DIY | Tin Can Redux

Make Your Own Candle Holder

tin can candle holder tools

We think a lot about packaging in our house. As much as is possible, we buy foods in bulk and stay away from things that come wrapped up in boxes and bags. Sometimes though, a package is hard to avoid. Just last week we were making a Thai curry and needed to use a tin can of coconut milk. Normally we would have put the can out for collection by our city recycling program, but I decided to put it to use as a candle holder instead. I don't blame you if mention of a tin can craft has you thinking of your 3rd grade scout trip, but if you ask me, these candle holders can make a sweet addition to an adult tablescape, too. 

You need just a few supplies: scissors, tape, a pen or pencil, a sheet of paper, a few nails of different sizes, a hammer, and, of course, a tin can.

tin can with ice, tape, stencil

The first step should be to fill your tin with water and freeze overnight. The ice stablizes the tin so that it doesn't bend and dent as you punch holes. tin can with stencil

Next, draw the pattern you'd like to see onto a piece of paper. I used a scrap from a brown paper bag. Once you've finished the pattern, secure it to your can with tape. The pattern will act as a stencil as you punch holes.tin can candle, hole punched

Using differently sized nails will add nice variation and nestling your tin can on a folded kitchen towel will keep it from rolling around as you punch holes.

tin can candle holder, stencil removed

When you're finished hammering, unwrap your can and run it under warm water to remove the ice.

tin can candle holder, complete

I popped a beeswax candle into my new little candle holder and set it up on its window ledge home. If you'd prefer to make a lantern, just make sure to punch two holes opposite each other near the top lip of the can. String a piece of wire through the holes, et voilà. 

tin can candle holder, lit

POSTED by Erin Boyle; get more from Erin at readingmytealeaves.com

PHOTOGRAPHS by Erin Boyle for Pure Green Magazine



Awesome tip Jinnet, thank you! And yes, please do take care if you are using a regular can opener, using ribbon to cover the edge, or washi tape, is a great idea.
May 6, 2014 | Celine

Save yourself from cuts by using one of those great can openers like Kuhn Rikon that leaves rounded edges on both the can and the top (good for the rest of your kitchen life, too).
June 8, 2013 | Jinnet Fowles

Please tell the people you give this to..to be careful with letting little kids or older people that they can get a nasty cut..putting hands inside...edges are very Sharp...I did this many years ago..and one of my students in the 6th grade stuck her hand in to lite the candle....needless to say her mother was at the school..and was angry...but we added sprigs of greenery and a velvet bow with hot glue...spray paint it you like...or leave silver. We did Trees or Snowflakes..so nice and I gave the kids candle and glass votive...told them to get long matches...dated the bottom of cans..a nice keepsake..
November 17, 2012 | Linda

Great idea! I'm going to try this with the Grandkids!
July 21, 2012 | Deanna

Loved it! We had a small picnic in our back year. We made several can lights. Then we hanged them from a tree. The friends liked them a lot. They were fun doing and very simple. If there was a way to share some pictures, we would had uploaded some. Thank you again
July 17, 2012 | Miriam

Love this!
June 13, 2012 | Sara / Sweet Harvest Moon

Glad you liked it Callie! Maybe some family or friends would save some cans for you ;)
June 13, 2012 | Celine

Love this idea. I don't use a lot of food in tins myself, but I may need to go shopping to get some. These would look great throught out the garden Xx Callie
June 12, 2012 | Callie Grayson

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