Pumpkin Can Tea Lights

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 148 Posts

This is a recycled craft made from empty food cans. The faces are made with an acetylene cutting torch. Finish the project by painting the can orange, adding a wire handle, and a tea light or votive candle inside. A good project for the kids once the cans are prepared.


Approximate Time an hour or less


  • orange spray paint
  • Black acrylic for spattering
  • soft wire for handle
  • rafia or ribbon trim
  • tea light or votive candle
  • Tools:
  • Acetylene torch
  • Pliers
  • paint brush


You will need one special tool to accomplish this. He used his acetylene torch to cut the faces in the can, and he tells me there is no substitute that will do the job. This is a torch that mixes acetylene gas and oxygen and is used to cut metal. It is used by anyone who collects scrap metal.

If you don't have one, perhaps you can find someone to help you out with this part. Just use your imagination for the kind of face you would like. Once the faces are cut, the rest is simple. In fact, this would be a great "Kid Craft".

The first steps are to remove the labels from the cans, and wash them thoroughly, then dry them. Then let the "torch handler" create the faces. The torch actually melts away the tin, so there are no sharp edges around the "cuts".


Punch (or burn) a hole on each side of the can just below the top rim to attach a piece of wire for a handle. Spray paint the outside of the can with bright orange paint. You can add a spatter of black, if you like, but is not necessary. Take a piece of medium soft wire that is a couple inches longer than you need for a handle. Wrap this wire around a pencil or handle of a wooden spoon, stretch it a little, and attach each end through one of the holes near the rim of the can. Tie a little raffia or a black bow the the side of the handle. Place a tea light or a small votive candle inside.

By Harlean from Hot Springs, Arkansas

A collection recycled cans decorated to resemble jack-'o-lanterns.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 277 Posts
October 29, 20070 found this helpful

not my idea but they are very cute


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 215 Feedbacks
October 31, 20070 found this helpful

they are so neat.


By Kim (Guest Post)
October 8, 20080 found this helpful

I've also seen this done in an easier at home way. Freeze water in the cans and use nails, punch smaller holes; that instead of actually making the shape, in a connect the dots sort of way. I am awful at explaining it, but here is a link to what I'm explaining:



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