Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to Make Can Luminaries

Free, shiny, easy…shine, I mean, sign me up!

If you use canned foods, you can make can luminaries. Or you can get some cans from a friend. Here are the steps for a quickie project. (I love quickies….Yes, I know what I said, and I’ve said it before.)  This is a quickie project that can be completed at different times throughout a day, you know, in between real life things. 

Step 1: Remove all food from can, rinse, remove label, and get rid of any residue left on can with soapy water and elbow grease or goo-gone. Or just leave any glue left behind. I did.

Step 2: Fill can with water and put in freezer over night.

Step 3: Remove can from freezer and mark with your desired design. Last year I did a diamond design around the whole can. This year I printed out the word “JOY” and used that. I marked where I wanted to punch holes with a Sharpie. You could also just tape a design to the can, but a cold can and tape are not heavily attracted to each other.

Step 4: Punch holes in the can with a hammer and nail. The ice helps you punch the holes easier. I wrap the can in a towel and place it between my legs to steady it. (And yes, I’m wearing my jammie pants. I did this after eating my breakfast, while the little ones were lazily munching their food.)

Step 5: You now have a design and need to let the ice melt. Leave it in a sink or on a dish to melt. If you’re in a hurry, run some hot water in and around the can to loosen up the ice and it will fall right out.

Step 6: Let the kids play with the ice chunks. You can even let the dog in on the fun. Parental supervision may be required. Licking the ice is optional.

Step 7: You can leave the can as is, or “Bling and Blast” it any way you want. That means you can spray paint it, paint it, or glitter it. Wrap some ribbon or twine around it. Glue on some crystals or beads. Embellish it however your heart desires. Have fun! Get the kids involved too, but make sure there aren’t any sharp edges that they can cut their fingers on. No boo-boos allowed.

Step 8: Put in some tea light candles and enjoy. Set up your luminaries as a centerpiece, line your sidewalk with them, put them on a stump outside your front door, or use them some other way. If you don’t use LED candles, be sure to use caution when using real flames. The can can get hot (“can can” with me now….everyone dance)!
If I did these again, I would put "JOY" on both sides of the can.  The kids wanted the "JOY" facing them at dinner, so Biker Boy and I got to look at cans.  Just cans.  I don't always think these things through until I'm finished with them. 

I tried putting the luminaries outside on our driveway, otherwise known as "the skating rink."  Pretty.  They really glow in the dark, though the pictures just don't do it justice.

And to give you a reality check and show you it's not always pretty, here's what the table really looked like if I backed out with the camera (and this is a good day):

Enjoy your luminaries and lighting the way for Christ to find your heart and home! Merry Christmas!

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  1. I had to use this method to make a project in 7th grade. I thought my teacher was crazy then, but I've seen it repeated so many times lately. I love what you did! Thanks for sharing!



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