DIY Tin Can Table Number Luminaries + Free Printable

This year we’re so excited to bring you weekly DIY projects that are lovely, attainable, and cost effective, too!

Photos by Christina McNeill.

DIY Tin Can Table Number Luminary


We’ve teamed up with Adelphi Events and Max Gill to create these totally charming Tin Can Table Number Luminaries (try saying that ten times fast!). While they do take some time, they can be done over several months – don’t be afraid to pull in your best friends for a crafting night to hammer and paint away! We’ve chosen a chic matte black paint for the outside and copper for a warm glow on the inside, but you can certainly go with other colors to fit your wedding design.


DIY Tin Can Table Number Luminary


Download and print the number templates HERE (thanks to Adelphi Events for creating these!). Or, if you like the idea of luminaries but don’t need them for table numbers, you can easily incorporate the same steps to make lanterns to hang in trees, or to line pathways at night.



Masking Tape
Goo Gone
Scotch-Brite Stainless Steel Scrubbing Pad
Montana Gold Acrylic Spray Paint. (We used Copper Chrome for the interior and Coke Black for the exterior)
Votive Candles
Free Printable Number Templates


DIY Tin Can Table Number Luminary


Step 1. Remove paper label from outside of tin can.

Step 2. Wash can inside and out with soap and water. Using Goo Gone and a Scotch-Brite Stainless Steel Scrubbing Pad, remove any remaining adhesive from cans.

Step 3. Wash tin can again, inside and out, with soap and water and let dry completely.

Step 4. Print out number templates and affix to the can with Masking Tape by taping one end first, then wrapping around tin can so the number is visible, and tape the other end down.

Step 5. Using nail and hammer, hammer nail into tin can on each dot of the template – starting at the OPENING of the tin can and working your way to BOTTOM of the tin can (keeps integrity of the tin can) TIP: Use Needle Nose Pliers to push any dents made while nailing, push out any dents from INSIDE the tin can

Step 6. Once you’ve finished creating the holes, remove paper template (reserve for future use) and use nail to reshape all holes.

Step 7. Spray paint interior of tin can multiple time. Let it dry in between each layer, and let it dry completely before moving to the next step. TIP: Metallic colors are best for the interior as they will reflect the most light from the candle.

Step 8. Place the number template inside the can to ensure that exterior spray paint won’t seep through nail holes while spraying. Flip the can upside-down (with the open end on the ground) and spray the exterior of the can. Let dry completely. TIP: Darker exterior colors will hide any imperfections made while nailing better than lighter colors.

Step 9. Flip can again so it is right side up. Cover open end with a disposable plastic or heavy paper plate, and spray paint to fully coat exterior of can. Let dry completely. TIP: Use markers to fix any teeny imperfections in the paint.

Step 10. Place a candle (tea light or votive will work) inside the can, light, and ENJOY!


DIY Tin Can Table Number Luminary


DIY Tin Can Table Number Luminary


More tips:

– Not all cans are created equal. We found the cans with non-metallic interior (usually white) are IMPOSSIBLE to hammer a nail into. Save as many cans as you can and, as you go through the process, throw out any cans that give you immediate issues with major bending and warping from the get-go. They’ll only give you more problems as the can gets more holes.

– We tried painting the cans first and then hammering the nails. This method did not work for us and caused more problems. It’s best to hammer first then paint!

– When you remove the lid with a can opener, sometime a small jagged piece of metal remains. Use needle nose pliers to remove or bend back into place.

– Some cans need an extra pass with Goo Gone… Do your best to remove ALL adhesive goop (even deep in the ridges!), as it becomes much more obvious once spray painted.


We’d love to see your DIY Luminaries, so don’t forget to tag us @snippetandink on Instagram for a chance to be featured on our feed!

Vendor Credits

Photography: Christina McNeill / Styling, Crafting, Free Printable:  Adelphi Events / Floral Design: Max Gill / Flatware: Fortessa’s Arezzo Brushed Black / Dinnerware:  Fortessa Coupe / Stemware: Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic Bordeaux / Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab

Christina McNeill and Max Gill are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.

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