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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tin Can Lanterns Tutorial

I love summer and I love that I finally have a backyard to have parties in!  I made these tin can lanterns for a 4th of July party and they looked so lovely that I thought I would write a tutorial to share with you all.  

So follow the tutorial below to get started making your own lanterns for your own outdoor summer party!
DIY Party Lights:How to make Tin Can Lanterns from soup cans (Grow Creative)

This tutorial is property of Elise Engh: Grow Creative (http://growcreative.blogspot.com/2012/07/tin-can-lanterns-tutorial.html) Please do not reproduce without permission!  This is copyrighted material.

Materials:
recycled tin cans
hammer
nail
bailing wire
pliers
spray paint ( I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Paint)
tea light candle

Step 1:  Remove labels and glue from the cans.  I've found WD-40 to be very helpful with removing the glue.

Step 2:  Fill cans with water and stick them in the freezer.  Leave them in until the ice is solid.  This helps the can hold its shape for the next steps.

DIY Party Lights:How to make Tin Can Lanterns from soup cans (Grow Creative)

Step 3:  Take your frozen can out of the freezer. Using a hammer and nail, pound a hole near the top of the can.  Flip the can over and make another hole straight across from the first hole.  These will be used for the handle later on.
How to make Tin Can Lanterns from soup cans (Grow Creative)

Step 4:  Make your design.  Use the hammer and nail to start punching out a design in your can.  You can draw it our before hand or wing it.  Either way, they turn out nicely.

DIY Party Lights:How to make Tin Can Lanterns from soup cans (Grow Creative)

Step 5:  Once your design is all finished, let the ice melt out of the can and dry it out.

DIY Party Lights:How to make Tin Can Lanterns from soup cans (Grow Creative)


Step 6:  Upon turning the can over, you'll notice a big bulge in the bottom.  This comes from freezing water in it.  But, it can be fixed!  Just pound it down with a hammer so that it sits flat.
DIY Party Lights:How to make Tin Can Lanterns from soup cans (Grow Creative)

Step 7:  Time to make a handle.  Cut a 12 inch strip of bailing wire and curve the end of it to form a hook.  Stick the hook through one of the top side holes.
DIY Party Lights:How to make Tin Can Lanterns from soup cans (Grow Creative)

Step 8:  Twist the hook around to secure it.  Make a hook on the other end of the wire.  Stick it in the side hole on the other side and twist it around.  There's your handle!
Tin Can Lanterns

Step 9: Time for some spray paint!  Paint several coats on to cover the entire outside of the can and handle. 

DIY Party Lights:How to make Tin Can Lanterns from soup cans (Grow Creative)
DIY Party Lights:How to make Tin Can Lanterns from soup cans (Grow Creative)

Step 10:  Once the paint is dry, insert tea light candles and light them up! You're all ready to go!

This tutorial is property of Elise Engh: Grow Creative (http://growcreative.blogspot.com/2012/07/tin-can-lanterns-tutorial.html) Please do not reproduce without permission!  This is copyrighted material.
DIY Party Lights:How to make Tin Can Lanterns from soup cans (Grow Creative)
Reader Tips:  
  • Azirkah said...To keep the bottom of the can from bulging out, put 2 or 3 inches of water in the can and let that freeze, then top off the can and freeze again.
  • Esther en Calou said...... avoid to make holes in the bottom inch of the can. When your candle melts and the holes are made too close to the bottom, the wax will pour out.
  • E C Ballard ஃ said...If you have a dremel tool or any kind of flexible shaft, you can use a burr or a very small metal drillbit and you will not need the ice.
  • Nicole said...fill your can with sand prior to adding the water and placing in the freezer! It will prevent your can from bulging during the water expansion process :0)



97 comments:

  1. Oh so romantic decoration for the garden. I am having just a balcony, but I guess it would be lovely also there :) I am pinning this idea!!

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  2. Love those! So simple and cute.

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  3. I'm much impressed by ur crafts,they r so easy and creative!!!I want to award u the Liebster Blog award :) and i'm so happy to announce tis to all!!!

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  4. These are so cute!! And I love the colors you painted the lanterns!

    I host a weekly Friday link party, I would love for you to join if you are interested.

    Have a great weekend!

    Ashley
    www.simplydesigning.blogspot.com

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  5. So pretty! Thank you for sharing your tutorial! :)

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  6. These look awesome - & so easy! Thanks for sharing your project - visiting from Craftionary link up :)

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  7. So beautiful and they look fun to make as well! I think I'll start saving some cans and I've marked this to my favorites!

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  8. Love the colors you painted the cans. So cute! Visiting from Shabby Nest.

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  9. These are SO lovely!! What a fun project. I'm adding this to my To-Do List on pinterest : )

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  10. What a lovely idea for lanterns! So pretty!

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  11. oh, wow! I love these! Great color choices, and they look so gorgeous all lit up! Wouldn't they be pretty for a wedding? Or a summer garden party? I'd love for you to share them here if you get a chance:
    http://oneartmama.blogspot.com/2012/07/shine-on-fridays-36-and-giveaway.html

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  12. Beautiful! I love the colors!!!

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  13. These are awesome! I was just telling my son today that we need some color out in the backyard! I'd love to make a bunch of these and hang them on the fence!

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  14. Those are amazing! Thanks for sharing such a great tutorial. I'm pinning it right now. :) Enjoy!
    Megan

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  15. These are adorable. I absolutely love the idea. Very fun! Jodi @ www.meaningfulmama.com

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  16. Oh, these are lovely! I love the idea of taking something you'd normally throw out and turn it into something beautiful! So creative. :)

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  17. These are really amazing! Great job!
    Found you on 36th Avenue.
    Blythe
    www.thedesperatecraftwives.blogspot.com

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  18. Thanks for linking to TAke-A-Look Tuesday over at Sugar Bee Crafts - you were featured today!
    --Mandy, www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

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  19. These are so creative and resourceful! I love the colors. I found your link on THe Shabby Creek Cottage and I am now following you.

    Have a great weekend!

    Angela

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  20. such a great idea!! love how it turned out!

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  21. I have always loved these type of lanterns. I think painting them aqua and lime took them to a whole new level.

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  22. THese are so lovely! I would love to feature this on Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle. Feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Thanks.

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  23. Very interesting idea! Thanks for the hint with frozen water;)

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  24. Love it. Was looking for something to do with my grandkids during the holidays and this is just what I was looking for. Something we can do together, something light so they can take it back on the plane and something we can make personal. Thanks for the fab idea.

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  25. What a fun way to light up a summer evening! Love them!

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  26. Hi Elise! I just love these! The colors are great! I featured them on my blog today! http://missloviecreations.blogspot.com/2012/08/my-favorite-things-thursday-on-friday.html Come check it out and grab a featured button if you like!

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  27. Love this idea - fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  28. These are so cute. I love the tutorial. I'm your newest follower. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this post. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party.
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/08/pink-honey-beeswax-lip-balm-and.html
    I hope to see you there. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above
    www.adornedfromabove.com

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  29. I love these! Lanterns are so fun and the colors you picked are darling! Stopping by from TT&J - Have a great weekend!

    Amanda

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  30. OMG, these are on my list of things to make when I move into a new house next week! I would LOVE it if you'd link up to The Pinterest Project :)
    http://adayinthelifeofamomandawife.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-pinterest-project-linky-party-5.html

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  31. What a whimsical craft project! I have a thing for tin cans anyways, so these must be made....
    I hope you will link up with me here:
    http://www.thegingerbreadblog.com/2012/08/sweet-saturday-link-party-v-53.html

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  32. Lovely! I must do this, now to collect enough cans ..

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  33. Freezing the can to hold its shape was very clever!

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  34. Awesome! I tried making one recently but it was so tough trying to keep the can from bending, I couldn't find anything to stay in the can as I hammered.......NEVER thought of Ice....Awesome, thank you!!! :)

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  35. This is such a fun and economical idea! Thank you for linking to my party!

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  36. In love with your version and its colors ! Idea used for my party -> http://madebyisa.canalblog.com/archives/2012/09/07/25000025.html
    Many thanks !

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  37. To keep the bottom of the can from bulging out, put 2 or 3 inches of water in the can and let that freeze, then top off the can and freeze again.

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  38. A friend just sent me the link to your fantastic tin can lantern tutorial. I can't wait to make some and am already planning what meals I can make to use maximum tin cans!! Your blog is fabulous!

    Leah

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  39. Hola from Spain!! love your blog, you have very good taste for many things: blog design,tutos, photos... I posted this tutorial with link at my blog, hope you like it. www.casabelenvejer.blogspot.com.es
    I'll follow you. Hasta pronto y gracias!!!

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  40. About 15 years ago I made these cans, painted in black as christmas gifts. Worked super well. Just a tip: avoid to make holes in the bottom inch of the can. When your candle melts and the holes are made too close to the bottom, the wax will pour out.

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  41. Hi, just want to make you aware of a seller on Listia that is using your images to auction instructions to make these lanterns. I have reported her but the owner of the images she is using must report her to have her auctions removed. The link to her auction is here: http://www.listia.com/auction/7671006-diy-tin-can-lanterns

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  42. Has anyone tried using large bulk cans? Perhaps placing a three-wicked candle inside?
    Same principle, but I wonder if the effect is lost?

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  43. Michelle and Angela, I can't respond to you through email (you are no-reply comment bloggers) so I'll answer here and hope you read it. Michelle, I've never tried large cans, but it would be worth a try. Angela, I've never had seen the paint melt or burn. The cans get hot, but that is it.

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  44. I made an owl can lantern 10 years ago when whooooing my now husband (pardon the pun). I kept the can silver, but painted the inside gold to add extra glow. Love the handles idea! I am making these for Independence Day, too!

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  45. Hi this is Katie from the Progresso Facebook team. We love your tin can lantern post and we want to share it with our community! Do we have your permission to post a link to your blog on our Facebook page? Please let us know by replying in this thread. Thank you!

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  46. Sure, Katie. That would be just fine with me.

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  47. @Katie It's funny as soon as I saw this posted, I instantly saw the Progresso commercial with the lady using the cans as curlers in my head.

    Elise, wonderful idea! Maybe use citronella candles come spring and summer to help out with night time parties :)

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  48. that is so very cool! i think my daughter and i will have to try it!

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  49. Such a cute idea! Popping over from Craftberry Bush link party.

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  50. Oh my gosh! I had totally forgotten about this trick! I'm pinning this! Little Bit from www.DecorateWithaLittleBit.com

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  51. They look amazing....I tried this one year and we failed miserably, not sure what I was doing wrong but the cans did not hold their shape at all even though I did freeze them....yours turned out beautiful...thank you so much for sharing..I will try again this year...xo

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  52. This is such a good idea, but how do you avoid the sharpness of the holes inside the can from the nail making the holes? I wouldn't want children to get hurt making these. But I love them.

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  53. I just love these :) I am going to try using some baby formula cans. I think it would be helpful to have the lids and for them to be centerpieces on tables. Thanks for the great idea.

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  54. These are gorgeous! I am going to start collecting can now. If you get a chance, please link this to my linky party: http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/2013/04/sunday-linky-party-4.html

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  55. If you have a dremel tool or any kind of flexible shaft, you can use a burr or a very small metal drillbit and you will not need the ice.

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  56. Can I ask to the author or anyone who has tried this, is there not a problem with sharp bits on the other side of the holes?

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  57. Niki, yes the cans do have sharp edges on the insides if you try this technique. You have to be careful when putting candles inside them. I haven't tried drilling the holes with an actual drill, but maybe you would have fewer sharp edges that way.

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  58. Hi there, quick question, when you're nailing the design on.. do the cans roll around? If so, is there anything I can do to keep that from happening?
    Thanks,
    Darcy
    Jaredd1@msn.com

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  59. These are so whimsical for a summer's eve. Thanks for the great tutorial. For those who asked about sharp bits on the inside of the can, I've found that placing votives inside small-mouthed jars and other tight squeezes is easier (and safer, in this case) if you use tongs.

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  60. This comment is a little late but thought it might help others or you, with any future lanterns (not sure if anyone else already gave this little tip yet either!!)- fill your can with sand prior to adding the water and placing in the freezer! It will prevent your can from bulging during the water expansion process :0)

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  61. These are really quite beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial and blessings to you, Patti

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  62. Im not aure what im doing wrong. My cans are so tough that i cannot get a hole to pierce. After a lot of fustration and just a couple holes, i gave up. Any ideas what im doing wrong?

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  63. Im not aure what im doing wrong. My cans are so tough that i cannot get a hole to pierce. After a lot of fustration and just a couple holes, i gave up. Any ideas what im doing wrong?

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  64. Cori,
    You don't have an email linked to your comment so I'll respond here and hope you read it. I'm sorry you are having trouble with this project. What kind of cans are you using? For my lanterns here I used cans from beans and corn... things like that. My holes punched through well enough once I froze some water in them. I'm not sure why yours are not working. It could be that your cans are made from a tougher metal. You could try this with different cans and see if that helps.

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  65. I love everything about these tin cans!!!

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  66. I love everything about these tin cans!!!

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  67. Awesome idea! I'll definately give it a go :)

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  68. Awesome idea! Im going to make some and paint them in fall colors! !

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  69. Love this idea. But thought that one pound or three pound coffee cans might make great centerpieces for a table. Use multiple tea lights or a small pillar candle. Going to invite some friends in for a candle party.

    Thanks for the freezing hints too!

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  70. My friend & I made these years ago for Christmas luminaries & everyone loved them.

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  71. I love your post. I am putting together a Curated Collection themed {autumn nights} over @ www.looksisquare.com and I am including your tutorial! It publishes tomorrow afternoon (8/16/13)!
    Best,
    Tracie Gulit- the bunch
    http://www.thebunchblog.blogspot.com

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  72. That's a great idea. I usually recycle cans and use jars for projects but I will definitely give it a try. Thanks!

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  73. Instead of bail wire, how about the wire from hangers?

    The wire hangers from dry cleaners, these days, are usually two 12" wires wound together.

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  74. I travel in a RV and these are easy to transport as they are unbreakable. I use electric tea lights from the dollar store so as not to start fires.

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  75. I still love this! I'm re-pinning this from my original individual Pinterest account to my new blog account.
    Its so cute. :) I'm sharing with my friend who has TWO daughter with impending engagements,oh my, double the parties and weddings over the next 12 months! She will probably need all the help and cost cutting ideas she can get.

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  76. I still love this! I am re-pinning from my original personal Pinterest account to my new blog account (notquitewonderwoman.com)
    I'm sharing this and your page with my friend who has TWO daughters with impending engagements. That will be double the parties and weddings. I'm sure she'll need all the cost saving ideas she can find. :)

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  77. love the idea of freezing with the water so the can stays in shape--definitely need to make some freezer room--or maybe it will get cold enough here again & I can just freeze them outside! good winter project for hopefully spring if it ever gets here!!

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    1. there was an earlier post about only put in a couple of inches of water, freeze it and then fill up and your can bottom won't bulge

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  78. I made my first one last weekend,just need to concentrate on one pattern per can lol

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  79. Do you paint all of the inside of the can too? Do you have to use a specific sort of paint? Cheers, Claire :-)

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  80. Do you paint all of the inside of the can too? Do you have to use a specific sort of paint? Cheers, Claire :-)

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  81. I did this year's ago and made jack-o-lanterns. I like this idea because it can be used all year.

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  82. Use LED tealights - then you won't have issues with candle wax running out and they typically have the same "flicker" candles do.

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  83. We loved this so much, that we featured it on our blog! <3 http://www.nawikids.com/blog/

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  84. ME SUPER ENCANTÓ MI HIJA LO DEJÓ EN MI MURO DE FACE YA QUE ME PASO RECICLANDO Y HACIENDO MANUALIDADES ...NO DEJARÉ DE LUCIRLAS EN NAVIDAD EN MI PESEBRE QUEDARAN MUY LINDAS GRACIAS --

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  85. very pretty and effective! I'd love to see these at an outdoor dinner party. If you're out of time or looking for something more rustic, you could even skip the paint! pinned.

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    1. Yes, you can do these without paint for sure! Thanks for the comments!

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  86. Question-I want to make these for an elderly relative. How do I keep the cans from having the sharp metal sticking out in the inside of the can after I make the holes? thanks!!

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    1. Good question! I haven't figured out a way to make these without having some sharp metal on the inside. If you are really concerned, you could try a filing the sharp edges down with a metal file. Good luck!

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