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How to Turn Soup Cans Into Candle Containers

This craft is an oldie but a goodie. Using tin food cans, you can illuminate your favorite outdoor space. All you need is a nail, hammer and optionally, a drill to turn soup cans into candle holders.

Step By Step

1. Test the bottom seal on all cans, especially if you're using old cans. Fill the cans with water and let sit overnight to ensure they won't leak. A can that leaks water might also leak hot wax from the bottom. Obviously, if you just opened a fresh food can, the seal should be tight, but I don't want to be responsible for someone getting wax on her furniture.

2, Remove the labels and clean the food cans. I used tomato sauce and olive tin cans. Coffee cans are great for larger candle holders.

3. Secure the can so it won't roll while you work on it. Lay the can on its side in a vise grip, tightly-fitted box, or inside a barrier created from blocks of wood, for example. You could just sit in the butterfly position (knees out to the sides, bottoms of your feet touching) and hold the can between your bare feet while you watch "Bob's Burgers" on Netflix. I'm not saying that's what I did nor am I recommending it, but I am saying I know it will totally work.

4. Angle a nail down toward any raised line in the can. Hold the nail in place just above the raised line and hammer the nail through the can. I was less successful when I tried to hold the nail straight, or when I tried to hammer through the flat surface of the can. Hammering at an angle toward the raised lines really helped.

5. Create a beautiful, elaborate design with tiny nail pricks; or, use a drill to create larger holes.

6. Hold the drill at a downward angle as you did the nail (not straight down) and drill into the can at the hole. If you try to drill without creating a small prick from the nail, the drill will have a hard time staying in place on the round can. The small hole helps the drill catch on the difficult surface.

7. Continue hammering and drilling until you achieve the look you want. It's just that simple. Remember, you don't want wax to melt out onto your furniture, so don't puncture too close to the bottom of the can.

Safety Note: I did not create the original idea for this craft; it's been around for years. I just did my own version of it after seeing more artistic designs produced with nails. I've never heard of any issues with the candle overheating the can and haven't experienced that, but it's always something to keep in mind. I would warn, however, that after drilling into the can, you may have sharp metal protrusions on the inside to watch out for when placing a candle inside.

Like this? You might also like:
Outdoor Oasis: How to Turn a Futon into a Porch Couch
How to Make a Seashell Wind Chime


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