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Recycled tin can candle holders

Upcycled Tin Can Key Ring Project

Other than providing a convenient vessel for your carbonated beverages so that they don't go completely flat, aluminium cans are also quite useful for a number of other things once they're completely empty.

If you tend to drink a lot of cold drink, chances are you have a lot of cans lying around the house. Even if you typically recycle those cans for cash, there are things that you can do with empty cans that are even better than getting a few pennies for them at the recycling centre.

From gifts to wonderful home décor, we will make you wonder why you ever threw them out in the first place. There are earrings, wind chimes, and even bracelets, and your friends and family will never know that you've made these out of recycled cans. The best part is that these are all easy to do projects that are so much fun and will make you look forward to emptying out that next fridge pack of cold drinks, just so you can start another project.

What you need to make your recycled tin can candle holders:

  • An assortment of recycled aluminium cans
  • A Box Cutter
  • A pair of Scissors
  • A Standard 30cm Ruler
  • A Pen/fine line marker
  • A Pair of Round Nose Pliers
  • Wire, a thick wire for your frame work (2mm) and a thinner for securing ends
  • Thin String for threading beads
  • A clean working surface
tin can keyring

Step 1

Choose the recycled aluminium can you would like to start the project with. Take a box cutter or a pair of scissors and carefully cut both the bottom and the top of the can off. Should you be using a pair of scissors, punch a small hole in either the top or bottom of the can and start cutting in a straight line to ensure you have a perfect line on both ends. Ultimately you will slice the tin down the side to create a perfect rectangle.

making hole in tin cancutting off top of can

Step 2

When you have cut both the top and bottom of the can off you have a cylinder. Ensure you cut the aluminium cylinder perfectly straight down the side of the cylinder. As you can see from the illustration below, most cans even offer you the perfect cutting line.

cutting though side of canside of can with no top and bottom

Step 3

Once you have your perfect rectangle. Place your tin flat on a surface and press down to straighten any kinks in the metal.

Step 4

Using a ruler, place it over the tin can, vertically and measure out several pieces the width of the ruler being used. In this instance we have used your standard plastic 30 cm ruler as an example. Ensure you have either a pen or a marker to draw lines, as you measure the width of a ruler. Or alternatively measure 3 to 3.5cm for each length to be cut. Continue doing this throughout the length of the aluminium tin.

placing ruler on can to mark cutting pointsmarking second set of points on can to rraw cut lines

Step 5

Cut strips as per the markings you have just made horizontally across the breadth of the tin.

cutting the tin can along marked lines

Step 6

Repeat this process until you have at least 15 to 20 evenly cut strips to use for the next step. You can either use the same can or alternatively use a multitude of different cans, that way your key ring will be bright, colourful and creative.

pile of cut soda can strips

Step 7

Using a round nosed pliers, take the strips you have just cut out and start rolling them around the one end of the pliers in a circular motion. What you are ultimately hoping to achieve is several strips of aluminium rolled up into small tubes.

bending the end of the soda can stripcomplet roling tin can stip

Remember: the more colours you can use the brighter and more creative your key ring will be

pile of rold tin can beads

Step 8

We now need to create the framework of the key ring. With the same pliers, get some wire and shape the wire into a heart shape. You can obviously use your imagination and make other shapes but for the purpose of this particular step by step we are using a heart shape.

To create a heart, cut a fairly thick wire (2mm if possible?) to a length of approximately 40cm, firstly bend one end of the wire, at about 5cm, back on itself. See illustration below. Once you have completed that first bend, use the long end of the wire to start shaping the top of your heart, moving down the holding the wire to see your shape, fold the wire, approximately in the middle and shape the last piece of wire in an arch to create the second part of your heart.

making a wire heart for keyring

If you are uncertain about your shape, an easy cheat would be to draw the heart shape you would like on a piece of paper before the bending process begins. That way you can literally bend and shape your heart by following the curves on the heart picture you have drawn.

Step 9

Using a much thinner wire, hold the two opposite ends of your wire, creating your heart shape and simply wind the thinner wire around the two open ends to secure them.

We suggest winding the wire as tight as possible and obviously keep winding the wire until you have covered any loose ends of the original frame.

securing or closing the wire heartcompleted wire heart

Step 10

Once you have your completed heart, take the same thin wire/string used to join your heart and from the bottom of the heart wind a small bit of wire/string from the point of the heart. This way you can start to thread your beads which you just created, through the wire/string and start preparing to create the centre of your heart. Don't add too many beads at once, you will notice that as soon as you start winding your beads over different areas of your heart, they may fall off, rather add fewer beads at a time. This will make it easier to place the beads and loop the wire around your heart as you start dressing the centre of your heart.

sliding the tin beads onto wire

Step 11

Once you have positioned your beads through the centre of the heart, ensure that you wind the string/wire through the frame so as to keep the beads in place.

Keep going on with this process of adding beads to your wire or string, then positioning the beads, winding the wire across the frame to keep them in place, until you have filled the complete inside of your heart shape. Remember the more assorted your beads you use, the brighter and more fun your key ring will be!

positioning and securing tin beads

Step 12

Once you have decorated the middle of your heart it is best to finish off with your wire or string in the middle of the heart, this will create the tail for key ring.

beaded wire heart with tail

Step 13

To finish of your key ring make a loop on top and feed the wire back down the beads and carry on wrapping around the rest of the heart to secure your loop.

making wire loop from tailof wirecompleted tin can and wire keyring

For more information regarding these crafts please contact us.

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