Let me off the grid! A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Three Gifts from a Can, part 1 - Punched Candle Lantern

This is the first in a three part series that will keep all your cans out of the trash or recycling bin!  To begin, you need a can.

It doesn't matter what size, although tuna fish cans might be a little small for a candle lantern. But, you decide. You need to use a can opener that takes the whole top off the can instead of the kind that leaves sharp edges. This is a must because when we use the ends of the can next week you really don't want to slice off your fingers!  This is what my can opener looks like:

Figure out what you're going to do with the contents of your can (probably a good idea to do this before you open the can). I made soup.
Lentil pastina soup
Wash off the lid and save it because we're going to use it next week. Take the label off the can and save it because we're going to use it the week after next. Don't be like me and forget where you put them...
Wash out the can, fill it with water and carefully put it in the freezer overnight. It needs to be frozen solid.

The next day...

Gather up your materials: a hammer, a big nail (I found this one in the bottom of the tool chest - I don't know what the technical size is, but it's got a good diameter), a sharpie marker, and your can full of ice

Draw a design on one or both sides of the can using the marker. You could also free draw it. Keep your design fairly simple.  The next time I do this, I think I'm just going to do spirals and curved lines.
OK, here's the voice of experience speaking: when you begin to hammer the nail into your design, start at the bottom of the can. Trust me. I began at the top and the ice came flying out of the can in BIG chips. Not good. You want the ice to stay in the can as long as possible, to provide support and keep the can from being crushed while you're hammering the snot out of it.
Yep, there are the ice chips.
If you're doing a design on both sides, start at the bottom and work halfway up the can. Then move to the other side and do the same thing. That way, there'll still be some ice to support the walls of your can.  Mine got a little wonky, but I managed to tap it more or less back into shape.
Yeah, it's pretty wonky. But it still works.

I didn't take a picture of the next step because I know you can figure it out without a visual. Use the can opener to take off the bottom of the can. Save the bottom - put it with the the top and the label. Don't be like me and leave them on the kitchen table where they will be sucked into the Twilight Zone...

Put it over a candle (I used one of those battery-operated tea lights because that's what was handy) and you're good to go!

As I said, next time I'm going for spirals...
Next week we'll use the ends of the can to make plant markers for your garden.  See you then!

(Shared on Homemade Mondays)


Carol said...

Wow I never knew you were supposed to freeze it - what a terrific idea! Thanks Julia!

Julia Winkler said...

You are so welcome, Carol. Thanks for stopping by!