UPDATE: In my original post I mentioned how I used to have an El Pato bracelet that I bought in 1997 or so and lost it over the years. I’ve never been able to find another, hence I made a new one of a different design. I share everything I make here with all of you! I realize now I should have taken the time to research where I bought it way back when. Now the post is out, people have told me it was Phoenix artist Pablo Luna who made my original bracelet. He’s a super cool guy and wonderful artist! I mean no disrespect to him, and apologize for not taking the time to ask around about where my first bracelet came from, I didn’t even have a picture! I am so sorry to Pablo and anyone else whom I may have offended. But here is Pablo’s Facebook page, please follow him and if you want to buy a bracelet from him, this is the guy to get it from!
Have you ever thought about making an El Pato can bracelet? I’ve always wanted to because at one point here in Phoenix I bought a cute skinny wristlet from a local artist (via a local store)… and then I lost it. I’ve never been able to find another so I decided to make my own version! The bracelet I had before had the edges hammered and smoothed to perfection and I knew I couldn’t pull that off, plus I didn’t want to copy another artist’s work.
So I gave it my own spin – a cuff!
Wait, what? Oh! In case you don’t know what El Pato is, it’s a delicious canned hot sauce that is used in all kinds of Mexican recipes. It’s made up of dried chiles, vinegar, spices and salt. El Pato means “The Duck.” Now that I cut open the cans and poured the sauces in storage bowls, right after I’m done with this post I’m going to look up El Pato sauce recipes for dinner this week!
I’d say the can is pretty iconic. It’s often used as a planter because the logo design is so colorful and printed on the actual can, no paper label here.
El Pato cans, washed and dried.
Needle nose pliers
GLOVES: For real! The can’s edges will become very sharp once you start cutting, there are little pieces you won’t be able to see, but you sure will feel them. So wear gloves and goggles!
Bernzomatic Solder wire, brush
Kiln brick or other heat absorbent surface
Bracelet bending tool, I used this one as well as a bracelet blank for one of the cuffs.
NOTE: If you have sensitive skin, you might want to line with felt, velvet, leather, etc.
How to make an El Pato Can Bracelet:
To make your El Pato can bracelet, wash and dry the can. Put on the gloves and goggles. Cut off the top and bottom ridge. Cut out the portion you want to be your bracelet, keeping in mind centering.
Once you’ve cut the bracelet area, add copper tape the all the edges, try to make the tape run even all around. Burnish the edges as flush as possible with the can. Coat the copper tape with the Bernzomatic Flux.
Follow the package directions to start the Bernzomatic ST500 3 in 1 Micro Torch and Soldering Iron. What I love so much about this tool is that you don’t need electricity, you simply fill it with butane. A little goes a long way and the tool is easy to operate. Not only that, but you can remove the soldering tip and it becomes a mini heat gun or even a torch!
Make sure to keep the exhaust hole facing away from you, and wearing gloves and goggles, fire up the tool and heat up the solder wire. Drag it across the copper tape several times to get a nice bubbly edge.
Time to turn them into bracelets!
You can bend them around a round surface, but I just happened to have a bracelet bending tool so I put it to use!
On one can I only cut out the duck and used that to make more of a petite bracelet. I used a bracelet blank and fused the duck on top.
This is my friend Thania from Subculture Recall. She has very small wrists and we were able to bend the bracelet to fit!
And here is my friend Dania from The Barbershop, showing the larger version!
This one is my fave – FUERTE!
For a display, I put them on this bracelet bar my dad made for me so you can see how on the green one I fused it to a blank to give it more of a finished jewelry look.
I think there is a lot more you can do with these, added resin with glitter over the letters. Maybe drill tiny holes and insert pronged crystals or charms. Or even bling for trim.
Thanks for checking out my El Pato can bracelet project! Let me know what you think!