How To Make A Tin Can Luminary
by Rachel Paxton
A tin can luminary is a fun, easy craft
project for all ages. They are great for any holiday and only limited by
your imagination! You can transfer any simple shape onto a tin can to
create a beautiful candle holder for any occasion.
I chose to make luminaries for Christmas
this year. You can choose any simple design to transfer onto your tin can.
I used a favorite clip art program on my computer to look for easy
Christmas designs to print out. I chose a Christmas tree, a snowman, and a
pair of gingerbread men.
Here's what you need to get started:
Empty tin cans (washed and labels removed)
Design to transfer onto can Hammer Large nail Tape Dish towel
It is easiest to punch the holes in your
tin can if you freeze some water in it first. Fill the can with water,
leaving 1/4 inch space at the top for the ice to expand. Place in freezer
until frozen. Your can may bulge a little at the bottom while in the
freezer, but after you remove the ice you can use the hammer to flatten
out the bottom of the can.
You might want to freeze a couple more cans
then you think you'll need in case you make a mistake and have to start
After the ice has frozen, take the tin can
from the freezer and tape your design to the can. I used packing tape, but
you can also use duct tape. The tape won't stick to the cold can, but you
can wrap the tape all the way around the can so it will stick to the
If you don't have a design on paper, you
can also draw a design on the can freehand with a permanent marker. You
can also just punch the design freehand without drawing it first.
Lay the can on a folded dish towel so the
towel will catch the ice chips that try to escape. It will also hold the
can in place. Using the hammer and nail, tap holes around the border of
your design, trying to punch holes evenly and not too close together. You
want a simple design so that when you see only the holes in the can you
will be able to tell what it is!
After punching the holes, remove the paper
and tape and admire your design. It is really so easy! If you plan to hang
your luminary, also punch two holes at the top of the can. You can make a
handle out of wire (from a craft store) or a wire coat hanger.
Place the tin can under running warm water
to melt the ice. Dry the can with a towel and place a votive candle in the
bottom. You will need a long lighter or match to light the candle.
To further decorate your tin can luminary,
you can spray paint the can any color you wish. Be creative!
This is a great family project. Just make
sure kids have adult supervision while using the hammer and nails. Have
About the Author
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and
mom. For more recipes, organizing tips, home decorating, crafts, holiday
hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com