How To Make Beautiful Tin Can Luminaries

Nicole Restille - Customer Service Representative
September 21, 2015

How To Make Beautiful Tin Can Luminaries

Luminaries create an enchanting glow at dusk along a garden path, on the porch, inside the house, or atop a picnic table. They're pretty simple to make, so you can easily create some unique luminaries for both the fall and Christmas season. Here’s how to turn an old sap bucket, coffee can, or soup can into a delightful source of light and festive fun!

For this DIY project, you're going to need the following supplies and tools:

  • A coffee can, soup can, or sap bucket
  • Tin punch, or tin can pattern
  • A black Sharpie marker
  • Tape
  • A hammer
  • An awl or an ice pick
  • Safety goggles
  • Pillar candle or a battery operated votive

The first thing you need to do is select the pattern that you want for you luminary. You can search 'tin can patterns' or 'tin punch patterns' on Google Images and usually come up with an abundance of options to choose from. Once you've selected your pattern, you can print it off, but remember to print an image on the paper that's proportionate to the size can you're using.

The next step is to cut the excess paper from around the image and tape is squarely onto the surface of the tin can. Then use your Sharpie marker to saturate the dots on your pattern so that the ink bleeds through the paper and marks the dots on the tin can. Once all of the dots are clearly marked, carefully remove the paper and give the ink a few minutes to dry.

Now you'll need to fill the tin can with water and place it in the freezer. Once the water in the tin can has completely frozen, you're almost done. Lie the tin can on its side (preferably in a bed of sand, or soft soil) and use the awl, or ice pick and hammer to quickly punch a small hole inside each of the dots you marked out earlier. When you have each of the holes punched, all you need to do is wait for the ice to melt, and place the candle inside.

You may choose to paint the outside of the can to go along with the season it's being used to decorate; perhaps orange for the fall or red and green for Christmas. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination! So don't throw out those old tin cans just yet! Instead, 'up-cycle' them into a beautiful home decoration!