Deck-orate with Eco-Friendly Luminaries

Almost ready!

With a little creativity, tin cans can become surprisingly elegant luminaries instead of trash. Save money on expensive candle decor with this fun project.


Finished product!


  • Empty Tin Cans
  • Candles
  • Thin Nails
  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper (or Tracing paper)


  1. Remove any labels or stickers from the can and clean inside and out. If your can has a jagged edge at top, use a metal file to file it down. Most safety can openers give you a clean edge.
  2. Measure the height and circumference of the can with the tape measure. Cut a piece of regular paper or tracing paper to these measurements.
  3. Fill the clean cans with water and place in the freezer.
  4. While the water is freezing in the cans, create a design on the paper. You can use the tracing paper to trace a design from craft books or clipart, or you can print a design directly from the web. For the more adventurous, simply draw a design on the paper.
  5. Check to see that the water is frozen in the cans. If so, tape your designed paper onto the can.
  6. Use the hammer and nails to punch dots around your design. The ice will prevent the can from bending as you hammer.
  7. Once you’ve punched along around your design, remove the paper and allow the ice to melt. Dry the luminary completely and place a candle inside.
  8. Light the candle and watch as the light plays through the holes of your design.

More great holiday decorating ideas for your fence, deck, patio, porch or other outdoor area are available here.


About Long Fence

Since 1945, Long® Fence has provided perimeter security fence systems and related products to residential and commercial customers in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.
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