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Tuna Can Party Lights

By: Kathi Cayer for BitsyPieces

Jazz up your outdoor decorations with these fun and crafty Tuna Can Party Lights!  Made from aluminum tuna cans, this recycled project is a great way to get the look you love for less.  They're easy to make and fun to show off to your friends!

Tuna Can Party Lights


  • 3 Tuna Cans
  • 3 Wood Screws
  • 3 Wooden Dowels
  • 3 Globes
  • Drill with appropriate Drill Bit
  • Awl (to help tap the hole in the can prior to screwing)
  • Copper Colored Spray Paint
  • Glass Tiles
  • Misc String Beads
  • Aleene's Craft Glue
  • Patience!


  1. Start out by cleaning any labels and excess glue off of your tuna cans. Since I was covering mine instead of just painting them I wasn't too worried about a few spots here and there. However, if you are going to prime and paint them without adhering any "bling" make sure they are nice and smooth.

    Tuna Can Party Light
  2. Use the awl to poke a hole in the center of each tuna can. Since this is the bottom of the can no one should be able to see any scratches or imperfections.

    Tuna Can Party Light
  3. If you would like to paint your cans do that now, also paint your wooden dowels. (I didn't do this first but I believe it would have been much easier.)
  4. Once dry, screw your can to your dowel. Be careful here that you are using a screw that will not split your wood. I did apply a dab of E600 glue to the bottom of each can prior to drilling just to give it a bit more stability.

    Tuna Can Party Light
  5. Make sure your screw is flush with the can.
  6. Now start decorating it. When I went to Home Depot to buy my dowels, I stumbled across this sheet of clearance glass tile and fell in love with it. Oh the possibilities!!! I will use this over and over again. I measured around the can and cut a strip of tiles to fit. Since I had some gaps I found some scrap pearl like beads that I had on a string and added those in between. I suppose you could even go so far as to grout these, but it would make your cans quite a bit heavier.

    Tuna Can Party Light
  7. I also found these great amber colored light globes from a discarded ceiling fan at my local Deseret Industries Thrift store and just knew they would work perfectly in the tuna cans and the colored tile.

    Tuna Can Party Light
  8. I had to use clothespins to get the strips of tile to stay in place while they were drying. The tacky glue worked great. It was dry by morning and we started this project late in the evening.

    Tuna Can Party Light
  9. Just pop in a tea light and let it shine. I like the globe on mine though just for the extra fancy factor, plus it helps the candle light shine a bit more.

    Tuna Can Party Light
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These are perfect for my DIY requirements. First they are very easy to make. Then they are inexpensive to make and lastly they are cute. I don't have any tuna cans but I do have cat food cans that are the same size. And I will have an ongoing supply to use.

Okay, the creativity is off the charts with this DIY! Never in a million years would I think that I could make use out of otherwise discarded tun fish cans. Bravo to the designer! I just love the idea of snagging that 12" square of mini mosaic glass tiles. That is something that I would have done!

widget5b 5556557: I do believe she means that you can make a total of 3 candles, what with the 3 wooden dowels. Sounds like a great project!!!

Neat idea, but you say use 3 cans, in the end you only show 2 cans. What happened to the 3rd can?

What a stunning idea! I have a collection of tuna cans because they look too useful to throw away. Now I know what to do with them. Thank you! Joyce


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