How to make sardine tin candles
Turn old sardine tins into cute little lanterns, perfect for lighting up your garden or a beach BBQ
These nautical lanterns are easy to pop in your hamper for a day at the beach. The lids help to protect the candle flame from being extinguished by the sea breeze.
Working in a well-ventilated area, or outside if you can, cover the work area with old newspaper or a dust sheet. Use white spray paint to paint the top and sides of the sardine tin. Apply three coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. Use a slow, back and forth motion when spraying to ensure even coverage and a drip-free finish.
Mask horizontal stripes around the sides of the tin with masking tape and paint the exposed surface using a fine brush and acrylic paints in two shades of blue. Allow to dry thoroughly before carefully removing the tape. Next, use paint pens to draw your chosen design on the top surface of the tin, as shown. Allow to dry.
Carefully peel the lid of the tin open halfway, remove the contents of the tin and gently wash the inside with warm soapy water to clean it. Leave to dry thoroughly.
Place a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water and add some soya wax flakes to the bowl. Allow them to melt, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Once the wax is melted, dip the bottom of a wick assembly in the wax then place it in the sardine tin close to the front edge. The wax will help fix it into place. Trim away the excess wick leaving 2cm proud of the rim of the tin.
Add a few drops of candle fragrance to the melted wax then stir well. Decant the wax into a glass measuring jug, then use this to carefully pour the wax into the tin until it reaches just below the rim.
Use an old clothes peg to hold the wick upright, as shown, while the wax solidifies, then trim the wick down to 1cm above the surface of the wax. When using your lantern, angle the tin so the lid protects the flame from any breeze.
Feature, project and step shots Anna-Lisa De’Ath. Main photo Sussie Bell.