In order to help get into the spirit of the season, we decided to make DIY Halloween candle holders here in the Seattle office!

The process was pretty simple. We brought in a number of cleaned out aluminum and tin cans. From there, we either drew on the cans directly or taped paper stencils onto the cans. The taped paper template method was the most popular. I began a theme for the day by having to do it differently than everybody else and sharpied my stencil on the metal directly. Only to realize that I’d done the scale wrong and would have to freehand it anyway.

From there, we either used drills or a hammer and nail to punch holes into the cans to make our spooky images. For some of the thinner cans, the nail and hammer method was perfect. For any of the thicker ones, a powered drill proved to be the only way to go.

However, safety first as always! We had some work gloves and eye protection. When sharp things or flying bits of metal are involved, eye protection is always a great idea.

diy halloween candle holders

Only after we had finished did somebody remember some good advice. If you put the cans in the freezer for a bit, the metal will become a tad more brittle and will be a easier to drill through. Oh well, maybe next year!

The tin cans worked pretty easily. In fact, almost too easily. We had some issues where the tin cans would bend or crumple as they were punched and drilled. Especially when there were numerous holes in close proximity, the metal tended to warp.

diy halloween candle holders

You can see here an example of the taped on template method. He also used a powered drill to make the holes.

Go big or go home

Being that we are a metals company, we also had some heavier duty material in stock. Sticking to my theme for the day, I got a little ambitious and decided that hand drilling about 80 holes through brass tubing was a good idea. I’m pleased with how it turned out, but it may not have been my brightest moment. There was a lot of brass shaving lying around my area by the time I finished.

diy halloween candle holders

Nobody was wearing that glove, by the way. I don’t want anybody to think I or somebody else put my hand in that thing, full of brass shavings.

Somebody also brought in a vice. And while that was a good idea, we had a slight problem. There wasn’t really anything to fix the vice to, so it would just tip over when you applied force to it. A few folks tried to use it but gave up. I ended up needing it to bore out the larger holes on my piece. I got the president of Online Metals to hold it in place while I worked.

diy halloween candle holders

After the patterns were drilled, we painted the cans up. The colors wound up being a pretty even split. Three white, three orange, and two completely black. Again, I apparently had to be different. So, I taped off my brass tube and painted black stripes on it.

I wanted a black and gold color go with my abstract, hopefully futuristic, geometric pattern. Apparently I had the aesthetic of Deus Ex: Human Revolution (one of my favorite games) on my mind.

diy halloween candle holders

Black, gold, futuristic geometric patterns… you see where I’m going with this.


We let our DIY candle holders sit overnight. Partially to make sure they were all dry, and mostly because we forgot to bring any candles into the office for them.

So the next day, one of our colleagues whose office has no windows volunteered her space. We set up the candles, lit them, turned off the lights, and BOO! Instant spooky Halloween mood for the office!

We’re pretty pleased with how they turned out.

diy halloween candle holders

The Jack-o-lantern stencil was popular.

Happy Halloween Month October to all of our great customers! If you’ve got any particularly cool decorations you’ve made, send us the pictures. We’d love to see them!

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