Home / Inspired Creations / Turn Recycled Tin Cans into Cool Candle Holders

Turn Recycled Tin Cans into Cool Candle Holders

Black painted tins can with colorful splats

Wouldn’t it be cool to have a retro art-inspired look for your wedding? Amidst an offbeat palette of bold colors and table settings of glass and metal, surprise everyone with a striking candle grouping using painted cans as artsy candle holders! How’s that for creative and eco-friendly? Oh, and they’re super-easy to make, too. Just follow this 5-step procedure.

From ordinary cans to “Wow, cans!”

Materials using cans and paint

Prepare the following materials:

an assortment of empty cans in as many different sizes and heights as you can find (soup cans, milk cans, tall potato chip cans, wide fruit cocktail cans, little liver spread tins), black spray paint, acrylic paint in different bright colors, paint brushes or even plastic spoons or popsicle sticks, scrap paper, and scissors

Create the candle holders:

1.Cut off the tops of the cans cleanly, and wash and dry each can thoroughly.
2. Cover the bottom ends with a circle of paper taped in place. Option: You may choose to leave the bottoms uncovered, so that they also get painted in the next step.
3. Turn the cans upside down on a surface covered with newspapers, and spray paint them entirely in black. Allow to dry.
4. Take any color of acrylic paint (one color per can) and splash it randomly on all sides of the can—creating a design of streaks and dots a la Jason Pollock’s famed “action painting” style. Remove the paper cover on the can bottoms, if you used them, and allow the paint to dry completely.
5. Once dry, arrange the cans in an interesting grouping, stacking some on top of others. Then, display white pillar candles on the larger cans, and sparkly votive holders on the smaller ones.

Colorful cans in neon green, orange, and blue

These unique candle holders are sure to be a hit at your rehearsal dinner. So start collecting those cans!

Decorating the cans for other themes:

Candle holders as table decorations and centerpieces

This DIY project is so versatile, you can use it for practically any casual party theme you wish. Simply paint the cans whatever color suits your chosen palette. Then, decorate them to match!

For example, at a summer party, white painted cans would look fresh and cheerful with splashes of floral colors like yellow, pink, lilac, and green. You could then display them as a centerpiece with pastel-colored candles on top and a scattering of petals or confetti around it.

At a holiday season gathering, you could paint the cans an icy blue then splash silver paint over it and dust on silver glitter before the paint dries. Add sparkling snowflake cutouts here and there on each can, then top them with snow white candles.

For an event with a rustic country theme, use brown paint to give the cans a woodsy look and glue on clusters of twigs, dried leaves and flowers. Then, add fern green candles on top and you have a charming party centerpiece!

At a wintertime wedding, try painting the cans in white and add tiny faux crystals or other similar accents. These would be perfect when set against candles of different heights!


  1. Those are cool–and would be great for an art-themed party too!

  2. So true, Rosemarie! And so nice of you to stop by. Have a great spring. 🙂

  3. THANK YOU for sharing with us on the Mostly Homemade Mondays link up! I hope you join us again this week. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    Kelli @ The Sustainable Couple

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelli! We do enjoy joining link parties like yours, and seeing all the wonderful projects and ideas shared. 🙂

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