This is my original design. If you like it and want to mention it on another website, please make a link back here. If you're interested in seeing more Instructables that are easy, affordable and create something cool, without any special tools, then remember to follow me!
I have a lot more great ideas to share.
By the way, this is only my second Instructable, so feel free to give me your feedback!
So let's begin with the Snowflake Candle Holder.
Step 1: Materials
Paper (One sheet. Whatever you have: lined, plain, it doesn't matter.)
Eraser (Only if you plan to make mistakes.)
Scissors (Smaller ones will be easier to use. Make sure they are fairly sharp.)
Tape (Any type strong enough to hold cardboard.)
Permanent Marker (In a color that will show up on the can.)
Cardboard - Thin. (I used 2 toilet paper rolls, but use what you have, that's thin.)
Ruler (Not shown in image.)
Candle (Use a tealight, votive, stem - whatever you'd like. A few drops of candle wax will help it stick.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: Aluminum cans may be very sharp when they are cut, so I would not recommend this project for children. Please take caution and use safety gloves or goggles, as you deem necessary. You assume all responsibility when creating this Instructable. You can also use sandpaper to dull the edges of the aluminum after you've completed this project, but it isn't necessary.
Additional Note: I was asked "how sharp are the edges?", and wanted to clarify that the edges themselves are not very sharp, but the cut points are. If you want to avoid this, simply adjust your design for more rounded corners. Also be sure to cut smoothly to avoid any jagged edges. Again, you can use sandpaper after its cut to smooth things further.
Step 2: Make Your Snowflake Design on Paper
Cut your paper to roughly half the height of your can and then fold it into 3 Equal Parts.
IMPORTANT STEP: (Refer to Highlighted region of image.)
Using a ruler, mark 1/4 inch from one end and draw a line. Then mark 2 lines 1/16 inch wide along both lengths of the paper. The 1/4" area will be the only portion, after cutting, that will hold your paper together. The 1/16" area will be cut away (to the 1/4" line). This is important, otherwise you'll have a "paper doll" type effect - which we do NOT want.
Now draw a design in the unmarked area. What you are creating is 1/6 of your snowflake.
NOTE: You'll see that I made a large triangular area at the base. You may want to make your design base a little narrower than mine as you'll have to bend your can here and it may be a little hard to work with.
Carefully cut out your design. Make sure to leave the 1/4" area at the end UNCUT. But also make sure to cut away the 1/16" area along both sides of the paper to the 1/4" line only. (Refer to photos)
Now unfold your paper and cut it open between two of the snowflake arms.
Step 3: Make a Cardboard Template of Your Snowflake Pattern
(Paper isn't rigid enough to do so, and cardboard is too thick to fold and make your design with.)
If you refer to the image, you'll see that you need a strip of cardboard larger than your paper design. Tape your paper design to the cardboard at the bottom only. Now trace the design and mark where the ends are.
Cut out the design, leaving a little extra cardboard past where the design ends. (This will help you secure it later.)
Once your design is completely cut out, take some tape, line up the marks you made to show each end and secure forming a loop.
Step 4: Trace Your Design and Cut the Can
(You'll notice that the 1/4" we marked out covers the tapered base of the aluminum can.)
Now you'll need to take your permanent marker and trace your design from the cardboard template. If you find the cardboard isn't sitting still, you can tape it down in an area you're not currently tracing. Then just reposition the tape as you go along.
After tracing the design, you can remove the cardboard.
With your scissors, carefully poke a hole near the top of the can and cut away the top.
Carefully cut out your design using your marker lines as your guide. (Your scissors should be on the inside of the lines, cutting away the marker portion as you go along.) - You'll need a little patience to complete this step, but it's worth the effort if you take your time.
Once your design is completely cut out, you will need to carefully bend down each of the snowflake arms by grasping the base area between your thumb and index finger. If you took into account my note in the design step, you'll have created a narrower base for your design than I did. This makes the bending process a little easier. If you didn't, that's okay (neither did I), so you'll just need to be extra careful not to tear the aluminum when bending each arm.
Once all 6 snowflake arms are bent down, you can add your candle. Tea lights will simply sit in the center. If you're using a votive or a taper candle, you'll want to drip some hot candle wax in the center of the can to adhere the candle to the holder.
Step 5: A Beautiful Snowflake Candle Holder
* Don't forget to save some aluminum cans. I will post more easy 'ibles for you to do in the future.