wedding so sweet + diy idea

by Grace Bonney

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!

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