Wednesday, 16 October 2013

DIY tin can light project

I have a very narrow and short corridor in my appartment.
Imagine an about 1x2 meter hallway surrounded by four doors, an air-conditioner indoor unit and a small storage place above one of the doors.
You get the picture, right?
Pretty cramped indeed...
So whenever I thought of a lighting I always ended up I should buy a very small ceiling light or something that wouldn't be an obstacle (or wouldn't break up in pieces) when storing things in the storage place I've mentioned before.
But since I'm in my DIY phase and I have to admit that I am more than addicted to read and follow relevant blogs and pins these days, I have decided -guess what- to make one myself.
Of course, as you can imagine, part of my diy to do list was always recycling materials such as tin cans, as I assume it is for most  DIY-ers.

Ok,enough with the rambling, now let's move on with the procedure!
First of all here is the list of tools and materials you will need for this project:
  • A tin can of course (you get to choose the size, just make sure it fits the cord set you have bought or already have)
  • White plastic paint
  • Some toothpicks
  • A paint brush
  • A needle file
  • A hammer
  • An awl
  • Some enamel paints of different color
  • A cord set ( I used an IKEA HEMMA Cord set so that makes me an IKEA hacker, I guess )
  • White spirit
At first you have to paint the tin can inside out with some white plastic paint.Make sure it is very well covered so you might have to paint it 2 or 3 times for a perfect result.
Then let it dry for a while
Ok, now if you are observative enough you might have noticed that there is a hole on top of the can.
I did this hole using the hammer and the awl because I thought I should  pass just  the cord through the can and not the light bulb socket!!
Silly me, I should have read the cord set instructions first!
So if you have a cord set like mine make a bigger hole before painting the can and after CAREFULLY measuring the diameter of the light bulb socket.
Otherwise, if you can pass only the cord through the can, you should make a small hole like this one in the picture before painting the can white.

Then start using all your artistic flair in decorating the can.
I, for example, left the stripes of it white and just painted the top and bottom of the cylinder.
I used  yellow, blue, red and green enamel paint and I applied  them onto the can with a toothpick.
I wanted to give a more abstract painting look to it but I guess you could paint anything, using stencils for example or if you are a skilled and talented painter you could paint all or part of it.

Then comes the part that I told you before (you know- where I make a bigger hole so that the light bulb socket fits in

And finally you screw the cord set steadily to the can

And the long waited moment has arrived!!
It's time to put it on the ceiling!
Make sure you turn off the electricity first and get the help of someone who knows how to install a ceiling lamp (I got all the help I could get from my boyfriend by the way-thanks George!)
And tadaa!!!


  1. I think that it is a great light for a small corridor and a perfect new life for a tin! Very well done!

  2. amazing project!!! thank you for sharing!

  3. Different color, maybe carbon or silver, gives an industrial style.

  4. Thank you girls!! :))

    @mad00lini this is such a brilliant idea!


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