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DIY Paint Can Lights

Brighten your backyard celebrations with these DIY paint can lights. Using empty paint cans, a drill and some LEDs, you can light up your summer evenings.

Skill Level: Beginner
  1. Step 1 Gather Materials

    Gather Materials

    Gather all materials.

  2. Step 2 Freeze Cans

    Freeze Cans

    Fill the paint cans with water and put them in a freezer until the water is frozen solid. This will help your lanterns keep their shape when you start making holes in them.

  3. Step 3 Create Stencils

    Create Stencils

    Cut the paper to fit the size of your paint cans. To create a pattern for drilling the holes into the cans, draw or trace the design you want your lanterns to have onto a sheet of paper. Create copies for however many lanterns you plan to make. Tape the patterns onto the frozen cans.

  4. Step 4 Drill Pattern Into Cans

    Drill Pattern Into Cans

    Wearing eye protection, drill the designs on your patterns into each can. Be sure to brace the cans securely while they are being drilled so they don’t roll or slip. Once the design is all transferred, remove the partially-melted ice from the cans and dry them out. Be careful of sharp edges around the holes drilled. Remove any jagged metal using plyers or metal file.

  5. Step 5 Paint & Let Dry

    Paint & Let Dry

    Apply an even coat of spray paint/primer to each can. Add additional coats if necessary, and allow the cans to dry completely (at least 4-6 hours) before using them.

  6. Step 6 Add Candles

    Add Candles

    Place an LED candle in each can and light them up!

What You Need for This Project

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