Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Soup Can Luminaries

To go along with our SoCal-themed reception, I've been experimenting making soup can luminaries. I like the idea because it accomplishes three things: The "tin" look of the cans can be compared to Mexican tin decorations. I like anything that provides unique lighting. And, lastly, they are cheap and obviously a great way to recycle. Here's how I've been doing it:
1. Clean out and peel off the label of the empty can.

2. Fill the can with water (about an inch below the top).

3. Put it in the freezer for the day/overnight.

4. Once frozen, take a hammer and nail and punch away!

5. Once you have finished your pattern, run the can under warm water to melt the ice.
6. Insert a small candle.

* If the ice expanded the bottom of the can, just hammer it back down when you're done. I also read somewhere that you could draw a pattern on paper, wrap it around the can and punch it out, but I found that's difficult when the ice starts melting making your stencil soggy. I just hammer and nail freestyle...I figure it doesn't have to be perfect. I'm also gluing some ribbon on the top so it looks a little less like a can when it's not lit.


  1. oooooooo! speaking as a person who is mildly obsessed with fire, i think these are just fabulous; just don't ask me to SNUFF them out...we all know what happened when i tried to do that in the past. i use to make these when i was a kid, only we used the extra large economy coffee cans for large candles. also, a small amount of sand or gravel placed at the bottom of the can helps protect from the heat of a guttering flame, plus adds a little bit of weight to them for stability.

    check this web site out, they have some nice designs for further inspiration:


  2. What a wonderful idea - I always hate, even recycling, disposing cans, but this might be something I will attempt. Thanks for sharing.

  3. These are beautiful! I love that you're thinking about reusing/recycling while planning your wedding.