Into to DIY- Low Cost Atmosphere

I go through phases.  Some come and go quickly, others tend to linger, and there are a couple that keep coming back.  The desire to decorate our apartment is one that comes, lingers, recedes and then does it all again.  Usually when it’s around I don’t make much progress beyond thoroughly cleaning our apartment.  I always feel like that is the real pinch point in my progress.

Realistically, while I really do enjoy a clean apartment it’s more that I’m indecisive about what style and colors I want and I don’t want to spend the money.  Case in point- you should ask Cathrine how long I’ve wanted to get pillow cases for our throw pillows on our couch.  Whenever I think I’m close to actually picking out a pair, I end up not committing and following through by purchasing them.  It may seem strange but I’m afraid of commitment- what if I don’t like them as much as I think I do? The material is scratchy? Or they don’t match our nonexistent rug underneath the couch? (Also still to be purchased…once I find the pillowcases)  You see, there are many factors that my brain thinks of whenever I’m about to go through with a purchase- it’s like it has a built in list of reasons and it succeeds every time in stalling the purchase.

So, you can imagine that in light of this imaginary list and fear of commitment to make a purchase, how excited I was when I came across this project on Pinterest.  It’s free, relatively simple to do, and would add some more character to our deck.  I’d say our deck is the one space in our apartment that’s actually decorated.

Of course, when I came across this project we had just taken out our recycling so I was starting from the beginning with collecting cans.  I didn’t want to lose any momentum so over the course of two weeks; I developed a shopping list with some of our favorite recipes with the requirement that they called for some type of canned ingredient-

  •       organic garbanzo beans for homemade hummus
  •       organic coconut milk for Thai Mahi Mahi (x2)
  •       organic coconut milk for a chia seed smoothie
  •       organic black beans to add to a quinoa and veggie bowl with a peanut almond milk sauce

*as a side note- I can provide the recipes for these in a later post.

I quickly accumulated 5 empty cans- a number I thought would work well on our deck.  It’s relatively small.  I was ready to start my project.

Step 1: After rinsing the cans, I peeled off the labeling.  I couldn’t get the entire label off but I thought that was alright because I would put that part in the back.

Step 2: Then I filled them with tap water and put them on the freezer.

Step 3: Using a pencil and ruler, I made a pattern on a piece of paper that I measured to be the circumference of the can.  I decided to go with a chevron pattern.  I know, I’m totally late to this pattern trend but I’m currently into it.  I then marked points on the pattern where I wanted to make holes using.

Cathrine went through the same process but instead of making a chevron pattern she decided to make a series of spirals.

Step 4: After the water had frozen in the can, I tightly wrapped the pattern around the can and taped it.  I placed the can on an old hand towel to help keep it in place.

Step 5: Using a hammer and three different sizes of nails, I made holes in the can following my pattern.  I kept the remaining cans in the freezer to make sure they stayed frozen which I worked on one can at a time.

Step 6: Next I ran hot water on the can to melt the frozen water.  Then I d
ried the can and added a tea candle.

Step 7: Finished product

Image      Image

I’m really happy with how they came out and I think they really do add quite a bit to our deck.  We have been having really nice summer temperatures so we have been enjoying dinning by candlelight in the evening.

It really is the small things in life to get you excited.  Momentum: 1, fear of commitment: 0.

Project cost- $0

The cans were part of recipes that we enjoyed and we had a package of tea lights on hand.

*the original project instructions can be found on this website: