Tin Can Solar Lantern Tutorial

I love the rustic charm of tin can lanterns. Budget-friendly and super simple to make, their warm light brings a relaxing ambiance to any outdoor party. While flickering candlelight is perfect for a special occasion, I really wanted tin can lanterns that glow all summer long. I quickly decided that making them solar powered was the way to go. I've written a tutorial for anyone interested in making their own solar tin can lanterns.
Visit Craftiments for the complete supply list and detailed instructions.
Step 1. Wash can and mark design.
Step 2. Drill holes with power drill.
Step 3. Disassemble solar path light.
Step 4. Drill hole for the LED bulb in bottom of can.
Step 5. Make a handle out of steel wire.
Step 6. Affix solar light to the can with epoxy adhesive.
Step 7. Apply silicone caulk around the solar light.
Step 8. Charge it up in the sun.....
....and wait for nightfall.

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Sandra Hinckley
    on Feb 9, 2019

    What size can fits light?

  • Norma
    on Feb 10, 2019

    what did you use on top of the can. I might have missed what it was but I do like the idea and would like to make some. Thanks.


    • Donna
      on Feb 16, 2019

      When you put the hole in the bottom center of the can , you turn the can upside down making the bottom the top. Place the yard solar top on the can putting the bulb thru the hole in the center you drilled.

      The handles you make from wire, is attached to the edges of what was the bottom of the can, which is now the top of the light.

  • Felicia Corage
    on Apr 19, 2019

    How do you change the battery? All solar lights have a rechargeable battery inside and they come with the cheapest battery possible. Just a suggestion but if you switch out the cheap battery for a more expensive longer lasting one, it will last longer!

    • Jeannie.mcquaid
      on Aug 12, 2019

      Wait until the "cheap" battery dies. I have a couple around my yard that have done their duty, summer and winter, for over 3 years. Use an exacto knife to cut the silicone caulking and disassemble (it will be pretty dried out by then anyway). Replace the battery, repaint the faded can and re-glue.

Join the conversation

2 of 68 comments
  • Sherri Harmer
    on Feb 22, 2019

    I have saved up a bunch of cans in different sizes for this project. I can't wait for Spring!!!

  • Doreen Kennedy
    on Feb 26, 2019

    Great idea for my faded Dollar Store old solar lights. Thanks!

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