Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tin Can Luminaries

I LOVE luminaries. I do not how ever really love the idea of fire in a paper bag. It always seemed a little wrong to me. I was mentioning this juxtaposition of feelings to one of my friends from London and she told me about the tin can luminaries she made while growing up. I thought this sounded like the cutest thing EVER! I made her give me all the details and am so excited to share it with you. I am very sad I couldn't do a better job with the pictures. After SCOURING the house I couldn't find my tripod anywhere grrrrrrrrrr. So, as I warned my night photography stinks, they are soooo cute and my pictures do not do them justice, try them, I swear you will love it!
What you will need:
An empty metal can (my boys eat Olives like there is NO tomorrow so I have lots of those lying around, but ANY can will do and I think it would be super cute to do them in lots of odd sizes. I am totally doing tuna cans for halloween with just polka dot holes... wow this was a long aside)
A small nail
A large nail
A hammer
A freezer
A printed template or drawing of Halloween items (I found mine on Martha
Cello tape
Play "It's the Great Pumpkin" Charlie Brown special to occupy cuties and get you in the spirit
Let us begin:

Rinse out your can making sure to be careful not to cut yourself. (I love using the can openers that remove the top of the can at the glue so there are no sharp edges) Make sure the label is completely removed.
Fill the can with water just under the brim and place in freezer
Leave in the freezer until completely frozen through (the can will probably dent on the bottom but never fear you can beat it out later ha!) Once your can is frozen through tape your template to the can. I taped mine all the way around to make sure it stayed right in place.
Using your small nail and hammer
hammer little holes following the outline of your template all the way around.
Once done you can decided if you wold like to feed ribbon trough the top. If so using your large nail make holes evenly around the top. Take your can and hold it under warm water until the ice is melted. Dry your can being VERY careful not to cut yourself on the holes you now created (sharp sharp edges). If your can bulged at the bottom use your hammer to make it nice and flat again. If you made holes for a ribbon go a head and feed your ribbon through now.
That is it! Now all you need is a tea light candle. Pop it in and using a LONG match stick light your luminary up.
I swear it is so much cuter then my pathetic night photography shows. I placed them along the walk of our garden and was just dying.
I am so excited to use them on halloween. One word of warning, the metal heats up from the flame so blow it out and let the can sit for a minute or two (really it cools down that fast) before you take it inside or toss it in a garbage can! Have fun!


  1. Claire, Mom, and I are so going to do this during priesthood session! We are also "bedazzling" pumpkins- ha!

  2. I featured this post on my Blog on Feature My Favorite Friday come by take a look!! What a Brilliant idea!!!

  3. these look awfully cute! i found adorable templates at paper crave:

  4. They are so cute! I'm going to have to try and make some.

  5. Love it! I've been making some for a while to get ready for a Halloween party, but I never thought of freezing them first to make the hammering easier! Tip: if you don't have any long matches around, you can light the tea lights with a piece of spaghetti.

  6. HI! I heart your blog and here's proof:

    Krista :)

  7. Thanks for the great tutorial! I linked to you in my post.

  8. great tute, stopping by from MADE! was just thinking how you got the holes without denting the can

  9. Hi Kelly! I made some...although a bit simplified and will post about it this Friday.

    Thank you for a great...FREE!...project! :)

  10. Awesome! I followed from DeliaCreates and I'm SO EXCITED to try this! My cans are currently freezing, and I'm going to start making holes as soon as they're frozen. :)


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