How to Construct a Tiki Torch for Your Backyard

Construct a Tiki torch for your backyard to complete your Tiki bar or create a subtle tropical theme in your outdoor space. At the same time, you can get rid of junk lying around your home, as you’ll be reusing many household items that you may already own. 

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • 1.5-inch PVC pipe
  • Saw
  • 6-ounce tuna can
  • 10.5-ounce soup can
  • Can opener
  • Screwdriver
  • Torch wick
  • Duct tape
  • Large planter
  • Sand
  • Torch oil
  • Matches 

Step 1 – Prepare the Shaft 

Purchase PVC pipe at your local home improvement store that’s 1.5 inches in diameter. You should be able to find this type of piping in the plumbing section of the store. The PVC pipe will act as the shaft of your torch. Saw the PVC pipe into five-foot divisions. 

Step 2 – Prepare the Cans 

Completely remove the top lids (not the bottom lids) of the 6-ounce tuna can and 10.5-ounce soup can with a can opener. Also discard any paper wrapping. Now, thoroughly clean out the cans with soap and water. The soup can will be used as is, but the tuna can needs further preparation. Use a screwdriver to create a hole in the middle of the tuna can’s remaining lid. The hole should be only large enough for the wick to pass through. If the hole is too large, the wick will be loose and flimsy. Start by making a small hole and testing it by trying to feed the wick through. Enlarge the hole bit by bit until you achieve the perfect size. 

Step 3 – Create the Torch 

This step is all about the duct tape. Be generous with your duct tape as you wrap the bottom of the soup can. Now, position the soup can such that it’s sitting on top of the PVC pipe with the circular opening of the pipe centered on the bottom of the can. Continue to use plenty of duct tape to attach the pipe to the can. Keep on wrapping until the can and pipe are firmly attached to each other. 

Step 4 – Set Up the Base 

Fill a large planter with sand – thicker sand is better because it will act as the foundation for your torch. Stick the pipe vertically into the sand such that your Tiki torch holds itself upright. At least half of the pipe should be inserted into the sand foundation, but don’t overfill the planter because you don’t want sand to reach the bottom of the soup can.

Step 5 – Finish It Off and Light It Up

Pour torch fuel into the soup can so that it’s three-quarters of the way full. Check the stability of the PVC pipe when you do so. If the pipe seems wobbly, try to pack the sand tighter or purchase thicker sand. Once you know that your torch is secure, arrange the tuna can on top of the soup can. The wick of the tuna can should be dangling well into the torch oil. Wait around 45 minutes for the wick to absorb the fuel. Now, use a match to light your new Tiki torch!