wedding so sweet + diy idea

i’ve always loved that tradition of riding away from a wedding in a fancy car with ribbons tied to the back and a big “we’re married” sign on the back. i’ve seen a few weddings where people carried this out with cans attached and while it may seem a little hokey, it’s really quite sweet in person. so i smiled when i saw an email from karen at wedding so sweet. karen runs an etsy shop that caters to brides-to-be and sells these cute soda can/ribbon chains that are ready to be tied to your car for the big day. it’s such a simple spin on the idea, but i love the fact that the cans have been painted all white and combined with bright ribbons. i think it elevates the idea of a bunch of tin cans trailing behind you and makes it look somehow cleaner and more modern. you can pick up a set of karen’s right here for $12.99, but i thought this would be a fun place to run with a diy project as well.

i did some googling and found this picture at green wedding shoes and thought it would be so fun to create something custom like this so i mocked up a few last night. my pictures didn’t really turn out like i planned but i’ve shared the steps below in case you’re interested in running with this idea a bit. CLICK HERE for the easy-peasy steps below.

Custom Wedding Car Cans (inspired by Karen’s wedding cans at Wedding So Sweet)

What You’ll Need:

1. Cans (I’d use anywhere from 5-10 depending on how big you want the trail to be)
2 Ribbon on String (cut to a length that provides safe distance behind your car’s bumper)
3. Primer (preferably a spray-on version)
4. Paint (I used an egg shell blue spray paint, but you could use Benjamin Moore test pots and a paintbrush, too)
5. Scissors/Nail/Hammer

[Please note: when cutting into cans, there will be sharp edges, please where thick workshop gloves and keep children away from the cut metal]

1. Assemble cans and lay them out on newspaper or a garbage bag to prime. Spray paint them twice, in two thin layers so that you get an even surface to apply your colored paint. Be sure to let them dry completely and make sure you get in all the nooks, like under the flip tab, etc.

2. Once the cans are dry, apply two to three thin coats of your desired paint color. Be sure to apply the coats evenly for the smoothest finish. The cans look really lovely if you get the finish smooth, like they’ve been powder-coated almost. So it’s worth doing a few thin coats to get it right. Apply until label or design on can is no longer visible.

3. Let dry completely and then begin to punch/cut holes into can for ribbon. (I painted them before I cut because with the first round I did, the paint covered the holes when I punched them before the paint) I used a hammer and nail to make the first hole and then used a pair of scissors to open the can enough to get the ribbon through both sides. Tie a knot on the end of the ribbon to hold in place and attach to as many cans as you desire.

4. When complete you can add any sort of decorations like a sign, extra ribbon, small knick-knacks that are important to you (I saw a great wedding where the couple attached antique keys to the trail).

All done!

  1. j says:

    These are cute!

    Any tips for how to attach these to modern cars that have smooth bumpers?

    1. grace says:


      my friend jennifer used those little 3M sticky hooks that you use on walls. the adhesive sticks long enough to the car to make it down a street or two. i’m not sure how long it will last after that, but she said it’s safe for your car and will hold on as long as the cans are light :)


  2. Heather says:

    This is adorable!! I’m helping a friend plan her wedding, and these will be fun to make, and SO cute hanging from their getaway car.


  3. Warren says:

    Maybe some kind of strong magnet?

  4. lottie says:

    ahhh, that’s so english! my parents had exactly that, the sign and the drinks cans, when they got married in the 70s, although they weren’t beautifully spray painted like these ones.

  5. tasha says:

    so adorable! it makes me want to forego the fancy car and hop on a vespa!!

    Here’s a cute idea from some people I know on a bicycle:

  6. these images elicit such happy images. i love them all!

  7. Such a good idea… no one does this any more!

  8. Emily says:

    I want to do this for my wedding this August, but I’m curious about how street legal it is, i.e. do we need to take them off once we leave the neighborhood (and are out of view) so that we can safely take main roads to the hotel? I don’t want to get pulled over or trip up another car and cause an accident on my wedding night! Anyone know?

  9. I really like how simple, raw and real it is.

  10. Jenny says:

    The cans look really cute all fresh and new, but I would be concerned about if they would look especially bad (worse than the regular cans) when the paint is scraped off on the streets.

  11. Thanks so much for posting those images from my blog. I love the DIY tutorial – great idea!

  12. Ginger says:

    I read your blog most every day! Too bad I’m already married, but for anyone out there looking for a lovely and cheap wedding dress, here are some from Target (yes! Target!) that look wonderful…

  13. Steve Leonard says:

    I ck’d CA H.P. nothing in DMV code to prevent. Don’t break any laws and you should be fine.
    S.L. Dana Point 12/2012


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.