Making your own wedding decorations from tin cans couldn't be easier! Not only is this an inexpensive way to decorate, but it looks visually stunning, is unique and is really easy for anyone to do. What's more there are loads of different ideas you can use depending on your time and skills.
Tin Can(dle) Holders
You can use the tin punching method (tips below) to create a random starry look, or punch a simple design onto your can. Most cans are suitable for this (cleaned and dried first of course, with a quick sanding to get rid of sharp edges), but it's worth experimenting with a few before you decide on your final design.
You can take this decoration a step further by painting the cans with a suitable paint so that it matches your decor. The ones pictured here for example would be perfect fall wedding table decorations with accompanying gourds for added effect - again this is inexpensive but super effective.
Or you could forego the tin punching altogether and instead wrap the tin cans in some vintage style paper - obviously making sure there is a gap at the top; don't want a match catching on the paper. I would also recommend using double sided tape to keep the paper in place to save from worrying about the flammable properties of certain glues. You could also try the look pictured here and cover a matchbox in the same color so guests can light the candles inside when they wish -- this could also make a great take-home favor for guests too.
There are also other ways of creating tiered candle holders, which is detailed in our last section on metal art decorations.
Tips on Tin Punching
If you have a lot of tin cans to decorate (which is likely if you are creating decorations for a wedding), then you'll want to know the quickest and best way of punching the designs in your tin cans. They won't turn out to be that economical to make if it takes you an hour or more battling with a can to get a decent design!
It's highly recommended that you start with a stencil - even if you are just doing a simple design it helps with spacing and so on. You can just simply draw a design on a piece of paper, stick it on your can with some tape, and then punch your design over the lines. Or, if you think that spacing might be an issue, actually measure and indicate the holes on the stencil too.
You can make the actual holes with something as simple as a large nail and a hammer, or you can purchase push pins from craft stores. There are stores online that provide shaped pins too, so you can get stars and moon shapes for example.
It will be easier and safer all round if you have your tin lying down instead of standing up - you can keep it in place with a blob of Blue Tac or similar poster fixative to keep it from moving around. In fact if your kids have some play doh lying around you can use that too.
Use a Tin Can as a Vase
Using a tin can this way depends a lot on the condition of the can - needs to be nice and shiny - as well as the type of flowers you use. Clearly using a tin can as a vase isn't a great idea if you have tall lilies or birds of paradise flowers for example. You'll also need to make sure your flowers aren't top heavy. This particular decoration works as the flowers are tall but light and delicate. You can use flowers like roses and tulips but these need to be cut very short so the blooms are pretty much peeking over the top of the can but no more than that.
You can add a more decorative touch by tying a ribbon around the can in your wedding theme color. You can also add a tag with the date and the happy couple's names or even a table number or table name so you get 2 decorations for the price of 1.
Create Your Own Metal Art
Making your own metal art isn't as tricky as you might think, although it does take more of a time commitment than the decoration ideas given above.
The decoration pictured here is a 3 tiered candle holder, which uses drilled out tin cans, strong wire and plates (you can use metal lids too but be careful of the heat). You can obviously just find 3 different sized cans, drill and use that way, or you can cut up the cans you have to create small tin sheets.
Cut off the bottom and top of each tin can and cut down the side. Press down to create your sheet; you can even use tin drinks cans for this. In fact those such as coca cola cans create a really great retro look if you use them design side out.
You can then create a design on paper and use metal snips to cut out the design from your newly created tin sheets. Flower shapes work well and can be painted afterwards, but always make sure with this technique that you do plenty of sanding or nasty jagged edges could cause some problems. You can use glue to hold your pieces together or to create larger sheets, or you can get handy with a soldering iron and wire for extra security too.
Hopefully this has given you plenty of ideas to create your own wedding decorations from tin cans, but please let me know if you have any questions.