Here’s what you need to get started. The tin cans (obviously). We suggest stopping by a local restaurant and asking if they have any empty tin cans they could part with. Just tell them you want them for your garden or something… no need to go into the whole story, you know? The nice thing about commercial cans is that they’re way bigger than regular soup cans from the store.
Then you’ll need:
drill (with an appropriately sized bit)
gold spray paint
letter size colored paper
and your number stencils, which you can download here.
Step 1: Tape off the inside of your cans so no spray paint gets inside. Spray the outside of each can with the gold spray paint (or any color you like). Be sure you don’t hold the spray can nozzle too close to the tin can, which can make for drippy, runny lines down your pretty table numbers and no one wants that.
You may need to do two or three coats depending on how opaque you want to the color to be.
Step 2: Once your cans are dry, wrap your printed number stencil around each tin can.
Step 3: Drill. Yay! Start by drilling the outline of the number first (following the stencil line), and then work your way in. It certainly doesn’t have to be perfect, but the more holes you can drill, the more light your can will give off.
Step 4: Slide your colored paper into the can on the opposite side as the number. Mark the paper with the appropriate height and width (you don’t want it to cover your numbers. Next trim the paper to the correct size using your cutting mat and exacto.
Step 5: Spray mount the trimmed paper to the inside of your can (opposite the number). And you’re done! We used red paper but you can of course use whatever color you like. If you’re using a color you’re not sure about, consider doing a test can first and lighting it that night to make sure you like the look before you finish the rest of your numbers.
Voila! Pretty, recycled table numbers.
Download the number stencil template here.