Ultimate Guide to Recycled Tin Can Crafts

Recycled Tin Can Candleholders

A tin can candleholder works in exactly the same way as a lantern, except it isn't suspended from anything. At night, the patterns in a punched tin candleholder spring to life -- the perforations will send beautiful light over any nearby surface. Even short, squat tins can enjoy a second life as the bases for tea lights.

Of course, you may be using a candleholder indoors, where the rusticated-and-rusted aesthetic may not work so well. You might have to put a bit more energy into decorating it, so as not to convey the impression that you've left kitchen trash all over the place. You'll also want to be especially vigilant about rust sealants, as an indoor candleholder may come into contact with tablecloths, furniture and other surfaces that you'd rather not stain.

As before, you'll be freezing the can and then punching holes into it. For a really easy option, use a can opener to make wedge-shaped perforations. If a tin is painted with a design, leave the design on for color and vintage charm. Experiment with punching out patterns that coordinate with the painted design, so that the candleholder is attractive even without emitting light.

Metal can heat up, so make sure you put the tin can candleholder on a heatproof surface. Two beautiful options are stone and ceramic tile. Visit a local flooring supplier for remnants. An unadorned piece of slate or shale can be a strikingly modern way to display a candle.

If you do want a rustic look for an indoor candleholder, go all the way. Spray the can with several layers of enamel in gradations of black, brown and rust red, so you can achieve the color of rust but still have a can that's safe to handle. Mount it on reclaimed wood or naked stone. The important thing is to make the rustication look deliberate, as opposed to the simple product of household neglect.

Many tin can crafts add color and warmth to a room, but on the next page, we'll look at a way to use cans to actually create color: green. Read on.