Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tin-can & Glass-jar Lights



Set your backyard, porch or terrace
 aglow with these fun lights.

There is something about candle light in the darkness that is magical.  One of the things I love best is taking something that would normally be thrown away and make something useful from it.

I have also taken tin cans that I have painted and made candles directly into the can, placing them all over the yard on those inexpensive bamboo stakes.  At one time I loved using those tiki torches until I had one catch on fire and I swore to never use them again . . . this was my alternative.

Using citronella candles is best used in climates where mosquitoes are a problem . . . they do help!





This is a repost from Birds and Blooms . . .


Outdoor lighting doesn't have to be complicated or expensive to install. All it takes are some everyday materials and a little imagination to set your backyard, porch or terrace aglow. Below you'll find instruction on how to make both tin-can lights and glass-jar lights.


Tin-Can Lights


Step 1: Make a pattern of holes on paper to wrap around your can by using a photocopier to enlarge one of the three designs shown at right. You can also cut a piece of paper to size and copy a design onto it freehand. Or make your own original pattern!


Step 2: To copy the circle designs from the patterns, use a compass and pencil to draw concentric circles and mark equidistant points around the outer circumference. Draw lines from the center to these points to divide the circle into even sectors. A dot at each intersection indicates where a hole is to be made.


Step 3: For the diamond design, draw a small diamond shape made of two equilateral triangles, and enclose this in two proportionately larger triangles. Add dots to the outlines at evenly spaced intervals to indicate holes.


Step 4: Tape the paper pattern to the can. Place one end of the dowel lengthwise in the vise; slip can over the other end.


Step 5: At each dot on the pattern, make a divot in the can with a large nail (this will help guide the drill), and then enlarge with a 1/8-in. drill bit. Make holes for the handles near the top of the can in the same way.


Step 6: Make a handle by bending a 20-inch length of wire at its midpoint, then bending small hooks at each end to attach to can. Twist other end into a small loop for hanging. Paint cans if desired (avoid water-based or latex paints). Insert a candle.


Glass-Jar Lights


Step 1: Measure circumference of jar neck, add 3 in., and cut a piece of tie wire to this length. Bend the wire around the jar neck to form a loose circle, and use pliers to hook the two ends securely together. With a screwdriver, twist the wire to form two eye loops on opposite sides of the jar.


Step 2: For the hanger, cut another piece of wire, 3 ft. long. At its midpoint, use pliers to twist a loop for hanging.


Step 3: Thread 1 in. of each end of the hanger wire through the eye loops; secure the wire by twisting the ends back on themselves.


Step 4: If desired, embellish jar with glass paints, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make a bed of sand 2 inches deep in each jar, and insert a candle.




Source: Birds and Blooms

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