Red White and Blue Tin Can Luminaries

My girls are all about the crafts. They would have me crafting all day if they could. With the summer months coming, I figured it would be a good time to do a themed craft with them. So, we decided to try something easy… but different from what we normally would do. We chose red white and blue for our theme… and I decided on a “more manly” craft than normal. You know, one that actually included the use of a hammer and nails.

Well… sorta.

Luminaries Craft Day

Red White and Blue Tin Can Luminaries

We spend a lot of time outdoors during the summer. Plus, with all of the patriotic holidays coming up (Memorial Day, 4th of July, and even Labor Day), we wanted to incorporate our Tin Can Luminaries into the celebration. Not to mention the fact that the red, white and blue sort of match my blog. But, you know, the girls don’t exactly get that but it makes me happy.

Now on to our craft. Again, this was a simple craft that I was able to do easily with my 7 and 9 year old daughters. Here is all we did:


  • Empty tin can(s)
  • Red, white, blue paint (or colors of your choice)
  • Paint brush
  • Tea light candles
  • Hammer and 1 nail (see? told you they would be involved in the making of this craft)


  1. If can is not empty, make sure to take contents out and rinse. (Just making sure on this one).
  2. Peel all labels from empty can. Dispose of lid (carefully). Side note: watch the inside of the can as well. The metal pieces left behind by the can opener are still sharp and can, and will, cut you. Then you are left with a Snow White band-aid on your finger as you finish the craft. (I *may or may not* know this from experience).
  3. Make sure can is dry and position on a steady surface. Take the hammer and nail and use them to gently punch holes in the side of the cans. (I said they would be used… just not necessarily in a nail meeting wood way). Luminaries Nail
  4. Paint can in desired design. We chose red, white, and blue stripes for our patriotic theme. I was actually not allowed to do any of the painting, but the girls did an excellent job. Luminaries Paint
  5. Let paint completely dry. Carefully (remember the side of the can I mentioned in step #2) place a tea light candle or two into bottom of the can.
  6. Light the candle(s) and you now have glowing tin can luminaries.
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You are done. Light up the tin can luminaries the next time you are enjoying a summer evening.

Red White Blue Tin Can Luminaries

What is your favorite summer holiday?

Make sure to also check out the red, white and blue felt wreath the girls made with Staci to go with our celebratory theme.

About Colby

As the father of 5 and head of the household, I am often looking for the next best thing when it comes to my family. I enjoy trying new products and am excited about delving further into the tech world my wife and teens know so much about. You can also find me on Twitter: @dodomesticdad


  1. Looks very good. They will look great out there for the 4th of July!!! Great job DODD & family!

  2. Love this idea! I know you made these with your daughters, but I think my boys would have fun making a craft like this. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend too. Thanks.

  3. These are so cute, and they look really easy to make! I’d love to make a few for 4th of July!

  4. Oh my, that was so easy! I think we’ll have to make these for our 4th of July BBQ we have every year. Thanks for the great idea!

  5. How CUTE is this? Love it, and it could be translated into so many different holidays and themes!

  6. Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? says:

    Those look so great…and seem to simple to do (except the part with the nail and hammer…guess that’s for grown ups!). Such a great idea.

  7. These turned out amazing! I love that they are easy and inexpensive too!
    I love the 4th of July(:

  8. Those are beautiful!!

  9. What a cute idea this would be great for the 4th of July.

  10. I love seeing dads that will get involved in things considered more “womanly” with their kids. What a great bonding experience for you three!

  11. I just might save a few tin cans to make these as it would look great for the summer holidays. And,Ii have a TON of tea light battery powered candles that could go inside.

  12. Hmm, where is that picture of the Sno White band-aid??? 😉

  13. I love these! We did something similar, but we made designs on the sides of our cans. It’s a great way to teach kids to use a hammer, and a super fun fourth of July craft!

  14. Love these! Definitely a great way to light up a party this summer.

  15. That is so cool looking! I really like this idea for making luminaries. 🙂

  16. Your tweet caught my eye! I’d love to try this and paint a firefly on the can.

  17. So fun! I wonder if a bead of hot glue around the sharp edge would eliminate some of the danger….thanks for the great craft idea!

  18. Crocs forever! says:

    One of those safety can openers makes a very smooth top on a can. You can even use it after you’ve used a traditional can opener if you decide you want to use the can for something like this.

  19. If you freeze some water in the cans, it is easier to punch the holes in. 🙂

  20. These are awesome idea’s!! Thank you so much! I shared your idea in my blog post entitled “5 Great DIY 4th of July Home Decor Idea’s” if you would like to check it out, the direct link is:

    Thanks Again and Happy 4th of July!!


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