Punched Tin Votive Holders

I often wonder if October would be so mysterious if it didn’t end with the holiday synonymous with all things otherworldly, Halloween. There is something magical about this time of year. A transformation occurs taking us from a period of light, growth and abundance to darkness, cold and dormancy. The signs of this transformation such as shorter days, cool nights, clear starry skies and the hunter’s moon all lend an air of mystique. In the end I have to conclude that, with or without Halloween, October is indeed a very mysterious month.

Being a person with an inquisitive mind I am attracted to the enigmas in life and this carries over to the garden as well. A well-designed garden always incorporates the principle of mystery; a winding path, a dim recess, a bench hidden under the low branches of a tree.

Punched Tin Votive HoldersOne of the easiest ways to add this element to your evening garden is to vary the interplay of light and dark. A strategically placed source of light beckons us forward with a warm glow and intriguing shadows.

This project for punched tin can votive holders is the perfect way to illuminate your garden during the witchy month of October.

empty soup, broth or vegetable cans
fine gauge wire
large nail
votive candles
thick gloves
table vise
permanent marker

Remove labels from cans and wash and dry thoroughly.

With your safety gloves on, take the pliers and bend down any sharp edges created when the lid was removed with a can opener.

With a permanent marker draw dots on the can to create a shape. You can also do this on a sheet of paper to use as a template. I stick with simple geometric patterns rather than intricate representations. It just cuts down on the frustration level.

Fill cans with water and freeze. This will help the cans keep their shape when you punch in the holes. Keep in mind that water expands when it freezes. I found that one or two of my cans split down the side. The expansion also caused the bottom of the cans to protrude. This was easily remedied by tapping them back into place with a hammer.

Punching Holes in a CanOnce the water in the can is frozen solid, clamp the can to a work table with a vise.

Using a large nail and a hammer punch a hole into either side of the can. This is where you will attach the handle.

Then punch holes into the can following the pattern you laid out with your permanent marker.

Interior Image of the Votive HolderAllow the ice to melt, pour out any remaining water and dry the can.

To create a handle, take a length of the fine gauge wire and insert it through one of the side holes. Twist the end to secure. Repeat with the opposite end of the wire on the other side.

Place a small amount of sand in the bottom of the can and add a votive candle. If you are feeling particularly festive use a spicy scented candle to perfume the air.

Hang these in various places in the garden and light at dusk.

Use caution when removing holders after use, as the sides will be very hot.