always wanted a remote-controlled car but didn't want to shell out for one? Build this RC concrete mixer truck using the cans in your recycling bin. The best part is that you don't need special items or skills to make it.
It uses ice cream sticks for the chassis, the lower part of cans joined together for the wheels, and has cool-looking tires made from heat-shrinkable rubber. Bits of cans are also used to make the bodywork.
While simple, the results look so good that the beverage brand whose cans you've used will probably want you in their marketing team! Check out the Instructables project for supplies and instructions. Here are some more awesome DIY toys you can make for kids easily at home.
A joule thief is a tiny voltage booster. With its ability to pull power from an almost dead battery, it can produce incredibly rapid voltage peaks, causing LEDs to flash impressively fast. Even better, it's low cost and so easy to build. You can even use it to introduce your young one to the world of technical DIY projects. Read through this Instructables guide for a list of what you need in addition to the drink can.
Despise disorganized stationery? Turn those empty beer or energy drink cans into a pen organizer. Start by peeling off the labels to expose the aluminum, file off the top, and create cans with different heights, as shown in this Instructables project.
Only partake in DIY projects that bring you immense value? The electric water turbine in this Instructable is just the ideal project for you. Not only does it let you put your pile of cans to good use, but you also end up with a pretty capable turbine to generate electricity.
Tired of telling your siblings/roommates to stay away from your stuff? Build this Arduino-based alarm using the last can of soda you drank, and you'll always get alerted whenever someone does as much as push your room's door slightly ajar. Check out the Hackster.io guide for the circuit schematic, Arduino code, and the items you need.
Bored with your kid(s) at home? Check out this Instructables guide for a fun, easy flashlight project. You’ll need an LED light and solar power source, so your best bet is to disassemble that garden light sitting in your garage; if you lack one, consider buying these two components. Other than that, the rest of the project is relatively straightforward as you only need to cut the bottom off two beer or soda cans (for the light reflector) and assemble it. You can add the final product to your collection of DIY emergency lights.
A signal lamp is a visual signaling device used for optical communication. The army originally used these lamps to communicate between commanders and their troops. Today, you could use it to signal to a friend or family member in another location, such as a garden shed. In this experimental Instructables project, the lamp itself is made from cardboard and an old flashlight. The real innovation is using beer cans cut into long thin metal spirals for the low-voltage wiring.
Have you got a dark corner in your home that you want to spice up but don't want to use LED lights or invest in actual lighting? If you've got some beverage cans, this Instructables project has instructions to turn cans into unique, anthro/bohemian-inspired lanterns perfect for any poorly lit nook in your house or a child's playhouse. You don’t need a lot of cash for a chandelier! Here are some more out-of-this-world DIY chandeliers you can build.
Need a cosplay wizard staff, or know someone who does? Build this beer can staff and they'll thank you immensely. It requires a little extra work, as shown in the Instructables guide, but the results will be worth your while because it won't fall apart like the last wizard staff you made at your frat party. In addition to this awesome beer can wizard staff, check out these electronics projects to enhance your cosplay.
Want a piano but can't afford one yet? Put the soda cans in your garage to good use by building a pop-can piano. It features an Arduino microcontroller board connected to the cans with 1MΩ resistors. The cans serve as a conductive material and respond to touch, triggering the board to play. Full instructions and Arduino code can be found on the project’s GitHub page.
Know someone who runs on energy drinks? Whether they do it because they always work late, play console games all night or simply need an extra boost to round off the day, an energy-drink-based gift will undoubtedly tickle their fancy. This Instructables project features just the perfect one: it turns a regular energy drink can into a functional light.
Have you got a pile of cans and other waste in your garage waiting for that recycling-center run? Build this Arduino-powered can crusher, as shown in the Hackster.io guide, and crush the cans to create more space for other waste. It'll also make transporting your pile of cans seamless after every month.
With so much waste making it to our environment annually, upcycling whatever trash you can is a good thing. So, if you are a regular canned-product user, using cans to create something useful instead of trashing them is a smart move. Feel free to recreate or improve on any of the 13 genius DIY projects above to put drink cans to good use.
Alan Blake holds a degree in microbiology and biotechnology. When he is not in the lab or traveling, you will find him tinkering with electronics or recycling/reusing stuff that would end up in landfills. He currently works as a DIY writer for MakeUseOf covering Arduino, reusing projects, how-tos, and a host of other exciting topics.