June 2, 2013

Happiness is...Making Tin Can Votives!

"Happiness is..." - .......this months theme for The Designer Crafts Connection.
We were all asked what makes us happy and creating makes me happy, especially if I can enjoy my creation while relaxing out in my 'secret garden' during the summer months!
I have been wanting to show off this craft idea for what seems like forever! Now that my garden is done and we have a new grill, I could not have picked a perfect time to show you how. :)
 First you are going to need a couple of clean tin cans, any size, with the paper removed.
Don't worry if you can't get all the glue off, it comes off easily after the can has been in the freezer.
With a black permanent pen, draw your design all around the can. The lines can be messy as it will be removed later.  Keep your design to the center of the can until you get the hang of working on this project.
 Fill your cans with water just above the top of the design. Too much will deform your can while freezing. Place cans in your freezer on a shelf where they can freeze overnight undisturbed
Find your self a old full sized bath towel. I have had this one since I was a little girl and I  keep it for projects such as this. Fold the towel in half length wise. Then roll it up on one side and then the other side as shown. Flip it over. Now you have a valley to hold your frozen can while you work.
This is best to do in the kitchen on your counter space near the sink, so you can any discard ice bits.
 Place your frozen can down in your towel-valley with the design up as shown. Then ready a sharp long nail and a hammer. (Not a mallet- too hard to see the nail/design as you work).
 Now depending on the size of your can and details of your design, this project can take 30 minutes to over 1 hour.  You also want to make sure you are free of distraction while working on this project as one slip of the nail/hammer could really hurt you. So be careful!

Hold your nail in place as shown and *tap lightly (5 times) to get the nail all the way in creating a full sized whole. * I say tap lightly as apposed to pounding the nail with the hammer, because as you work around your can, you don't want the ice inside to break up and come out before you are done. The ice keeps the can from caving in as you work.

I outlined my whole design with the larger holes, then filled in the design with smaller holes, (1-3 light taps).  Roll your can to the next design, tightening your towel valley if needed, and keep tapping until all done. Discard ice chips as they break from the can.
 Be careful as you handle your can, as the holes are very sharp and WILL cut you.
This craft is not recommended for young children.
 When you are done, run the can under the warm-hot water and discard the chunk of ice.
Turn the can over and hammer the bottom of the can back in as it bulged outwards from the freezing process.
OR......you can take a  hand held can opener and remove the bottom, ...perfect for placing over stationary lights.
 Make sure the can is completely dry on the outside before removing the marker lines with nail polish remover. Works like a charm!
 Now there are several ways you can color the cans.
  • Color them with alcohol inks (which will fade over time outside),
  • Spray paint them as I did. I used a Krylon metallic silver  for the star can, inside and out.
  • For the heart I used Krylon Red for outdoor furniture -plastic/metal.
  • Spray them with glitter paint to sparkle during the days. 
  • Follow this link to make your own rust patina.
The inside of the can is like a inverted cheese grater. So please be careful when placing  tea lights or candles in your can. Also keep lit cans on a heat proof surface and be-warned... the can will get hot while candle is lit and do not leave lit candles unattended for long.

Light, sit back and enjoy!

So what makes YOU happy?


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