“Thankful” Tin-Can Luminaries

Happy Wednesday, friends! I’m SO excited to be a part of a little Thanksgiving Blog Hop! 11 bloggers have come together to bring you some wonderful DIY Thanksgiving tablescapes, decor ideas, and recipes! Make sure you visit all the other amazing posts to get some inspiration for your upcoming Thanksgiving events!

main picToday I’m sharing how to make some “Thankful” tin-can luminaries. I love dimming the lights just a tad for a dinner event; it totally sets a relaxing and peaceful mood! Candles also add to the setting, but sometimes I want something a little more exciting than a traditional candlestick. So, I made something a little different to adorn my table! Since we won’t actually be having Thanksgiving dinner at my house, my luminaries are adorning my entryway table instead. But maybe I just bring them along to dinner to fancy up my parent’s table, too! 🙂

To make your own, you will need:

  • 8 tin cans (I saved any and all sizes from any canned goods we ate!)
  • Hammer and long nail
  • Metallic gold spray paint
  • Sharpie

First, I started by soaking my cans in hot soapy water for about 10 minutes. This softened most of the glue and the paper around the cans just fell right off. To tackle the remaining glue on each can, I used Goo Gone. Have you used this stuff before?! Let’s just say it makes life a whole heck of a lot easier when it comes to getting off sticky stuff on anything. I put a little bit onto a paper towel and just rubbed over the dried glue. Came off SO easily. Then I gave the cans a quick wash again with soapy water.

SONY DSCI lined them all up in the height/order I want them to be in.

SONY DSCWith a Sharpie, I wrote each letter on the can. Don’t mind my mistakes on a few, I was debating doing lower case letters. As soon as I started hammering my nails for the “T,” I found that lower case would be much more difficult!

SONY DSCAfter trying to get the first hole in the can with the nail, I realized it was going to be much harder to do if I didn’t have some way of holding the can steady. I found a piece of wood that fit in all cans but one, and I just held the wood down with my leg as I sat. I hammered holes with the nail in the can about half a centimeter apart, until every letter on the cans was finished.

*NOTE* I’ve read that another easy(ier?) way of doing these luminaries is to fill up the can with water and let it freeze completely, then draw on your letters and hammer the nails in. I think the ice inside holds the can steady. I was impatient and didn’t want to wait for water to freeze in the cans, so I didn’t use that method. I might try it next time! If you go that route, let me know how it worked for you!

SONY DSCWhen all the cans had their letters, I spray painted them with gold metallic spray paint. Because, everything is better with gold! Amiright?? And, I currently have just a tad bit of a gold obsession.

I had some scrap wood laying around in my garage, and it was the perfect size to house the cans on top. I gave it a couple of coats of a homemade vinegar/steel wool stain, then sanded it down a bit after it was dry. The cans still looked unfinished all neatly placed on top of the wood, so I added some twine and a leaf to each can. I also added a few leaves for the cans to rest on.

SONY DSCAnd, now you have yourself a beautiful centerpiece to your Thanksgiving table! I just added a tea-light candle inside each can.



SONY DSCJust be careful when you’re putting a candle in or lighting them, because the aluminum had to go somewhere each time a nail went in; meaning the inside of the can where the holes are is VERY sharp. You can easily file them down, but I just figured I’d be the only one lighting them and I’ll just be careful.

SONY DSCThese look SO pretty lit up at night on my entryway table!!

SONY DSCBe sure to check out all the other amazing Thanksgiving projects below! I guarantee you will find some great inspiration from these fabulous ladies!

Image Map

Home Made by Carmona / Elizabeth Joan Designs / Hawthorne and Main /
Dwelling in Happiness / For My Love Of / Bumble Bree Blog / Melanie Gets Married / Not a Trophy Wife /
Anderson and Grant / Latte Everyday / Renovar Design

Have a great Wednesday, friends!

I link up at these fun parties!

41 thoughts on ““Thankful” Tin-Can Luminaries

    1. Thank you Megan!! Me too, even though they don’t really make the room warmer, it just makes ME feel all cozy! And now I’m obsessed with collecting cans, and thinking of what I can do next with them. Haha! Hope your week is going great! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Jenny! I love a good cheap upcycle project. 🙂 Especially when they turn out better than I was expecting! Hope you’re having a great week!

    1. Thank you, Kyla! Ha, you’re so sweet! Awesome, I love new linky parties! I’ll check it out, thanks for the invite! If you haven’t heard of ours, we’d love for you to link up too! It starts Sunday nights. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Bre!! They’re super easy to make, and are so pretty on my table!! 🙂 Thank you, Happy (early!) Thanksgiving to you too, friend! 🙂

    1. Hey, I think your site might be having browser cottimabilipy issues. When I look at your blog in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, superb blog!

    1. Thanks Shonee!! I agree, they’d be so cute for any holiday! I might need to save more cans and make more! 🙂 Hope you have a great rest of the week!

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