Recycled Aluminum Can Candleholders
The bottom of an aluminum can is sturdy, so you can use it to bear the weight of a candle. For each candleholder, you'll need a nail. You'll drive this up through the bottom of the can -- it becomes the spike on which you secure the candle. You'll also need a piece of wood or other secure mount for the candleholder. To make wooden mounts, find a dowel of a circumference that supports a soda can, and cut it crossways into thick disks.
The simplest candleholder uses only the bottom of the can. Cut it off right at the point where the can's sides meet the angled bottom rim. Finish the edges and drive the nail in upward. The angled rim becomes the wax catcher. This candleholder is simple and silvery; you can mount it on virtually any material to create a striking candlestick.
To make a flower-shaped candleholder, cut off the top half of a can and then make parallel vertical cuts down its sides, all the way around the can. The cuts should run from the top edge to about one-half inch (1 cm) from the bottom. These vertical strips turn into the petals of the flower. Use scissors to round their edges. Carefully peel each petal out and down to open the flower. Finish the edges, add the nail and mount the candleholder on a piece of wood.
Use the inverted bottom of a can to create a pedestal holder for small tea light candles. Cut off the bottom so that about one-half inch (1 cm) remains of the sides. Finish the cut edges so that they're even and the bottom, inverted, sits evenly on a flat surface. If you want, decorate the sides.
You can combine and mount your aluminum can candleholders in virtually endless ways:
- Cut an arc from the side of a much larger tin can. Finish the edges so that it stands as a rainbow-style bridge. Arrange candleholders along it at varying heights.
- Affix nine candleholders to a piece of reclaimed wood to create an eco-conscious menorah.
- Cluster flower-style candleholders in the middle of the dinner table as a centerpiece.
- Instead of flattening out some of your cans, use the natural curve of the aluminum to create ornate decorative curlicues and scrolls.
Between the ornaments, the gifts and the candles, you should be ready for just about any holiday that comes your way. Who knew your soda habit could be so useful?
To learn more, visit the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Aluminous Publishing. "Presenting the E-Book: Crafting Aluminum Art." 2002. (Accessed 4/12/09) http://www.aluminouspublishing.com/
- City of Newton, Kansas, Department of Sanitation. "More Recycling Facts: Aluminum." (Accessed 4/12/09) http://www.newtonkansas.com/dep/san/page14.html
- Craft Bits. "Soda Can Tab Belt." (Accessed 4/13/09) http://www.craftbits.com/viewProject.do?projectID=820
- Esprit Cabane. "Crafty 'Can'dleholders." 2007. (Accessed 4/13/09) http://en.espritcabane.com/recycling-crafts/crafty-candleholders.php
- Jewelry Making. "Mailbag: Ethics of Jewelry Design." July 23, 2008. (Accessed 4/13/09) http://www.bloglander.com/jewelrymaking/2008/07/23/mailbag-ethics-jewelry-design/
- Little House in the Suburbs. "Aluminum Can Ornaments." December 11, 2008. (Accessed 4/12/09) http://www.littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/2008/12/aluminum-can-ornaments.html
- The New New. "From Aluminum Cans to Jewelry." The New New: Independent Etsy Artists + Designers of the Metro NY Area. April 10, 2008. (Accessed 4/12/09) http://thenewnew.blogspot.com/2008/04/from-aluminum-cans-to-jewelry.html
- Reef, Gary. "How to Collage and Paint Aluminum Foil." Wonder How To. September 12, 2008. (Accessed 4/13/09) http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to/video/how-to-collage-and-paint-aluminum-foil-247561/
- Willhite, Nikki. "Homemade Christmas Ornaments." All Things Frugal ezine. (Accessed 4/12/09) http://www.allthingsfrugal.com/x_ornmts.htm