Wall-Mounted Tin Can Tea Lights

I absolutely love candles; I love seeing the flames, I love the smell, they’re just awesome to have around. But we have cats who climb on every horizontal surface we own, so it’s a bit dangerous to have lit candles in the house. Luckily, there’s a super easy way to put your candles up on the wall and out of the way: Make some wall-mounted tea light holders out of recycled tin cans!

DIY Wall-Mounted Tea Light Holders Made From Recycled Tin Cans!

How cool is that?!

This project is so easy; it took me about ten minutes total. You need:

  • empty tuna cans or cat food cans
  • paint (spray paint or regular paint is fine)
  • tea lights
  • scrapbook paper, or any pretty paper
  • a gluestick
  • washi tape (optional)
  • adhesive strips for hanging the cans on the wall

I have been saving our empty cat food tins for months now, and I’m so excited to have finally found a use for them! JM had to stop me from making about twenty of these; for now we just have three. :-)

I started by cleaning out my can. You don’t want any of that fishy smell left!

Once the cans were clean and dry, I took them outside and gave the insides a quick coat of gold spray paint. You can easily just paint the inside with a brush if you don’t have spray paint, or you can leave them unpainted if you like that silver color.

Once the paint dries, cut a strip of paper to size to cover the outside of the can. Glue one end of the paper down, wrap it around the can, and glue down the other end.

If you want further decoration, wrap a piece of washi tape around the tea light.

DIY Wall-Mounted Tea Light Holders Made From Recycled Tin Cans!

I used little foam 3M sticky squares to hang these on the wall. Anything sticky on both sides will work, but be careful because there is a rim around the bottom of the cans that sticks out a bit. Your sticky needs to be thicker than that rim so that the adhesive still hits the wall when you go to hang the can up.

DIY Wall-Mounted Tea Light Holders Made From Recycled Tin Cans!

DIY Wall-Mounted Tea Light Holders Made From Recycled Tin Cans!

DIY Wall-Mounted Tea Light Holders Made From Recycled Tin Cans!

Pretty cool huh?

How do you do candles in your home? Do you have to worry about rambunctious pets like we do? These little cans are actually doubly awesome because they keep the candles away from the cats, and they allow me to decorate with candles even though we don’t have a mantel or any real horizontal decorating surface.


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Hi, I'm Jessi! Welcome to Practically Functional, a blog about real projects that real people can actually do! You don't have to be a pro in order to craft or do DIY projects; Practically Functional is full of projects for everyday life that anyone can do, regardless of skill or experience! Whether you're looking for fun crafts, DIY projects both big and small, gardening advice, cleaning tips, or quick and easy recipes, you'll find them here! Follow the step by step instructions in every tutorial, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Make sure you subscribe to free weekly emails so you don't miss a single tutorial!


  1. Brilliant idea! Love that you repurposed the tuna can and it’s so gorgeous now you’d never know what it was in it’s former life. I’d have to use the battery tea lights because I have kids, but it’d still look great. CAN’t wait to try it. 😉

  2. Love the idea of the wall candles…these would be pretty on a screened & windowed
    Florida room also. Your cats must be mischievous, we were able to train ours to
    stay off the counters, tables, etc. At first they loved knocking over a cup with a straw,
    but that was their worst. Love your ideas that brighten up the home!

  3. That. Is.

    The coolest ever!

    And totally doable, too. Now I guess we just need to eat some tuna (or cat food). ^_^

  4. Wow what a great idea! These look fabulous…. you would never know they are cat food tins! :)

  5. I love this idea! Now if only I had some tins… Oh! and some spray paint 😉

  6. Ok, seriously. That is adorable! I love it!

  7. so cute!

    I think if you filled the inside with little mirrors, like a disco ball it would look wicked cool!

    going to have to buy the tuna that comes in a can now instead of a pouch!

  8. I love this!! What a great idea. I know all about cats, we have (2) and they think they own the house and get into everything.

    Newest follower via the hop. ☺

  9. Oh WOW Jessi!!! Soooooo pretty!!!! Love how it gives such a nice ambience!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  10. Love Candles, I have to do this! They look beautiful

  11. Very clever idea! Have your cats even tried to jump on these? Looking forward to exploring your blog more :)

  12. Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl says:

    I love this! I hope you will link up with my Blog Fest: http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/2012/09/farm-girl-friday-blog-fest-1.html

  13. Really cool idea. I would like to see them from further back. I bet the light looks really cool reflecting off the can. It would be fun to do a cluster of them in different patterns. Stopping by from Crystal and Co. Hope to see you at True Aim. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Really pretty! :)

  15. Genius! I love these …so simple…so elegant!

  16. These are incredibly clever!!! Thanks for sharing at our uncommonly yours link party! Sharing tonight on our FB page!!

  17. What a great idea!

  18. What a great idea! I love this! Thanks so much for sharing at the Pomp Party!

  19. These are super cute and super simple! I love them! I would love to have you come over and link them up to Pintastic Monday, my little Pinterest link party!


  20. what a wonderfully creative idea and excellent recycling too! Hopping over from The Gathering Spot xo

  21. CONGRATS!!! You have been featured at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! Come on over and grab your featured button, you deserve it :)

  22. You’ve been featured! Your post was one of the top viewed link last week. Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday Whatsits! http://www.whitelightsonwednesday.com/2012/10/wednesday-whatsits-28.html

  23. How creative! They look awesome, thanks so much for sharing:)


  24. Way cute! Simple and pretty. I would love to have you stop by ‘Or so she says…’ and share your great ideas at the link party, going on right now. Hope to see you there! http://www.oneshetwoshe.com

  25. Wow – this is an awesome idea! So creative. I’m pinning this on my “31 days of new uses for old things” pin board. Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime.

  26. How cute what a great upcycle!

  27. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Sorry It’s taken me a while to get here and say thank you xo

  28. These are so pretty! What a unique idea. I’ve been checking out your blog and I just have to follow you now. Lots of neat ideas and wonderful posts.
    I have one question, when the candles are lit, do they blacken or bubble the paint at the top of the can?
    Debbie :)

    • So far they have not. I was a bit worried the smoke would blacken the paint on the inside at the top, and my husband was worried the paint would freak out and bubble because of the heat, but neither has happened so far! I’m not sure it never will, but I have those candles lit for a few hours every couple of days and it’s fine so far. :-)

      • That’s great to know! I have these pinned to make one day soon. Thanks for replying.
        Debbie :)

        • Also, I just realized, if they do get black from the smoke, the blackness should wipe right off with a damp cloth or something. That black is just carbon or something and I’ve found (in some glass containers that I have other candles in) that if you wipe it down every once in a while the black comes off and doesn’t become permanently discolored. If it builds up too much I imagine it will be hard to get off, but it seems okay so far.

  29. Those are so pretty. I never would have guessed they were tin cans in their other life. lol

  30. I love these lights! Not only are they great on the wall, but they’d also be great placed on a table in a row for a striking centerpiece! Thank you for linking up to The CSI Project Washi Tape Challenge. Laura at The Ironstone Nest

  31. Thanks for sharing your great idea with the ‘Or so she says…’ readers! The newest link party just kicked off today (every Sat. – Tues), I would love to have you back! http://www.oneshetwoshe.com

  32. What a great idea! Now I know what to do with all my cat food cans. :)

  33. Gabriellaug says:

    Hi! This is a wonderful idea..but… when you spraypaint the inside, doesn’t it come off, burn, or smell when you have burning flame to it?

    I guess you’ve tested it…. I was just a bit worried 😛

    • Good question! I was definitely worried about that too, but it turned out to be just fine! The only issue that I noticed is that a bit of carbon from the smoke collects on the can right above the flame, but this would happen regardless of whether or not it was spray painted. The paint doesn’t smell or burn or anything if you do a light coat and let it dry all the way before lighting a candle in there!


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