halloween craft decorations: Fun with Cans!

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halloween craft decorations punched can

Aren’t Halloween craft decorations the BEST? There are just SO many ideas to choose from, and they can be as spooky or as cutesy as you want. For this craft project, we settled on “practically free”.

Seriously. Practically free. Here is the list of supplies that you need, and I’ll tell ya, the only thing we had to buy were some pumpkins!


soup cans – any size, any amount
hammer and big nail – or an ice pick or an awl
regular bond paper – although any paper will do, even a paper towel!
spray paint
water – yes, I just said water.

halloween craft decorations punched can

First things first, the night before you want to do this project, clean out your soup cans and remove the labels. Fill them up with water and stick them in the freezer. When they are solid, you will be able to punch the holes needed for this project without crushing the can in the process. Genius. Because water expands a tad when it freezes, the bottom of your can might bulge a bit – not to worry! Take your hammer and gently tap the bottom AFTER you are done punching holes and remove the melted ice block.

Okay – time for a little creativity. Take your sheet of paper, and cut a strip of it the same height as your can (it does not have to reach all the way around the can). Use a pencil to draw a very simple picture of a Halloween related icon-a spider, ghost, jack-o-lantern grin or even a simple word (or do 3 cans each with a letter to spell out the word “BOO”). Your design shouldn’t be very wide, not more than 3-3.5″, any wider than that and you start to loose the sides from your field of vision. Now, you can take a sharpie or other marker and “dot” your way around the illustration – the dots need a little space between, so don’t let them touch.

 halloween craft decorations

Next, tape your paper to the can, and get out your hammer and nail! I’m no carpenter, but I think we used maybe a 16penny nail? Oh I don’t know, it was big! Place a towel or rag underneath the can to cushion it, and to hold it from rolling away, and carefully punch your nail through the can where indicated.

halloween craft decorations

It takes a little practice to get the technique down, you could do a few test holes on the back of the can (no one will know!). You want the hole to be clean through, but you don’t want the nail to be driven all the way in. After the hole punching fun is finished, let the ice melt a bit and it will slide right out. This is when you can tap the bottom of the can back into shape if it expanded during freezing. Dry your cans and set up a little spray paint booth outside. Give all your cans a nice coat of black, silver, orange or how about red! It does not have to be perfect, just covered. After it dries completely, you may notice that some of the holes kind of filled in with paint. Not to worry, just stick the nail in to break that paint up! Looks good, right?

And finally, add candles or tea lights, or battery powered tea lights (like we did) and add them to your Halloween decor. Hope you had fun!

halloween craft decorations punched can

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