DIY | Tin Can Redux

TEXT by Erin Boyle | PHOTOGRAPHS by Erin Boyle


Make Your Own Candle Holder

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.