How to Make Candle Holders From Scrap Materials

Scrap materials can be recycled to make tin candle holders.
By Gail Damerow
December 1994/January 1995
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Candle holders are simple to make and perfect for the holidays while caroling outside at night.

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Imitation pierced-tin candle holders may be used to set the mood for at-home holiday events or to light the way during evening caroling. Follow these simple directions for how to make candle holders. For each candle holder, you'll need an empty soup can, cleaned and with the label removed. If the label is printed on, lightly sand the can so it will accept paint.

You'll also need a scrap of wood that's smaller than the can and rounded to match its shape, a vice, tin snips, an electric drill (or a hammer and a pointed punch or stout nail), a sheet of plain paper, carbon paper, a pencil, some adhesive tape and a can of spray paint.

If you'll be using your candle holder indoors, leave the bottom of the can intact; if outdoors, drill a hole in the bottom of the can. Using tin snips, cut slits around the edges of the hole and fold them inside the can, widening the hole until it's slightly smaller than the candle you intend to use.

Next, make a paper pattern for the design you'll punch out. Cut the paper to fit around the can, then fold the paper in half. On one side, sketch an easy holiday design, such as a star, Christmas tree or simple snowflake. Use carbon paper to copy the pattern onto the other side of the paper, so the front and back of your candle holder will have the same design. Lay the paper flat, and pierce the design all around with the pencil to create 1/8-inch dots, about 1/4-inch apart. Tape the paper pattern to the can.

With the shaped wood firmly held by the jaws of the vise, slip the pattern-covered can over the wood and carefully drill or punch out the marked holes. Spray the can with one coat of paint.

For indoor use, center a votive candle in the candle holder. If you'll be using the candle holder outdoors, insert a 6-inch long candle into the hole, leaving 3-inches protruding from the bottom for a handle.

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