Tin Can Halloween Lanterns

4 Materials
1 Hour

I hate wasting anything. I feel like it's not good for the environment or my budget. So when I wanted to upcycle tin food cans (sometimes called aluminum cans) into Jack O'Lanterns, I was happy to find out how easy it is!

This Halloween DIY craft can be done with just a few items around the house. If you don't have the tin cans, ask your neighbors!


  • Empty tin cans, also called aluminum cans (washed and cleaned out - be sure to remove any rough edges carefully!) 
  • Orange craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Paper plate or paper
  • Black paint marker 
  • Flameless votive candles 

Painting the Can

Paint your tin cans with orange paint, letting dry between coats. I used 3 coats of paint to fully cover the cans. Allow to dry on a paper plate or paper to protect your surface.

Draw a Halloween Face

Using the paint marker, draw a face on each can. Be as silly or scary as you'd like. I chose some classic jack o'lantern faces. But you could do something different.

Add Lights

Allow the cans to dry. 

At this point, if you want a flickering tin can lantern, you could add nail holes around the black parts of the pumpkin face. You would do this by gently tapping a nail with a hammer through the can all along the "cut out" parts of the jack o'lantern face. It is time consuming, which is why I didn't do it. But it would be cute.

Add a flameless LED votive light to each can.

More Tips and Halloween Crafts

I share my tips for the best paint to use on tin cans, as well as where to get remote control battery operated tea lights, in my blog post. You'll find the link to the post below the supplies list below!

Want more upcycling crafts? Here's how I turned a strawberry basket into a fabric pumpkin basket.

And I repurposed glass jars into spooky Halloween vases.

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Single Girl's DIY

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


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