Tuna Can Tea Light Hangers

11 Materials
15 Minutes

If you're looking for a simple way to add a little light to your space, here is the perfect project for you! This would also make a great project to do with your students, kids, grandkids, or girlfriends -- though if you do this project with littles, I would recommend using a different glue than hot glue unless you take over for the cutting and the gluing parts. :) We want to help you DIY, so some of the materials in this post are linked to sellers. Just so you know, Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.
SUPPLIES: -clean tuna cans with labels removed -scrapbooking paper (or ribbon) -cutting mat -straight edge (I used a ruler.) -hot glue gun/sticks -box cutter (or X-Acto knife) -twine Not pictured: -scissors -tea lights candles (or battery powered...see photo further down in the tutorial) -wire hanger *Note: this project only cost me $5 as I only had to purchase the battery powered tea lights -- I had everything else on hand.
STEP 1: Cut scrapbooking paper The first step I took was to cut strips of scrapbooking paper. I wrapped a full piece of scrapbooking paper around one of my tuna cans, with the edge of the paper just under the lip of the can, to get an idea of how wide the finished paper strip needed to be -- it ended up being roughly 1-1/4".
STEP 2: Hot glue paper strips to cans Next, I used hot glue to adhere the scrapbooking paper strips to my cans. I started with a small line of glue to get the end adhered to the can, then every inch or so I added more glue until the entire strip was glued to the can.
STEP 3: Make hanger for cans Once all of my cans were covered, I took my twine and...
...made a bow from the end of the twine...
...then I cut the bow loose. I'd recommend making small bows -- maybe an inch and a half to 2" or so. These are basically just to add an extra little touch to the cans.
Next, I cut different lengths of twine. I didn't measure anything -- just simply started with one length, laid it out and then cut the other lengths, so that all of the cans would ultimately hang at different heights.
STEP 4: Hot glue bows and twine strings to can As you can see, for this step I adhered the bows and twine strings to the cans. I first glued the end of the twine string to the can (I glued it at the seam of the paper), then I glued the bow on top of the end of the twine string.
STEP 5: Tie finished cans to hanger and add tea lights Don't forget your tea lights! You can use real tea light candles but I wouldn't recommend it as you never know who is going to come along and bump the wax out.
To hang these finished cans, I simply tied the other end of the twine to the bottom of a wire hanger. Because these hanging in our son's room, I wasn't so worried with the rustic look of a plain wire hanger; however, if you're hanging you're cans somewhere prominent, you can always add some garland or burlap ribbon to dress up the hanger.
I love how simple and easy this project was...and how cute it turned out! The beauty of this project is that you can make them look however you wish because of the different scrapbooking paper and ribbon that is out there!
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Resources for this project:

Tuna cans
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 15 questions
  • Irene
    on Feb 9, 2017

    How long is the life of a tea light if it is left on continuously? Very pretty, BTW.

    • Cheryl Neske
      on Oct 24, 2018

      I bought some at the Dollar Tree for Halloween and left one on by mistake, it was still burning this morning and I turned it on 12 days ago. I was amazed.

  • Emma Saavedra
    on Oct 17, 2017

    Can you give any ideas on the decoration of a hanger.
    • Katharine Moore
      on Dec 15, 2017

      You can wrap the hanger in twine just put a dab of hot glue every couple inches to keep it in place
  • Jo Falasca
    on Sep 28, 2018

    Did you clean out the tuna cans with detergent? Do they still smell like tuna? I can just see my cat now wondering where the tuna is! Lol

Join the conversation

2 of 215 comments
  • Annie Wiens Oper
    on Jul 20, 2019

    I love these. I would probably use real tea lights, since I don't have kids around, but then I would probably poke a hole in the can and tie a knot on the underside to make sure it was more secure than the hot glue. Unless the fire would be too close to the knot. I'll have to start eating more tuna fish, so I can do this. I have just the place for them. Thanks again, Rob and Courtney. Love your projects.

  • Holly
    on Dec 28, 2019

    I am going to try this but paint the inside and outside of cat food cans and hang them on my deck using wire or plastic ribbon to withstand the weather!!! The lights at night, I think will look charming! Thanks for the great idea and yours look really good!!!!

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