It’s that time of year, my friends! Cool weather, changing colors, fall parties and flickering luminaries. I know I’m not the only one who swoons over those lanterns from Pottery Barn, but who says soft autumn light has to cost a fortune? For less than five dollars, you can create your own seasonal luminary as a fall craft. They bring coziness to late night chats on the porch, dim light after dinner and festivity for the all-important trick or treat. All you need are a few simple household items, and if you like color, a can of spray paint!
I really enjoy making luminaries. Here is one I did for our piano top at Christmastime a few years ago. I punched out the snowflake design on an antique tin I found at a flea market. Each December, we light the candle inside and enjoy its soft light in our living room. We keep it going until the last snowflake falls. There are so many possibilities! Creating a luminary is certainly not an original idea, but oh how simple and fun they are to make!
Ready to make an autumn luminary with me as an easy fall craft?
Here is what you will need. A empty tin can, a straight nail, a copy of your desired shape on a heavy paper, a hammer, a tea light and if you don’t prefer the color of aluminum, you’ll also need a can of spray paint. Since this is a fall themed luminary, I’ve purchased a creamy orange hue from the local home store.
Before you can begin punching our design onto the tin can, make sure to freeze some water inside! If you don’t do this, your hammer will dent the tin every time it punches a hole. I like things that look like they have a history, but a dented up can is not really what I had in mind 🙂 To freeze water inside, pour water 3/4 full to the top of the can and place it in your freezer. In a few hours, it will be ready!
While waiting for the water to freeze, outline your shape with little dots using a pen or marker. These dots will provide the framework for our hammer to punch holes. Be sure to make your dots close together. If they are too far apart, it will be more difficult for the image to appear.
When the water in your tin is frozen and ready, center the shape on the can using tape, putty or my daughter’s suggestion…gum! I think it’s easiest to do this between my knees. I point the nail atop each dot and give a tap or two with the hammer. Don’t worry if the hole appears outside of your dot or if some holes end up larger than others. That is the beauty of art!
When you are satisfied with having hammered most or all of your dots, remove the paper and add additional punches if needed to create fullness to the shape. For this one, I added some length to my stem and a few missed punches. When satisfied, I thawed out the ice and let it dry.
Now you are ready to spray paint your tin! One good coat is probably all you will need.
And isn’t this a great way to use one of those Amazon boxes? After mine dried, I added a little orange twill and twine. Hey, wouldn’t that make a good country singing duo? Introducing …Twill and Twine!
A homemade, inexpensive and perfect time of year luminary – pretty in the day and luminous at night. Be careful because once you make one, you might find yourself buying more canned beans at the store 😉
Comments & Reviews
Meridith. I live in Ohio too!! I love your luminary and also the Great is thy faithfullnes sign you have sitting beside it. Can you please tell me where you got that sign I would like to purchase one just like it!! Thanks !!
Meredith Edwards says
I’m so glad you like this fall luminary craft! The sign was purchased at Hobby Lobby several years ago. I bet you could still find something similar 🙂
Hi Lovely Meredith!
How surprised was I when I saw that this was your idea.
Looking for a fun craft to do at the library…
Loved your idea.
Laurie!!! How cool!!
Glad we ran into each other on the internet, lol
I want to do something for Christmas. Any suggestions? I do love the leaf.
I have punched out a gingerbread man and spray painted the can red… I have also punched out a simple Christmas tree and spray painted it green. Both would look nice together, or by themselves. Have fun 🙂
Do you have the stencils or pictures you used? Thanks!
I no longer have the leaf stencil that I used. I simply printed off a maple leaf picture from Microsoft clip art and dotted around the edge. I found that to be really effective 🙂