Tin Can Lanterns in 10 Minutes!

3 Materials
10 Minutes

I really wanted a little bit of twinkly pretty light for an evening in the garden but without spending any cash.
So I decided to use my coffee break to create something out of nothing!
I washed out a couple of empty tin cans and dried them. Then using a pen knife (the screw driver head) I punched through small holes in the shape of a heart, but you could go for any design or pattern you like.
Add a tea light candle to the base of each tin an lantern and your lanterns are ready to use. Remember to use long matches to light them so you don't catch your hand on any sharp edges.

Suggested materials:

  • Empty tin cans
  • Pen knife  (Camping store)
  • Tea light candles  (IKEA)

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Wendy Mallins

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Rachel
    on Sep 3, 2016

    every time I try this the can bends.How do you punch holes without bending the can

    • MaryAnn Bova
      on Jun 15, 2018

      That's what I am doing the battery operated tealights, safer than candles and they'll last longer.

Join the conversation

2 of 17 comments
  • Mari
    on Dec 16, 2016

    PS to above note - do not put votive candles in tin cans as cans get VERY HOT

  • Rondagc13
    on May 9, 2018

    Made some years ago, using the ice method, it worked ok. As for sharp edges, if you use a side cutting can opener, it won't leave a sharp edge. Often you can even use it on a traditionally cut can, after it's been cut. Also use it on the pop top cans (start cutting at the tab). Making some new ones for my daughter's new back yard wooden fence (no holes on the side touching the wood). Will make a keyhole type hanging hole and screw to hold it in place against winds.

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