They are simple, adorable and illuminate each and every table at your evening event!
Materials you'll need to Create The Punched Tins:
- Clean tin cans (both smaller and larger-sized tin cans work equally well), one for each table
- Pretty paper of your choice
- Spray paint (we used white in a satin finish to compliment the paper we chose)
- A hammer and nail
- Battery-operated tealight votives (one for the inside of each can)
First, make sure the cans have been thoroughly washed and dried. Fill each can almost completely with water, stopping about an inch from the top. Freeze the cans until the water inside is completely frozen.
While the cans are in the freezer, take the pretty paper you've chosen to cover your cans with and cut them into strips wide enough to cover the grooves in the middles of each can and long enough to wrap around the entire can (you'll need one strip of paper per can). Ours were 10" long by 3" wide for the smaller cans, and 13" long by 3 3/4" wide for the larger cans. Set aside.
Next, you'll need to make a stencil of the table number for each can. Each stencil will be your guide when you punch the numbers onto each can. We printed ours out in a simple font (those with a steady hand and pretty penmanship can hand-write them, too) and trimmed them so that they were the same width as our strips of patterned paper and had enough length on each side so that they could easily be taped onto the can.
Lay each number on top of a strip of patterned paper, making sure the number is centered both vertically and horizontally. Using a hole punch (we used a screw punch from Martha Stewart), punch holes along the outline of each number, making holes through both strips of paper. Voila! You now have a stencil to follow for each can, as well as a perfectly-matched decorative paper cover.
Once the water in each can is completely frozen, you're ready to make the holes on each one. Place a towel on top of a hard, sturdy surface (we did ours on the floor) and, working one can at a time, remove a tin from the freezer and lie it on its side on top of the towel. Center a stencil on the front of the can, and tape each side down so that it doesn't move. Carefully hammer a nail partially into the first hole punched on the stencil and remove it. (All you need to do is make a hole in the tin; there's no need to hammer the nail completely into the tin.) Do this for each hole in your stencil. Remove the stencil from the can when you're finished and set it aside, and move onto your next can.
Once all of the cans have been punched, fill them with hot water to melt the ice inside and dry them completely. Spray paint each can, including the insides; two coats of paint may be needed to achieve an even, fully-covered finish. Let the cans dry completely.
Cover each dry can with your pretty paper strip, making sure to line up the holes in the paper with the holes on the can. Affix the paper to the back of can with double-sided tape. Drop a tealight inside each can (battery-operated only, please!) and bask in the sweet ambiance you've hand-created for your guests!
Images Courtesy: Mary Swenson