Sunday, May 26, 2013

10th Anniversary Gift :Tin

So if you follow the traditional anniversary gifts,  there are a lot of years where finding something meaningful that follows the medium you are supposed to use is tricky.  For example,  we just celebrated our 10th anniversary on Thursday.  10 years is a big deal,  you would think the gift would be a car, or a house, or some big jewel.  but nope,  tradition says that year 10 is Tin / Aluminium!

So I started to think,  I suppose there is a nice car out there made mostly of aluminium,  or maybe some earrings,  hammered tin?  I am at a loss.  I googled it thinking I couldn't be the first not to know what to do for tin.  I came up pretty empty though.  I even looked on pinterest (which if you know me,  is a pretty big deal) for ideas around 10th anniversary,  and these 2 metals,  there wasn't a lot there either.

One thing I did find in all that searching was how to make candle holders out of old cans.  I thought about it, and decided that it could work,  if somehow I could incorporate the 10th anniversary into the candle holder project.  AH HA!!!  I will get 10 cans,  number them; 1 to 10,  and have them get bigger by the can!  My idea was in place,  only one problem.  I did not have 10 cans.   Which brings me to step 1

Step 1: Have 10 cans

Step 2 could be to start cleaning the cans, but I think that mentioning this part is important too.   When I was at the store,  I was so focused on getting 10 different growing can sizes,  that I paid absolutely no attention to what I was buying.  With the exception of the sauerkraut  and Vienna Sausage,  it was actually mostly all foods that we eat.  The problem?  I cant just tell my wife that I bought a bunch of canned goods,  and we should have a casserole.   So I am not proud of this next part, but no,  I didn't eat any of this.  Although I also didnt waste it.  It went straight into the compost bin,  and will supplement the veggie garden through out the season,  so I will actually be eating it,  eventually.

So here is the real step 2: empty the cans (preferably use the food inside,  or use cans that you already had empty) KEEP THE LIDS!!!

Now that you have 10 empty cans,  you will need to clean them.  This is important especially if you bought things like mushrooms, and sauerkraut,  because no one wants a gift that smells like that ... Gross!

Step 3: Wash the cans

Step 4 is really just an extension of step 3,  but is very important to do before step 5,  step 5 just doesnt work if you dont do step 4.  I know because I accidentally tried it.

Step 4: Dry the cans

Steps 5 and 6 are pretty interchangeable,  as long as the cans are now dry.   If you have ever seen my Etsy Shop,  you know that I like a distressed look,  so I painted the cans before putting the holes in them.  I figured,  if they got a little scratched it would look cool.  

Step 5: Paint the cans

next,  using a small finish nail, and a hammer,  we will put the numbers into each can.  When hammering the nail toward the bottom of the can,  it is relatively easy as the cans structure holds up.  However when hammering the nail toward the open top, the can tends to want to fold in half,  especially the smaller ones.  This is why I said to keep the lids in step 2.   Put the matching lid back onto the can,  and hold it tightly.  you can use tape, or press the can against the side of the workbench to hold the cover on as you hammer it with the nail.  The smaller the nail you use,  the less resistance you will have, but it is also less light at the end.

Step 6: punch holes in the cans

 Here I scratched the number into the paint as a guide.

At this point (ok technically before this point) I realized that buying the cheaper coffee, didnt pay, because it is not tin, or aluminium, its cardboard.  Not a huge deal,  because it actually allowed me to carve the whole word into it rather than just the number,  setting 10 apart from the rest as it is the whole point.

At this point it should look something like this,  I know what you are thinking,  and I dont really like the way the 9 looks either.

Once you have all the holes punched,  you are ready to go.  You will need 10 tea lights,  or other candles,  light them carefully,  and place them in each can.   line them up somewhere you spouse can see them,  and you have yourself a handmade anniversary gift, that represents your 10th anniversary,  and sticks to the traditional material!

Step 7: Light 'em up!!

Oh,  and yes,  we will be going away together for our anniversary later in the year.  We wanted to wait for the baby  to be a little older before we left him for the weekend.


  1. What an amazing thoughtful gift, I really hope your wife liked it, I bet she did! And I hope you have a really lovely trip away for your anniversary later this year, take care. :)

  2. What a perfect gift! Very romantic. I like that your veggie garden had a nice surprise too ;-)

  3. Anniversary Gift is very sweet gift & romantic time on this special occasion. Thanks for post.

  4. Wow what an awesome project! Great job, I am sure you wife loves it! Anything that took that much effort and thought is really heartfelt. And you kept it a secret! Great job. We need more men like you in this world :)

    By the way I just got inspired to make a line of aluminum foil based greeting cards in my shop!