Do It Yourself! Halloween Tin Can Luminaries {Tutorial}

If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to decorate your home for Halloween, make these luminaries using tin cans! Place them along your walkway or front steps to light the way on Halloween. So cute and charming!


What You’ll Need:


* Sharpie or marker in the same color as your paint
* Clean empty tin cans {I like to use the big coffee cans, any size will work}
* Hammer and large nail or awl
* Paint
* Paint brush
* Candles


Fill the tin can with water and place it in the freezer. When the water in the can is frozen, remove the can from the freezer.


Using the marker, draw whatever image or word onto the tin can. You can freehand or print a design from the internet and then trace it onto the tin can. Keep the design simple though. Design Ideas: outline of a cat, a bat, a witch’s hat, words like Boo or Happy Halloween.


Place the tin can on a folded towel. This will help brace the tin can and reduce the impact of punching the holes with the hammer.


Then, use the hammer and awl {or nail} nail to puncture the design in the can.


When you’re done punching the holes, place the can under hot, running water to melt the ice.


Also, since water expands as it freezes, the bottom of your can will probably not be level. If not, then turn the can over, cover with a towel, and hammer down the edges until the bottom of the can is level.


Paint the tin can using either spray paint or acrylic paint. Once the the paint is dry, you’ll probably have to go back with a toothpick and poke some of the holes through on the can since the paint can clog them up.


Place a candle inside the can and enjoy!


NOTE: You can also puncture one hole on either side of the tin can, attach a piece of wire, and then hang the luminaries as well!


  1. Great lamps! And the best part is it’s DIY! Match it with a Halloween kids t shirt and It will be perfect for trick a treat!

  2. Love this idea. So simple.

  3. I love this. I’m always looking for alternatives for pumpkins on the porch!

  4. Just shared this awesome idea on my Facebook page!

  5. Much easier to use a drill instead. No freezing required and did not bend the can. Also I used flat black spray paint. Super easy and didn’t fill in the holes. Project took 10 mins altogether


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  19. […] Tin cans can also be used to make some lovely luminaries. Here’s how: first you have to fill the can with water and place it the freezer. When the water is frozen, draw an image on word on the can with a sharpie and then place the can on a folded towel. Take a hammer and a nail and puncture the design. Melt the ice and paint the can.{found on jollymom}. […]

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  39. […] And then, of course, there’s the tin can luminary which you can make any time you want, not just for Halloween. First you put water in the can and then you freeze it. Use a sharpie to outline the design you want to create. Then punch holes in it with a hammer to outline your design. Let the ice melt and then paint the can. {found on jollymom}. […]

  40. […] And lastly, we have these ridiculously cute luminaries.  I drink coffee.  Lots of it.  And I’m always trying to come up with a way to reuse the cans.  I think this is a genius idea and one I will definitely be DIM-ing this season!  After I drink all the coffee, of course.  A girl’s got her priorities.  Find the full instructions at […]

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