Paint can deck candles • A Subtle Revelry

Paint can deck candles

Paint can outdoor deck candles

The early summer evenings in the mountains are incredibly cool and beautiful – I can’t help but be outside every chance I get. To create a pretty glow outside I reach for candles this time of year, but burning tapers every night can get costly. Instead, we filled old paint cans with wax and a wick – for outdoor summer candles that will stay beautifully lit all season long.

Paint can outdoor party candles

Paint can party candles

Such a fun way to light up the outdoors in bright summer style. These paint can candles are my new favorite outdoor accessory! Whether you use them to line a patio, light the way up the stairs, or place the paint buckets along the yard they will glow and shimmer throughout the night.

We put a selection of bright festive stars on our cans, a fun graphic detail and a nod to my party plans this summer. The paint can candles can have any design (try these bold candle download prints), or they can be kept simple and cleanly painted.

Paint can deck candles

To make the paint can candles you will need old paint cans – just raid that stack of almost gone cans sitting in the basement and you’ll be set. You’ll also need paint for the cans, melting candle wax, and a strand of wick that you can cut yourself.

Start by cleaning out the cans, removing all wrappers and painting the cans. Allow the cans to fully dry.

Once the cans are dry, place the wick down at the bottom of the can, wrap it around a wooden skewer at the top and lay the skewer over the top of the paint can to hold it into place. Heat up the wax per package directions and (carefully!) pour the hot wax into the paint cans.

One the wax has hardened, unroll the wick and cut to size. You just made an awesome outdoor candle!

Paint can outdoor party candles

If you plan to keep the paint can candles outside all season long, be sure to keep the lids. They can be used to cover the tops of the candles between uses, so the wax won’t get dirty looking from late afternoon thunderstorms.

Add in details, text, color… Anyway you design them, the candles will add a bright burst of party fun all season long.

(Photography ©A Subtle Revelry by Erin Holland).


  1. I’d love to do this and paint bright geometric patterns over the white base coat! :D -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

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