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How to Make Recycled Halloween Luminaries

Published by Marvin Carreira

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Making your own decorations for Halloween is not only an inexpensive alternative to purchasing decorations, it is also a unique way to infuse your personality into the holiday. A set of luminaries made out of recycled tin cans is an extremely easy craft project to create for Halloween that promotes sustainability and environmental awareness. To make your own recycled Halloween luminaries you will need:

Tin cans (tall ones like the ones used to package fruit and vegetables)
Nail
Water
Hammer
Paper
Pencil
Permanent marker
Scissors
Tape
Orange spray paint
Black spray paint
Tealight candles.

1. Fill the tin cans with water and place them inside of your freezer until the water is frozen solid. This will prevent the can from denting when you begin adding the design using the nail and hammer.

2. Draw a Halloween themed design onto the paper for each can. Several examples you might draw include a pumpkin, a cat, a ghost, a bat or the words “Happy Halloween” in bubble letters.

3. Cut the designs out of the paper using the scissors. Tape the designs onto the tin can where desired.

4. Trace around the paper cutout using the permanent marker. Remove the taped on images.

5. Carefully poke holes in the can bu hitting the nail with the hammer. Trace the lines you drew with the permanent marker when you traced the paper image. The holes should be close enough together that the image is clearly recognizable.

6. Pour the melted water out of the can and allow the can to dry out fully.

7. Spray paint the cans using the black and orange spray paint.

8. Place a tealight candle inside of each luminary, and set them out on your porch. When the candles are lit, the light will show through the holes you created in the can, making the image easy to see.

This craft is great for making with children, though it is advised an adult handle the hammering and nailing to avoid any accidents.

You can combine colors for a two-toned luminary by spray painting the entire can orange and then wrapping a piece of scrap paper over half of the can. Spray paint the uncovered half of the can with the black spray paint. The paper will prevent the black paint from running into the orange, leaving you with a clean line between the two colors.

To eliminate the risk of a fire hazard, place a flameless candle inside each luminary. This will have the same effect as a traditional candle, but will not pose any kind of hazard if the wind or a Trick-of-treater accidentally knocks the luminaries over.

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