Things You'll Need
- Wooden mirror or picture frame
- Mild soap
- Paint brushes
- Black acrylic paint
- 5 to 10 empty soda cans
- Craft knife
- Metal ruler
- Fine-tipped permanent marker
- Corrugated cardboard
- 1/4 inch flat head tacks
- Lightweight hammer
Traditional mosaics are made of tile held in place with cement or grout. When you put dozens or hundreds of tiles together, the individual tiles transform into small parts of the larger design. Soda cans, made of thin, easy-to-cut aluminum, make colorful tiles you can apply to a mirror frame for a funky mosaic look. Look for a mirror with a frame made of wood that's at least 1 inch thick, with a flat surface that's at least 4 inches wide from the mirror to the outer edge.
Remove the mirror from the frame. Clean the frame with mild soap and water.
Apply a coat of primer to the frame. When dry, apply two to three coats of black paint. Allow the paint to dry overnight.
Cut a slit just under the top rim of a soda can using a craft knife. Slide the tip of a pair of scissors into the slit and cut all the way around the can. Cut a straight line from the cut end to the bottom of the can, then turn the scissors 90 degrees and cut around the bottom, leaving you with a rectangular piece of aluminum.
Flatten out the aluminum rectangle face down on a piece of corrugated cardboard. Lay a metal ruler along the top edge of the aluminum and make a mark with a fine tipped permanent marker at 1 inch intervals all the way across. Turn the aluminum and repeat along the next edge. When all of the edges are measured and marked, connect the marks on opposite sides by laying the ruler over them and following the edge with the marker. Repeat until you've drawn a grid of 1-inch squares.
Cut the aluminum with the craft knife, using the metal ruler to guide it along the lines.
Lay the aluminum tiles on the painted frame with about 1/8 of an inch between them. The more different types of cans you use, the more colorful the design will be.
Attach the tiles to the frame using 1/4-inch flat head tacks, one in each corner. If the tacks won't go in by simply pushing them, tap them gently with a lightweight hammer.
Insert the mirror into the finished frame.
For silvertone tiles, lay the squares with the printed sides down.
Always wash soda cans before saving them for craft projects to prevent mold.
Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," Celebrations.com and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.