Upcycle Final Report: Candle Holder

The inspiration for my upcycle project initially came from the night sky. I have always found the sky to be very aesthetically pleasing and love the way the stars look against the dark sky. I knew from the very beginning this was something I wanted to incorporate into my project. After thinking about a couple options for the project, I looked to these light projectors for further inspiration. Specifically, the green light shown above on the left. I have a family friend that uses one of these inside his home, right when you enter the house, so it looks like a cool, night sky scene. I knew I wanted to make something like one of these light projectors, but on a much smaller scale and thought to make some type of candle holder. As I began looking for ideas, I quickly realized that these are quite a popular DIY project. However, the candle holder was not my first idea.

When looking for ideas for a project that incorporated everything I wanted, I started with this shoe box constellation decoration above on the left. I think this would be a great decoration to have because it has the night sky scene and the light aspect that I was looking for, but my walls are already covered and I did not want the decoration to just sit there without use. Moving on from that idea, I saw a lot of these jar ideas that use different ways to create interesting light scenes. I was not sold on the idea of the fairy jar or the “lightning bug” jar, even though I did like the way they looked. None of these ideas seemed right for me, so I used the further inspiration I found through them to start brainstorming new ideas.

Finally, I stumbled upon these candle holders and knew right away that this would be the perfect upcycle project for me! I have a lot of small candles that need some type of holder, and the idea of making custom ones that were just right for me (and free) was intriguing enough, but it also incorporated all of the aspects I was looking for. The random holes with light shining through resembles the night sky and can be painted to further create that effect.

I started off by taking an empty soup can, peeling off the label, and washing it out. Next, I was not sure if I should paint the can before or after punching holes, but decided to try painting before because I could always repaint it after if need be. Once the paint was dry, it was time to punch the holes and since I was not going to use a pattern, I simply started punching. A lot of websites I saw suggested using a hammer and nails to make the holes, but that did not end up working so well for me. I think if I had someone helping me out, it might have been more manageable, but it was a difficult task on my own. I had the idea to use thumb tacks instead and this worked much better because I could hold the can in one hand and use the other to make the holes. Once the holes were finished, I went ahead and repainted the can because the nails had scratched up the paint a lot. I also had to go back through and go through the holes one more time once the next layer of paint was dry. In the video posted above, the light effect is shown when a flashlight is shown through the can which mirrors the effect a candle has when lit inside. All in all, I am pleased with how it turned out and I have already gotten quite a bit of use out of it! I would definitely try this again making actual constellations or using glow in the dark paint.


  • https://tapestryking.com/products/celestial-constellation-projector
  • https://www.christmaslightsetc.com/p/Green-X1000-Laser-Christmas-Light-Projector-61883.htm

■https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/united-kingdom/galleries/The-best-places-to-see-the-night-sky-in-Britain/ ■https://tapestryking.com/products/celestial-constellation-projector ■https://www.christmaslightsetc.com/p/Green-X1000-Laser-Christmas-Light-Projector-61883.htm ■https://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Star-Constellation-Light-or-night-light/ ■https://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/fairy-glow-jar/ ■http://www.flickriver.com/photos/brodyjt/4723110966/ ■http://www.puregreenmag.com/pure-green-blog/tin-can-redux ■http://www.auntannie.com/PartyDecorations/TinCanCandleHolders/ ■https://www.denverpost.com/2017/02/07/campbells-soup-business-future/ ■https://www.homedepot.com/p/TEKTON-16-oz-Hickory-Handle-Magnetic-Head-Claw-Hammer-30303/205763866 ■https://www.indiamart.com/proddetail/iron-nails-10583211748.html ■https://www.staples.ca/en/Staples-Thumbtacks/product_SS2003912_1-CA_1_20001

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • Joshua Engmorris
    May 5, 2019 2:38 pm

    Very cool aesthetic from a common household item. I bet it looks really cool in a dark room with a candle in it. love the starry look.

  • The project is aesthetically pleasing while simple. I like how the candle light shines through the holes on the holder. The black color gives it a very nice contrast with the light.

  • This was definitely a wonderful piece of art that came from practically nothing! I like the aesthetic you have created with your project and now it can be used daily.

  • I think the struggles of putting in the holes was interesting as the first question that came to my mind was how would you stabilize the can while punching the holes but using a thumb tack was a creative alternative. If you were to do his again would you choose to do a certain pattern on it or change the color of the can?

  • Fatema Alhalal
    February 12, 2019 2:41 am

    The holder was nice specially when you turned off the lights and we saw how beautiful it is! I liked the aesthetic in the space theme. I would use a bigger can to have bigger space for both the candle and the painting area. The candle smell was a nice touch!

  • Cool presentation! I really liked the effect the candle made when light was shined through it. I think it would be fun to make more of these and have some resemble constellations. Good work!

  • Hadeel Al Gallaf
    February 11, 2019 2:26 pm

    I like your idea a lot because the end product actually looks clean that it could actually be used around the house. Have you considered using glow in the dark paint? or maybe align the holes with the white paint so that the white dots glow when the candle is lit and when it’s not, the white paint portrays the same effect. Also, maybe exploring different space prints with more hues and saturation might be an idea worth exploring. Nice job!

  • Thanks for presenting! I think your paint splatter accurately depicts a night sky. Thanks for letting me put my phone flashlight into your soup can.

  • Christopher Seighman
    February 11, 2019 1:36 pm

    I really liked the aesthetic and the pattern, I think that the white splatter paint definitely helped portray it especially when the candle isn’t actually lit. I also think that the constellations would be a really cool idea for the next time you make one of these.

  • I enjoyed seeing your inspiration for this holder. It was very personalized and incorporated various designs. It is a lot more subtle than your inspiration, and I do think it accomplished the “vibe” you were going for. I would love to see a variety of colors for the cans and the splatter of the paint. Glow in the dark paint was a suggestion that I think would be great.


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