24 April 2009

A Special Souvenir

Yay, it's Friday! We end the week with a final post on soda cans that went from blah to Tada!

This week I showed you how other people, specifically local folk from South Africa, blah to Tada! I think it's awesome to make (and receive) treasure from trash! During this same trip in Durban, South Africa, I met a fellow named Sylvester. He was peddling his wares to gift shops. He was like Santa Claus carrying a big sack of products, all made from soda cans. I chatted him up and through our conversation, I discovered the fire of his entrepreneurial spirit. He didn't have a job, he didn't have much and to build a better future for himself, he decided to be a businessman. He did everything himself -- sourcing his materials, crafting, marketing and door-to-door sales. Sylvester was kind enough to show me how he made his products:

He starts with collecting soda cans from garbage bins. The cans are grouped together by brand, cleaned and are cut using a pair of scissors (a precise skill!).

With the top & bottom off, the soda can now looks like a sheet. These are measured and cut using a pattern. Then holes are drilled on the edges of the can.

The can is weaved onto leather using a cord that looks like thin cable wires (the cord is inserted into the holes). The leather strengthens the can, makes it more pliable and covers the sharp edges. The different parts (ex. strap for a bag) are attached together using more cord. Sylvester tightly weaves the parts together, I was sure it was going to be strong & sturdy.

Sylvester showing off his handiwork.

Tada! A bag, a cap and visors all made from soda cans!

See that bag on the left made of Coca Cola cans? I bought this from him as my souvenir from South Africa. He even signed the inner flap! We said goodbye, both happy.

t's been three years since we met and I truly hope his business has grown!

Have a fantastic Tada! weekend everyone!


  1. That is phenomenal! What a neat website this is - so glad you stopped by my blog so I could visit! :)


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