Easy Snowflake Candle Holder (from a Soda Can)




About: I'm just a creative person! I enjoy drawing and painting, crafting, cooking & baking and even cake decorating. I sew, knit and crochet and like wood working and metal work, jewelry, beading, clay, and a hund...

Make this Super Easy, yet Beautiful Snowflake Candle Holder using NO SPECIAL TOOLS and an empty aluminum beverage can. 

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

Aluminum Beverage Can (Empty)
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

Wrap a sheet of paper around an empty aluminum beverage can. Tape paper closed into a cylinder. Remove the paper and then fold it flat.

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

This step is necessary to trace the design you made onto the can.
(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

Take your cardboard template and wrap it around your empty aluminum 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

Voila! - Now you have a Beautiful Snowflake Candle Holder that you can enjoy or give as a gift.

* Don't forget to save some aluminum cans. I will post more easy 'ibles for you to do in the future.

- canucksgirl



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34 Discussions


4 years ago on Step 3

As a possible replacement to cardboard if you use tape to 'plasticize' your pattern it will work as well. Lay your pattern out on a flat surface and cover it with tape, let the tape overlap the edges of your pattern. Flip and repeat, being careful here to avoid air bubbles. Trim the tape to match your pattern. Will last longer than cardboard too if you like the pattern enough. :)


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Thank you! This was one of my first Instructables, and came to me one day while looking at a bag of recyclables. I hope you give it a try before Winter ends. ;)

I like! - I made something similar once, but just curled the sides down, not as pretty or intricate as yours. You have reminded me of another I made using half of the can and some wire, I suppose I'll have to do it again as an 'able... well done.

1 reply

7 years ago on Introduction

I saw this on RobotLover's Advent calendar and I have to say it is really pretty! I love the idea of it. Good job!

3 replies

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Thank you very much. I was lucky enough to be the last entry into the Advent Calendar. I'm glad you like it.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Thanks mischka. I wanted to make something that would be super easy for anyone to make. - Can't wait to see yours on the 20th!

Uncle Kudzu

7 years ago on Introduction

Nice, detailed 'ible with very nice end result. I love it!

I may cut a few of these and attach them to my front door somehow. Maybe attach them to a wreath, or...

1 reply

I hope you do! I would love to see what you come up with, so share your photos when you get a chance.

Thanks for the comment


7 years ago on Introduction

nicely done ! Hanging them from trees or whatever with some string instead of using a candle would also be a cool look, either paint the "back" or have multicolored "snowflakes"

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

You're absolutely correct. I thought about that very same idea. You could also embellish the center with a shiny clear gem and really bling it out for the tree. Especially since it weighs almost nothing right now. They also have metallic spray paint which could be a whole lot of fun.

If you happen to make it for the tree, post your photo here. I would love to see it.

Thanks for the comment. :)