DIYdiy projects

DIY Punched Copper Votives

by Francesca Stone

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I always took Alfresco dining just to mean simply eating outside, but in fact directly translated Alfresco means in the open air. I really liked this thought and it made me think of something different to being seated next to a car park or on a roof-top bar in a busy city. It made me think of getting out of the crowds and finding somewhere natural and open and fresh! I could imagine picnics on the beach or finding secret places in the forest, but living in a big city right in the centre of the country means more often than not this is a pipe dream. Luckily we have friends and family with beautiful gardens so we can settle for a healthy compromise. There’s something a little magical about sitting around a table with your loved ones as the sun begins to set and dusk arrives. All you need are some tapas style dishes, great wine and twinkling lights to feel like you’re recreating a scene from a magazine.

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These candle votives are the perfect centrepiece to add atmosphere and warmth as the sun disappears and it cools. Even if you’re not dining Alfresco you can enjoy the ambience anywhere in the twinkling candle light. -Fran

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  • Gauge No 6 / 0.5mm Copper sheet (used in card making)
  • Metal hole punch
  • Metal snips (or you can use scissors with this metal sheet)
  • Air dry clay
  • Cookie cutters
  • Roller
  • Multi-purpose adhesive


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1. Roll out the air dry clay to around a quarter inch thickness. Don’t worry about smoothing out any cracks as long as the clay has an even thickness. Use the cookie cutters to cut out the plinths for the centre of the votives. Leave them to dry out overnight.

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2. Measure the diameter of the votive plinth and cut a piece of copper to just over this length. Wrap the copper around the clay to test the length. It should slightly overlap. Cut between two and three inches high.

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3. Pierce the metal with the hole punch creating repeating patterns around the top of the metal. Once you have made all of the holes lay on a hard surface and cover with a sheet of paper. Run the handle of you scissors over the holes to flatten any kinks or bends in the copper.

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4. Spread adhesive around the edge of the clay circle and wrap the metal sheet around it. You can secure it in place with a clothes peg or masking tape until it dries. One it is secure glue the overlap together as well. Hold in place again until dry.

When using candles around metal always be aware of the heat. This thin sheet metal does become warm but not hot enough to burn, but it’s always better to take care and keep out of reach from smaller hands.

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