Canister Christmas Lights


Do you have a lot of plastic canisters lying around in your house? If you do, here is something that you can do to brighten up your home this holiday season!


  • clear canisters (depends on how many you want to use for your lights)
  • Christmas lights (coloured or plain)
  • fine-tip pen
  • coloured paper
  • film negatives
  • cutter or X-Acto knife, scissors

Step 1:
Use your pen to mark an ‘x’ on the canister cover. Use that as a guide and put a slit on the ‘x’ following the marking that you made.

Step 2:
Cut out strips of coloured paper or film negatives that you could place inside the canister. Stretch your creativity! Place other items inside the canister, such as beads, glitters and other items that can improve the look of your Christmas lights.

Step 3:
Poke each light bulb through the cap of canister and snap the canister in place. Turn on your Christmas lights!

The steps are pretty simple, right? If you have other suggestions on creating Christmas ornaments and decorations, do not hesitate to check our requested posts and submit a tipster!

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-12-19 #gear #tutorials #diy #negatives #tipster #decoration #canister #christmas


  1. welland
    welland ·

    Very nice idea but also dangerous. Film is flammable and when heated by conduction (the bulb) it will ignite. Wrapping these round a dry tree is asking for trouble. I am a fire consultant, please be very wary if you are going to attempt this.

  2. pzjo
    pzjo ·

    @welland would it be ok to use just the coloured paper instead of the film negs?

  3. gabysalas
    gabysalas ·

    @welland, do those tiny Christmas lights really get so hot?

  4. welland
    welland ·

    @pzjo coloured paper is better than film however it could still get hot enough to combust. @gabysalas yes they do, they glow white because they are that hot. A prolonged period of contact is enough to cause ignition

  5. gabysalas
    gabysalas ·

    @welland, didn't know or even think of that... What if the person colors the inside of the film canisters with permanent markers?

  6. jeanmendoza
    jeanmendoza ·

    @welland, thanks for the tip! Safety first! How about using heat-resistant Christmas lights?

  7. welland
    welland ·

    @gabysalas I think that would be a much better sollution. Sorry I don't mean to rubbish the idea, I like it! I just wanted to warn against promoting something that is a very big risk. Its my job I just can't leave it alone!!

  8. cc-in-paris
    cc-in-paris ·

    I loved this idea! @welland: ok, Mr fire consultant, what if we use the colorfull blinking Xmas lights instead. and no film? safe enough?

  9. welland
    welland ·

    @cc-in-paris No problem with that! You just need to try avoid contact of combustibles with a heat source (bulb)

  10. shuttersentinel17
    shuttersentinel17 ·

    I liked this article the moment I read the title! I thought if someone is adventurous enough they could use E-6 processed slides around the inside of the canister instead.. Little images around it!

  11. asharnanae
    asharnanae ·

    Surely if you used LED Lights, there would be no fire related problems? I mean, they don't get hot... at all. And I love the idea of making you own lanterns, slides would look particularly cool :)

  12. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Creative idea, I just need to think of a safe way to recreate.

  13. gabysalas
    gabysalas ·

    @welland, no problem, we don't want to suggest something that might endanger our readers...

  14. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

    slide film is so much better! 1. you're expressing your love for film and B. you're showing off the wonderful photos you've taken!

  15. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

    Merry CHRiSTmas!

  16. minilidia
    minilidia ·

    What a coincidence! This is my tipster…

  17. marybee
    marybee ·

    @welland Really, instead of hanging them on trees, i want to decorate them in my room..would that be okay..but no i'm not going to use the film it i think.

  18. marybee
    marybee ·

    @minilidia omgeee i love it. totally gonna try this one in my room too! simple but yet so beautiful! luckily you post the pic cos i don't understand the words. hehe

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