Upcycled Tin Cans To Chic Candle Pedestals

Upcycled tin cans allow for clever ways to "restore, reuse and reinvent" items that would otherwise be sent to the recycling center. Although recycling is good, it still takes energy and resources to complete the process. Upcycling products creatively at home eliminates waste and the use of recycling resources.

If you search for tin can crafts or tin can decor, you will find some fun upcycle ideas for cans. I've seen them turned into utensil holders, wind chimes, and lanterns to name a few. I began saving soup cans before I began upcycling them. I figured there had to be some neat ways to repurpose them.

A year ago, I upcycled tin cans to produce seasonal Fall crafts. I also began experimenting with stacking them to create simple industrial-looking pedestals. I really enjoyed them repurposed in this manner so experimented further.

Upcycled Soup Can Candle Pedestals
Candle Pedestals Made From Empty Soup Cans

Most recently, I've begun adding trendy decor and design finishes to them. Follow along to see how upcycled tin cans produced the cool home decor seen here.

How To Make Candle Pedestals
From Upcycled Tin Cans

Start with some of the supplies I have listed/shown below.

  • Empty and clean tin cans (Progresso soup cans work best!)
  • E-6000 adhesive (or similar adhesive)
  • Spray paint and acrylic paints
  • Round, firm bristle paint brush
  • Stencils (optional)
  • Cardboard
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Felt Pieces
  • Scissors

Empty Soup Cans For Upcycling
Soup cans adhered to one another after two days of drying.

CAUTION: Inner can edges are sharp!

Before you begin working with your cans, use a long-handled bristle brush (available at any Dollar Tree®) to clean the inside of the cans. Allow them to air-dry. Do not insert you hand into the cans.

Tip: Progresso soup labels remove easily. Use some dish detergent and your fingernail to remove the remaining glue residue. Use Goo Gone if you experience any difficulty.

Getting Started:

Run a bead of adhesive around the inside lip of clean, dry cans for attaching them to one another. Place a brick on top of adjoined cans to apply pressure as the glue cures.

Once the adhesive has cured sufficiently (2 days dry-time recommended), you can use them as they are for a modern-industrial look or you can elect to decorate them with spray paint as I did. I used Rust-Oleum in flat black to provide the base finish on these upcycled tin can projects.

Tip: Apply numerous light coats of spray paint to achieve the best finish. It will take about 3-to-4 coats to properly fill-in the ribbing of the cans.

Allow the spray paint to properly dry. I spray them outdoors, let them cure an hour or so and then bring them indoors to dry overnight in the basement.

**See some of my other decorative uses for spray paint**

Once they are dry, you can apply further painting techniques or designs to the finish. I have used purchased stencils as well as hand-made stencils (seen below) to create patterns.

When In Rome . . .

Roman Numeral Stencils
Roman numerals are trendy motifs in decorating. I couldn't find any Roman numeral stencils so created my own. I printed font letters from the internet, transferring them to heavy paper and then cut them out with an x-acto knife.

Roman Numeral Stenciled Candle Pedestals
I wrapped the hand-made paper stencils around the can and attached them carefully with small rolls of tape where the stencil didn't lay flat. I covered and taped protective newspaper around the rest of the cans since semi-gloss, white spray paint was used for this pattern.

Roman Numeral Stenciled Candle Pedestals From Upcycled Soup Cans
Trendy and cool, upcycled home products!
Flameless candles are your best bet for this project.

Creating your own stencils can be time-consuming, so purchase pre-made stencils. Paper stencils work better than plastic in this instance since they will wrap better around the curve of the upcycled tin cans.

Craft Stencils
I stumbled upon this pack of paper stencils in a discount bin. Michael's may carry something similar.

Getting Ready To Stencil Upcycled Tin Cans

Apply your stencil. In this case, the stencil fit the entire "pedestal". If your stencil is a smaller pattern, carefully tape it in place with painter's tape.

I used both tape and rubber-bands (top and bottom) to help hold the stencil in place.

I elected to choose an area of the stencil to paint (rather than painting the entire pattern).

Lightly Stipple Paint Through Stencil

For this stencil, I used Martha Stewart acrylic craft paint in satin, color: Summer Linen (#32075).

Apply a small amount of paint to the end of your brush and dab it on another surface to remove any excess, then begin dabbing it through your stencil.

Less is more in this case. You don't want paint oozing beneath the stencil so keep your brush on the dry side for the best result. You will have to dab or stipple your brush numerous times to properly fill-in the pattern.

Pattern On Upcycled Cans After Stenciling
Carefully remove the stencil as soon as you are satisfied with the coverage. You will want to remove it before the paint fully dries to eliminate any chance of the stencil adhering to the finish.

If your pedestals are at various heights as mine, you will want to continue the above process while adjusting your stencil appropriately (top to bottom) to center the pattern as the pedestals get shorter (or taller). Once you are done, allow your upcycled tin cans to properly dry. A full 24 hours is recommended.

Create Protective Bottoms For Your Candle Pedestals

Supplies For Making A Protective Felt Bottom

The bottom of the cans should be covered to protect your surfaces from scratches, and your hands from risk of injury. Easily make some felt covers that fit in place perfectly.

You will need:

  • A piece of paper
  • A piece of cardboard (a flap from a box works well)
  • A piece of craft felt (purchase them per sheet at fabric and craft stores)
  • A marker
  • Scissors
  • Spray adhesive

First, place the pedestal or a same-sized can on the paper and trace it. Then, cut it out and begin cutting it slightly smaller (as necessary) until if fits snuggly into the opening of the can. Use caution as the sharp edge of the can is exposed in this area.

Once you are satisfied with your circle template, trace it onto the cardboard.

Cut out your cardboard circles (see image above for reference).

Square Felt Pieces

Cut out squares of felt large enough to wrap over the sides of the cardboard circle, lay them on a flat protected surface, and coat them with spray adhesive.

Tip: A plastic lid from a large storage container
is great for spray adhesive projects (shown above).

Cardboard Bottoms Placed On Adhesive Sprayed Felt

Place the cardboard circle in the center of the felt squares.

Wrap Adhesive Sprayed Felt Over Cardboard Bottoms

Wrap the sticky felt around the cardboard as neatly as possible.
(this side will face into the can)

Run A Bead Of Glue Around Inner Can Edge To Adhere Protective Felt Bottoms

Apply a bead of adhesive around the recessed lip of the can
(the same as when you were adhering the cans to one another)

Protective Felt Pads Glued To Bottoms Of Upcycled Can Pedestals

Insert the felt covered circles into the opening. They should fit snuggly and will set relatively flush with the edge of the can. Be sure the fully-covered felt side (the nice side) faces out!

Enjoy Your Classy Candle Pedestals made from Upcycled Tin Cans!

Upcycled Soup Can Candle Pedestals

Upcycled Soup Can Candle Pedestals

Upcycled Soup Can Candle Pedestals

I absolutely love this project and the white on black makes such a bold statement. If you enjoy upcycling, recycling or just plain love the looks of these unique pedestals, give them a try. I know I will be making more!

Reminder: Use flameless candles to keep your candle pedestals looking new! Standard 3" diameter candle pillars (seen below) fit this particular can perfectly.

Flamesless Candles With Craft Paper and Twine
Flameless candles receive additional interest
with a bit of brown craft paper and jute twine.

Return from Upcycled Tin Cans to DIY Decor

Return from Upcycled Tin Cans to Frugal Interior Design

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