Tasty Tangents

Food, life and other morsels

Happy Halloween!

Jack O'Lanterns made from food cans.

So this is going to be one of those tangents the blog title refers to. I’ve been in a crafty mood lately so I thought I’d share a fun idea for upcycling old cans to make Halloween lanterns. (They are food cans so I guess this is kind of food-related!)

Here’s what you’ll need:
-old cans (I used old bean, pineapple, tomato and dog food cans, but bigger coffee cans would be great too.)
-power drill or a hammer and a nail
-orange spray paint
-black acrylic paint
-small paint brush
-battery-powered tea lights

Wash out the cans and remove the labels, making sure there are no sharp edges.

Find some jack o’lantern patterns online or create your own and draw the design on the can with a marker.

Instead of carving, drill holes along the lines of the pattern or hammer the holes in with a nail. Wipe off any additional marker or it may streak when you apply the spray paint.

(If you’ve got little ones, you may want to file down the inside of the cans where the holes can be a little sharp.)

Spray paint the cans with orange spray paint. I didn’t use a primer, but I totally should have. After about half a dozen coats it still didn’t come out quite as orange as I would have liked.

Finally paint over the design with some black paint so the lantern looks great in the daytime too.

Pop in a battery-powered candle and voila! Eternal Jack O’Lanterns. I may add some green wire to hang them and look like stems too.

I got the original idea for these on Pinterest via Saved By Love Creations and I think I may try lanterns for other seasons one day. They are super cheap and cheerful!


  1. Amanda,
    What an interesting, fun idea.
    You can save these ones for next year, collect more large cans, and then create some more!

  2. Hi Amanda,
    I think you found the perfect way to reuse food cans and have a fun piece of art for Halloween. Congratulations for coming up with this activity. I loved the faces and colours that you used.