Tin Can Luminaries

can-recycled-luminaryYou need:
Tin Cans
Nail
Hammer
Metal file
Candle
Paper and Pencil
Tape
Towel
Sand or Kitty Litter
Water and a Freezer

  1. Clean off your can. Remove any labels or paper. Lighter fluid can take off sticky adhesives. If the edges are sharp, file them down to avoid cutting anyone.
  2. Measure your piece of paper to fit around the sides of your tin can. You can measure with a tape measure and produce designs on your computer, or freehand them.
  3. Fill you can with water and put it in the freezer. Overnight works well, but you just need the ice to be solid if you are not patient.
  4. While the ice is freezing. Get your designs ready. Trace them out of a craft book, find line art on your computer or freehand it. Make sure your finished design fits the paper patten you made earlier. You may wish to mark holes for punching or simply draw lines.
  5. When the ice is frozen, dry the outside of the can and tape the pattern to it. Use plenty of tape. As you poke holes in the paper, it may need more tape.
  6. Use an old towel to work on. Fold and roll it to help hold the can in place. Use your hammer and nail to punch holes along your design. The water will keep the can from collapsing.
  7. If you have a large design, or it is a hot day, you may need to refreeze the can.
  8. When you are done with your design, remove the paper and let the ice melt. Use the file to clean up any particularly rough edges inside.
  9. Fill the bottom with sand or kitty litter (just below the holes), add your candle and enjoy.
  10. You can dress up these cans with some spray paint. Get one made for metal. If left outside or in moist areas, the cans will rust. If you don’t want them to rust, be sure to dry them after the ice melts and spray them with a clear coat design to protect metal from rusting.