Tin Can Luminaries
These tin can
luminaries are beautiful lit up at night, with a tea light candle
They make your outdoor party more festive and
patriotic! These look great along the walkway welcoming your
guests, or put them out for your firework display. Take them
along when you go camping. People will love the fact that you
The best part is they are made from empty
vegetable or soup cans, so you'll be able to collect a bunch of them
Read on to learn how easy it is to create this fun craft.
- Empty vegetable
or soup cans, cleaned out
and labels removed
- Scrap paper
- Spray paint in red,
white, and blue
1. Begin the tin can luminaries by filling the cans with some sand.
This is a tip from one of our readers. Placing sand in the
stops any swelling of the can that may occur when the water is frozen.
Then, fill the can up to the
top with water. Place them in the freezer until the water is
frozen solid. This will allow you to hammer a nail into the
side of the can without the can denting.
Next, think about some designs you want to punch into the
sides of the can. I chose to punch the letters USA, a star,
and some fireworks. If you would like to use my template for
the USA and star, click here
. A new window
will open (Adobe Reader is required) with a page for you to print.
Cut out your templates, place on the can, and trace around
them with a permanent marker (or draw freehand).
Continue making the tin can luminaries by using a nail and
hammer to punch out the design. Start at one end of the
pattern and place the nail along the line. Gently pound the
nail in with a hammer. The nail will go through the can into
the ice. Continue working around the pattern until the design
is punched out.
Allow the ice in the can to melt, and dry the can completely.
5. Next, spray the bottom portion of the cans blue
blue spray paint. Protect your work surface with newspapers
and use good ventilation (preferably outdoors like I did).
When the cans are completely dry, cut a piece of scrap paper
to wrap around the can. Make it 1/3 the height of the can.
The cans I used were 4.5 inches high, so I made my first
strip of paper 1.5 inches. Wrap the paper around the bottom
part of the can, covering the blue painted area, and tape it closed.
Now take the cans outside again and this time give them a
good spray of the white spray paint, and allow the cans to dry well.
When they are dry you can remove the paper strip.
Next, make another paper strip 2/3 the height of the can.
In my case, I made the strip of paper 3 inches wide.
Secure around the blue and white portions of the can, leaving
only the top portion exposed, and secure with tape. Take the cans
outside again and this time spray the top section with the red spray
paint, and allow to dry. Remove the paper strip and you will
see the pretty red, white, and blue stripes.
If you want to further decorate the tin can luminaries, this
is the time to do it. If you would like the designs you
punched to show up better you can paint them a different color, such as
black. When you are ready to illuminate, add a little sand to
weigh down the cans and add a tea light candle. Your guests
will love them!
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Suggestions from Others
"I laid down two bricks on a towel on a solid surface and then covered the bricks with a towel so as to not scratch up the can. Then I put my ice filled can between the two bricks to help hold it in place while I nailed the holes in the can."
Response from Crafts For All Seasons: Thank you so much for this advice, and for including the photos!
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