|This is this months DYI project|
I lived in New Mexico for a while. While there, I was asked to make all the lighting fixtures and bathroom decorations for a hotel in Santa Fe. There were two problems with this. The first problem was, and probably still is, that I am incapable of saying no. I wish you could hear me sigh. The second problem was that the owner wanted everything made from punched tin. Hadn't ever worked with tinplate but that wasn't going to stop me. I did the job and it turned out well, but I'm not sure I really want to do that full time again.
Anyway, as we roll into fall, I figured it was once again time for me to give you some DIY projects to keep you from going broke during the holiday season. And, as usual, I am going to try to make this work with tools that you already have plus some stuff from your junk drawer. That's that drawer that I know you have full of all the bits of debris that you don't know what else to do with. You will need a knife you are willing to destroy for the sake of the satisfaction you will get from not spending all your money.
I spend my days living with a pretty good possibility of burns. I know, however, that you don't have an oxy/acetylene torch in your junk drawer so this will all be done cold. I'm just going to ask that you don't cut yourself. That's the primary danger with this project. I once cut the tip of my thumb off preparing a pear for my daughter. Using a knife comes with no guarantees.
The other significant, or actually more significant, event from my time in New Mexico is also relevant here. My neighbor in Santa Fe burned her house down with a candle. She didn't have a candle holder and she left a lit candle without one sitting on her wooden desk when she went to sleep. I never asked, and now I wonder, if there was alcohol involved. Doesn't really matter. It was a spectacular fire in the middle of the night. My favorite part of the story that I haven't actually told you is that in an effort not to wake me while her house burned to the ground, she didn't come over and turn on my outside spigot. The fire trucks took care of waking me, and everybody else in the neighborhood. My neighbor managed to rent a house down the drive while her house was being rebuilt and a short timelater she came running up the drive screaming that the hose to the washer broke and the house was full of water. I knew better than to ask if she had turned off the spigot.
Anyway, my point is that you should be careful while doing this project and also with candles. And washing machines.
Before I tried this, I had never made one of these. How hard could it be? Right? It didn't turn out to be too hard, but I am going to give you a couple of tips to help you avoid the mistakes I made. First is probably that you should wear gloves. I won't be able to help you with the mistakes you invent.
This month's money saving, finger endangering project is tin can candle holders. These babies are versatile. You can make spooky ones for Halloween. You can use them around your cornucopia at Thanksgiving. The can make your holiday decor very festive and you could probably even make your table at the New Years Day black eyed pea feast really spectacular. Plus, if you are at a loss for the perfect gift to take to all those holiday parties, you could make and take these. Of course, next month's project might be a better gift. I don't know because I haven't thought of what it will be yet, but it could be better.
Let's get started. First you need a tin can. I know you are thinking an aluminum can would be easier. It might. I didn't try one and I'm not sure how you get the top off. I'm sure there's a way. Tin can's usually have the top off because that's how you got the contents out. I just used regular tin cans. I think one had garbanzo beans and one had olives and I don't remember. You could use a coffee can or even one of those big bulk food cans. I just used what I had. You should also just use what you have. That's part of what makes this fun.
|A weeks worth of cans. I ended up chucking the little one. It was too small to make anything good.|
|Slices in the first can.|
Sadly, the next thing I did was ask google how to keep from crushing the can while punching. I found a person who said to fill the can with water and freeze it. That works great for the punching. Ice being ice and doing ice things, it distorts the bottom of the can as it expands. You will have to flatten the bottom after you get the ice out of it.
For the last two cans, I filled them with water and froze them. Then I punched the top and bottom band first. The ice pick seemed boring so I found a little Phillips head screw driver in my junk drawer and that made a nice star shaped hole. I liked that. I did have a couple of moments of excessive force and got bigger holes than I wanted. Be careful about that, but basically the ice works for the punching. I melted out the ice to do the slicing. I didn't really want the extra resistance. I like the slanted slices better than the straight vertical slices but either way works. I don't recommend making the ribbons too narrow because the can will collapse. I'm going to think about other ways to support the can from the inside. If I come up with something I will let you know next month.
This video even made me nervous to watch.
Don't worry though, I don't bleed in this one.
This is a truly terrible video. Maybe you can see a little of what I'm doing.
Plus I do bleed in this one. Fun for everyone.
The last thing I did was go out and buy candles. My junk drawer had exactly one tea light candle and one fake battery operated tea light candle with a dead battery. Useless junk drawer.
|These are my first three candle holders. You can probably tell why I like the diagonal slashes. I wonder how they would be without the ribs and how a bigger can would work. Maybe I will line my fence with them when I move to the country.|
|Starting work on the patina|
There were people online who painted the cans. I can understand wanting to do this but I wouldn't. The tinplate is shiny at first, but I'm pretty sure the heat of the candles will create a really nice patina on these cans. That reminds me. They will get hot. Don't burn yourself either. Metal is a conductor.
The final can and yes I used iMovie to really make it goofy.
I did a pretty simple basic design on these, but I think you should go nuts. I can't wait to see what you make.
Good luck, wear gloves, have fun and get to work.