Tin-can & Glass-jar Lights
Set your backyard, porch or terrace aglow with theses fun lights.
Outdoor lighting doesn't have to be complicated or expensive to install. All it takes are some everyday materials and a little imagination to set your backyard, porch or terrace aglow. Below you'll find instruction on how to make both tin-can lights and glass-jar lights.
Step 1: Make a pattern of holes on paper to wrap around your can by using a photocopier to enlarge one of the three designs shown at right. You can also cut a piece of paper to size and copy a design onto it freehand. Or make your own original pattern!
Step 2: To copy the circle designs from the patterns, use a compass and pencil to draw concentric circles and mark equidistant points around the outer circumference. Draw lines from the center to these points to divide the circle into even sectors. A dot at each intersection indicates where a hole is to be made.
Step 3: For the diamond design, draw a small diamond shape made of two equilateral triangles, and enclose this in two proportionately larger triangles. Add dots to the outlines at evenly spaced intervals to indicate holes.
Step 4: Tape the paper pattern to the can. Place one end of the dowel lengthwise in the vise; slip can over the other end.
Step 5: At each dot on the pattern, make a divot in the can with a large nail (this will help guide the drill), and then enlarge with a 1/8-in. drill bit. Make holes for the handles near the top of the can in the same way.
Step 6: Make a handle by bending a 20-inch length of wire at its midpoint, then bending small hooks at each end to attach to can. Twist other end into a small loop for hanging. Paint cans if desired (avoid water-based or latex paints). Insert a candle.
Step 1: Measure circumference of jar neck, add 3 in., and cut a piece of tie wire to this length. Bend the wire around the jar neck to form a loose circle, and use pliers to hook the two ends securely together. With a screwdriver, twist the wire to form two eye loops on opposite sides of the jar.
Step 2: For the hanger, cut another piece of wire, 3 ft. long. At its midpoint, use pliers to twist a loop for hanging.
Step 3: Thread 1 in. of each end of the hanger wire through the eye loops; secure the wire by twisting the ends back on themselves.
Step 4: If desired, embellish jar with glass paints, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make a bed of sand 2 inches deep in each jar, and insert a candle.