How To Convert Tin Cans to Votive Holders

Recycling Tin Cans for Decorative Purposes

Making crafts and décor for your home can be very expensive if you buy your supplies from the craft store. An inexpensive way to personalize your décor is to recycle products you already use. By recycling existing materials you not only utilize low-cost materials but you also cut down on waste. You reduce waste in a two-fold manner, you throw less into the trash and you don't buy something, which, in turn, decreases demand. The 2-12 cans used in a project like this may seem like a drop in the recycling bucket but a dripping bucket can fill up rapidly.

Step 1


  • Tin food cans
  • Drill or hammer and nail
  • Decoupage medium
  • Brush
  • 20 gauge or heavier wire
  • Beads
  • Acrylic finish
  • Napkins, tissue paper, or other thin printed papers
  • Gold leaf (optional)

Step 2

Clean the food cans. Remove the paper from the outside of the can. A citrus-based solvent can be used to dissolve any adhesive that can't be cleaned off easily.

Step 3

Use the drill to pierce two holes near the top of the can. They need to be directly opposite of each other. These will be the holes for the handle.

Use the drill to pierce random holes around the entire can. These holes will let out a glittering light from the twinkling candles.

Step 4

Select the image you want to add to the side of the can. Tear the tissue or paper to fit the can. If the tissue has multiple layers, make sure to peel off the extraneous layers.

Step 5

Thin 1 part of decoupage medium with two parts water.

Use the brush to apply decoupage medium to the side of the can where the image will be placed.

Carefully lay the image on the wet can. Use the brush to gently pat the image onto the can. Do not brush the image as it will cause the thin paper to tear. Make sure to adhere the entire paper to the can, thoroughly soaking the paper with the decoupage mixture and pressing the paper into the tin can's grooves.

Step 6

Allow the tissue to dry. Use a pointed object such as a needle to pierce the paper anywhere there are holes in the tin can.

Step 7

Decorate the can with paints and gold leaf if desired.

Seal the can with acrylic finish.

Embellish the can with trim if desired.

Step 8

Cut a length of wire to be the handle.

Push one end of the wire into the can; crimp a loop in the wire to hold it in place. Curve the wire over the opening of the can. String beads onto the wire and twist the wire around a pencil if desired. Bend the wire over and push the remaining end into the can and crimp another loop to hold it in place.


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