DIY Trash Can Lamp

Recently, I made a Trash Can Lamp for my craft area. Although it was a bit harder than I expected, it was completely worth it.  Keep reading for tips and tricks on how to make this project easier for yourself! 

I have had this trash can for over two years. I originally recall seeing them being sold at Target, but I happened to find this one at the thrift store.

The trash can was chrome and floral, two of my favorite things!

What more could you ask for in a $2.00 trash can?

Shortly after I brought it home, I discovered why it was discontinued from Target.

The floral design was too large, and it didn’t hold trash very well. Items easily slipped through the sides and made a mess all over the floor.

I used a trash can liner in it for a while, but I dislike seeing so much of the trash bag.

This was a complete designer fail. Perhaps they never intended it to hold trash, but just look pretty in your office.

 I have seen a number of stupendous trash can to lamp projects on the internet lately. They are all so beautiful!

I love how simple they are.

One day, the light bulb went on in my mind.


I have been struggling with this project for several days. You have no idea how difficult it was to cut a hole in this trash can.

I tried my husband’s high power drill with a 1 1/2″ attachment.

I melted it.

Sparks flew.

It was glowing red hot, and smoking.

It was scary!

Then I tried a cement drill bit. It didn’t even put a dent in the top.

I had to ask the hubby for help. He always knows how to fix my messes.

He pounded on the top of the can with a phillips screw driver until we finally made a hole in it.

Leave it to me to find the most well made trash can on Earth to make a lamp out of.

I could have never done this project by myself.

Once he had a hole, my hubby used a very sharp tin snips to gradually cut the hole bigger.

It took both his hands and all his might to cut through it.

I held on to the can for dear life during this process and dodged the pieces of flying metal.

Eventually we made the hole big enough to insert the lamp kit and add the Edison style bulb.

I just love those bulbs! They have such crisp, clear light that is wonderful for lighting all my projects.

The trash can lamp now hangs over my craft table on our back porch.

The trash can lamp now hangs over my mid century modern craft table on our back porch.

The painted wine bottles were another diy project, you can read about them here.

You can also see how I finished the Art Supply Caddy here.

Have you ever made a trash can lamp? What was your experience?

Have a great day!

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DIY Trash Can Lamp


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