Sunday, March 29, 2020

let's make a tin can luminary

Hello! I hope everyone is hanging in there. I have another project to share today, continuing with the tin can theme since chances are good you have one available. For this series of "let's make" projects, I'm aiming for supplies you already have at home. 

You will need
Paint, brush (optional)
Tin Can

Once again, I like a flip-top soup can for this project but most any medium to large sized will do. Friendly reminder, if you use a can that required opening, be sure to hammer or tamp down sharp points. Make sure the can is clean and dry. I generally peel off labels and run through the dishwasher but a good soak and rinse is just fine.

Draw, Fill + Freeze
Draw a simple shape such as a heart on one or both sides of the can. Fill the empty can almost to the top with water and place in the freezer for a couple of hours – you want the water inside to just-freeze as leaving the can in the freezer for an extended period of time can cause the bottom to expand and warp, making it unsteady as a fixture and we want the base to remain flat.

Channel Your Inner Flintstone
Prepare a sturdy surface (even the floor) where you can hammer a pattern into the can; nesting the can in a thick towel works well. Following the shape you have drawn, gently hammer holes in the pattern, leaving a small space between each, essentially creating a dotted line. Too complicated? Just make random holes, it will still look cool!

Work carefully and quickly to make all the holes before the ice melts. If you plan to hang your luminary, make two holes toward the top of the can on either side so you can attach a handle. When all the hammering is completed, drain and dry the can.

Finishing Touches
Paint the exterior of the can (with heat-safe paint) if you wish but it’s not necessary. If you want to hang your luminary, thread a sturdy piece of wire through and fasten well either by bending or tying. Pro-tip: The handle from a Chinese food take-out carton makes a good hanger!


Place a votive inside (I prefer battery operated over an actual candle) and enjoy when the sun goes down!

Happy tinkering + please stay safe at home + well!


Project photo and illustration: Seaside Tinkered Treasures, CICO Books. 
Back story blog post.

Show me your projects by tagging #tinkeredtreasures or #tinkereverything on Instagram

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