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Tin Can Candle Holders

How to make unique candle holders from tin cans

The tin can has been around for years, providing many different craft projects that can be made from them. Besides wood and foam, they're one of the most versatile mediums for making crafts. And best of all, they're cheap.

Tin cans are often used to make many kinds of candle holders, providing a unique and distinctive touch to your home or garden. In this article, we will share some ideas on how to use them to make interesting and unique candle holders! 

There are two basic sizes of tin cans: soup cans and coffee cans. Both sizes offer a wide variety of different craft ideas. They can be cut, punched, painted, weathered, and modified in numerous ways. They can be placed on top of a table or hung from a tree or hanger out in the garden. 

Let’s begin with the basics. Most people simply punch holes into the can, which is the easiest, but you can use any type of cutting tools. A drill works well, but a Dremel tool works even better.

For those who will be using a hammer or drill, let’s begin there. Before you begin, fill the can with water and allow it to freeze. This will allow you to punch the holes easier, and reduce the chance of bending the can. 

When making tin can craft projects, it helps to have a plan or design in your head or on paper. Drawing the design out on paper allows you to modify it and then tape it around the can to serve as a template. Think about whether or not you may want to paint the can or weather-proof it for outside use. 

A good example of a tin can craft design is a simple western motif. Download a silhouette graphic of a dog howling at the moon, then use your Dremel rotary tool to cut out the scene on the can. Paint it black, punch two holes in the top, and hang it in your garden

Simpler craft designs include punch-out designs such as creating a bunch of tiny holes to create a night sky effect. Patterns look great as well. 

Once you have cut out a design, painting can finish the look of your candle holder. I'll often choose black because the light will shine through better at night or in a dim room. Light blue and white to match your kitchen décor will also add a unique touch. You can add most any type of embellishment to the can, such as ribbon or colored stones. 

If you desire a more elaborate candle holder, try using a large coffee can which provides a larger area to work with. One idea for these cans is to cut holes about 1/2" in diameter and attach pieces of stained or colored glass to the inside. You can even create an entire stained glass tin can candle holder.

The larger cans are also great for outdoor use. Their large base is perfect for walkways and decks because they don't tip over easily. 

By cutting slits down the sides of the cans and bending the edges downward, you can create a nice flared-out look. Just remember to file down the edges because they'll be very sharp.

For an added flare, try twisting the ends with a pair of pliers. You can do a lot with this method, even adding other cut out pieces to the cans. You can create an angled top for the can, similar to a lantern. 

With a little paint and imagination, you can turn any tin can into a lovely craft worth putting on a table or your mantle. Experiment and have fun. And don't worry about messing up because you probably have plenty of empty cans lying around!

About the author:

Jeremy Gauthier is co-owner of Expressive Candles, a small candle making company in Florida. They offer hand poured candles as well as a growing candle decorating and tips guide.

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