With all the holidays coming up, it’s the perfect time to make homemade luminaries. You can easily buy some. For example, this Aged Tin Luminaria from Direct from Mexico (shown below); but it's more eco-friendly and less expensive to make your own using recycled cans. Plus it's fun - kids love this project.
How to make homemade holiday luminaries:
You’ll need to gather up:
- Empty tin cans of any size - bigger is easier to work with though.
- Nails of various sizes. The bigger the nail, the more light that will shine through. Smaller nails create a more delicate look.
- A hammer
- Soy candles
- Optional items include – paint, vellum paper, glue, and glitter
To make your holiday luminaries:
- Take the labels off your cans clean them very well. If the top edge is sharp or jagged, file it down with a metal file stick.
- Fill your cans with water and pop them in the freezer for a few hours.
- Plan a design while the water freezes. You can draw your own, or look some up in sewing pattern books. Kids can draw a simple design on paper as well.
- Take out one can at a time to work on.
- Tape your design onto the can.
- Grab your nails and hammer and pound dots all along your design. The ice will help keep the can from bending. It can get cold so non-slip gloves are useful.
- After your design is hammered into your can, allow the ice to melt, and dry your luminary.
Decorate your holiday luminaries:
You can paint on a light coat of glue and sprinkle your luminary with glitter which is my fave decor add, or you can lightly paint your luminary. You can also cover it with vellum paper. If you paint or cover your can, you’ll need to go back over your design and re-punch out some holes (with just a nail). Also if you use vellum, I'd use pretend candles - those electric ones, so you don't burn the house down for the holidays.
NOTE: These also make excellent homemade holiday gifts.
Homemade luminary image via:http://www.flickr.com/photos/beckmann/ / CC BY 2.0