I've come to realise that crafting is one of the things I do to prepare for things - Christmas, Easter, birthdays - and that doing something creative just adds to my feelings of anticipation and the gradual build up to the event.
I've seen these tin can tea light holders/luminaries done a few times in magazines and on pinterest and was keen to have a go as it seemed like a fairly easy and inexpensive way to add a bit of Christmas sparkle to the house, and they just look so pretty. All you need is a few empty cans, a hammer, nails, and paint.
This is how I made them. First, collect your cans, washing them out and removing the labels and as much of the glue as you can. Then fill the cans with water and then freeze them, to stop the metal getting too dented when you create the pattern.
Draw your chosen design onto some greaseproof paper, cutting the paper to roughly the size of the label on the can.
You could also draw directly onto the can with a marker pen if you prefer. Use a couple of elastic bands to keep the design in place on the can.
Transfer the designs onto the can with hammer and nail. Wrap the can in an old tea towel to stop it rolling around while you work and also to catch the drips from the melting frozen water inside the can.
Firmly and quickly tap the nail with the hammer, following your pattern. You could try varying nail size for different hole sizes if you like. You can see my can dented a little here but it doesn't really show when it's painted.
Let the can defrost in the sink and, when it's completely dry, you can paint it. I used spray paint because I already had some in the garage leftover from other projects, and it's very quick and easy to apply although do make sure you use it in a well ventilated area.
They look nothing special in daylight, but at night, with a tea light inside, they are transformed into something beautiful.
I also sprayed four cans copper to spell out the word "Noel". (It was quicker than tapping out "Christmas" onto nine cans.)
These look so festive and pretty by the stove and the warmth of the copper is lovely against the black hearth.
The bottoms of the tea light holders do get hot, so take care which surface you put them on. For the three white holders which I keep in the porch, I use those little battery operated fake tea lights which are lovely and also safer. I use real tea lights for the ones in the living room where I can keep an eye on them.
I love that you can take something as everyday and utilitarian as a tin can and with very little effort and a few tools you can transform it into something so sparkly and pretty! Things like that make me very happy.