My partner Sara says I’m sick.
She insists, as I’ve suggested before, that my condition is chronic, if not terminal—not for the ailing me, in this instance, but for those closest to my afflicted self—Sara, to be specific. Clearly, it’s a sad situation for all involved—for me because I’m sick—for Sara since she’s the one my ailment might, in fact, ax.
So what exactly is this illness, you might ask.
To be honest, Sara says it goes by several names, but she calls it “hoarding”—claims I can’t recognize garbage when I see it. I suppose you could consider it a form of rubbish blindness—like color blindness, only lots more smelly. I may recognize colors when they clash, but with trash it’s another matter all together.
In the past several days, however, I have, I believe, proven the trash-savvy Sara wrong—
You see, we’re preparing for an event called the Bizarre Bazaar—to be held in downtown Lexington at 3rd Street Stuff. This opportunity, scheduled for September 22nd from 8-5 pm, offers local artists free table space for a day’s worth of art-smart, product peddling.
So, being the rubbish blind person that I am, I decided to make Christmas tree ornaments out of empty cat food cans—an idea Sara said wouldn’t work. I insisted otherwise, since the empty containers create a shadow box of sorts—a perfect frame for assemblage in miniature. Plus, it’s a green gift-giving idea.
I hope you will take a look at what I’ve made and see if you, too, suspect I suffer from rubbish blindness or am, in fact, the truly trash-savvy member of this Sara-Kathy partnership.
What you will need:
Step 1–Inside of Can
In each ornament I’ve completed so far, I’ve assembled layers of paper, text, and up-cycled lids inside an empty can. whose inside has been spray painted in a complimentary color.
Paper shapes can be cut with scissors, Exacto, or paper punch, while any text you might like to add can be hand-written, computer-generated, cut from a magazine, or rubber stamped. I also suggest experimenting with various sizes and kinds of lids, which are hot-glued in place and used to lift text up off the bottom of the can.
Step 2–Outside of Can
Around the outside of the can, I’ve applied checker-board Duct tape and ribbon to create the illusion of depth on an otherwise flat (though curved) surface.
I used an Exacto knife to cut the Duct tape to the width I wanted and applied glue to the back sides of ribbon. Here again, experiment with materials, play, have fun.
Step 3–Top of Can
At the designated top of my circular shadow box, I’ve created two holes using a nail and hammer, holes I can thread ribbon through. I tied bows at the tops of ribbons, which will be used to attach ornaments to Christmas trees.
I’ve then covered the site with circular pieces of paper, in which I’ve punched two holes. The holes allow you to, again, thread ribbon through.
This step gives the product a finished look but is, in all honesty, optional. In some, ornaments I used jewelry-making jump rings to attach my top ribbons to cans. I also experimented with variously sized circles and even layered some. Be creative.
Step 4–Back of Can (optional)
To the back of the can, I’ve applied my personal logo with a simple glue stick.
Gallery of Options
Below are a few more examples of my creations to date.
Sara may be eating crow when it comes to these cans, but I may be the one who has wrongly trashed my partner’s reputation—especially since, as she reminded me, she’s the one to have actually seen the sign advertizing the Bizarre Bazaar event and encouraged me to participate. Without her I may not have had the opportunity to can Christmas, so to speak, in the first place.
Regardless of who is truly consuming crow in this situation, two facts remain: Sara encouraged this particular Kat(hy) to act and I actually upcycled a potential product.
So though we’re still in the throes of summer here in the northern hemisphere, I’ll wish you a meowy Christmas anyhow, hoping you, too, will make these purr-fect Christmas ornaments. Happy canning, my friends.
I’m off to cook my crow.
In all honesty, who is more often right in your relationship, your partner or you? When’s the last time you ate crow?