Double Duty: How to make money twice from one hunk of junk.
Double Duty: How to make money twice from one hunk of junk.

Double Duty: How to make money twice from one hunk of junk.

“Do you do anything else with the fuel cans that we could use during other parts of the year?” I get this question a lot when I’m selling my Jacks in the fall. And being sort of a people-pleaser, I am trying to oblige.

When I was brain-dumping ideas of what to do with vintage fuel cans to break away from the ‘normal’ {normal for me}, like Jack-o-lanterns and sugar skulls, I spit out that I wanted to have SOMETHING amazing to do with those cans that I REALLY hesitate to cut up, like the Exxon Mobil pegasus cans {I hate cutting up any kind of horse stuff} and ones that aren’t all rusted that have really crisp original graphics on them.

Something amazing. Like, say, big ol’ LOUD necklaces.

I love making pieces of jewelry that NOBODY else has.

When I’m creating new products, I make what I like. I find that if I try to create for someone else’s taste, the result is lackluster, and the product doesn’t sell as well as the stuff I make after my own taste. I get TONS of compliments on the jewelry I make and wear, and it’s totally normal for me to sell it right off of my body!

So, where do I start on this people-pleasing vintage fuel can project?

I use the plasma cutter to rough-cut those nice company emblems out of the fuel cans, then set aside the cans. Another of my brain-dump ideas is to craft some cool walkway luminaries with pretty designs cut in the sides that you can put a citronella candle inside to light it up. So, I cut the emblems out, then the largest part of the original thing doesn’t go to waste; it is be a secondary product: the luminary. BOOM. Two products from ONE THANG. And it totally people-pleases: Two new vintage fuel can products!

I am really in my element when I’m playing with customers in the junk shed, and we get into all sorts of stuff like this. I love teaching this stuff to others. I dig showing people how to use the plasma cutter.

I do workshops on metal work; there are several on the Eventbrite site…click here to check them out and book a spot this spring if you’re close enough to me: Plasma Cutting Spring Things Workshop. You could totally turn one of those fuel cans into your veryown luminary to put in your garden or on your front porch this summer!

If you’d like to see how I turn those fuel/oil can emblems into jewelry, you’re in luck. I did a tutorial video of the first ones that I made. Watch it here: Soldering Tutorial. Don’t forget to drop a comment here for me and let me know what you think. Just don’t make fun of my amateur recording skills. Ha.

If you love what you see, I’ve got several workshops on the Eventbrite site this spring where you can book a ticket to come into the studio in town and learn to solder like I do in that video! We’ll use junky stuff {you can bring your own stuff or raid my stash} to make amazing jewelry. Check out that workshop here: Soldering Workshop. There are two entries for this: one in early March and another in April. This link takes you to the one in April, where there are 3 time slots from which to choose. There’s still room in the March one as well, so book a ticket and come in and play with me!

This fuel can jewelry is definitely big and wild, but could be tamed down if it’s not your style. I have a huge stash of square, rectangle and round glass cabochons to start your base piece, magazines to find cool backgrounds to make 2-sided pendants, old hymnals that you can clip words from to make a statement on your background, beautiful beads to dangle down from your pendant, and a lot of other fun stuff. I hope you’ll join me and create something new! Don’t forget, if you can’t attend one of my workshops, I also teach by appointment. Whatever it takes, I want to get you in touch with your creative side.

Just a sampling of my stash of jewelry makin’s.

Have a look at just a couple pieces of my art jewelry below. This is just a little drop of inspiration in the huge bucket of possibilities. I hope to see you soon!

A scrap of vintage tatting and a title clipped from a hymnal’s table of contents in front of rose gold glitter faux leather on the front, a scrap of a vintage hankie on the back, sandwiched between two square pieces of glass {I cut it myself} and soldered to make a pendant, with three freshwater pearls and a pretty ribbon tassel on a silver chain.
Two-sided pendant on silver chain. I used a piece of tapestry fabric, some words I clipped from magazines, and a tiny piece of a picture I clipped from a vintage book, sandwiched between two glass cabochons. I soldered around them and soldered a ring on before adding the chain.

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