Rusty Tin Can Lanterns

11 Materials
2 Hours

Ohhhh, I have something to be excited about!!!! I have been ask by a group of awesome bloggers to participate in a monthly DIY challenge. Each month we will have a different project to come up with. This month the challenge is RUSTY ITEMS !!!! So without further chatter, welcome to the Project Challenge where 7 DIYers are creating some awesome stuff!!!!

Here is what I came up with..... I love rusty cans and I love lanterns,

sooooo why not combine them???

As you can see, I had fun displaying them for the photos

Nature is always the best thing to decorate with,

heather is soo gorgeous this time of year!

Instead of candles I used little battery operated

string lights, they put out more light in the dark than a

single candle would

Here they are in the dark...LUV EM

I already had these rusty cans in the garage from years ago,

but I dug them up for this post and decorated them

with a bit of twine & little hearts

OK so here is a quick "HOW TO" on the


Fill cans with water and put them in the freezer

(I added ice cubes so they would freeze faster)

Once the water is frozen solid, cut a piece of paper to fit onto the height of the can.

Draw a design of our choice on the paper, then use a sharpie and mark little dots on

the outlines to use as a marking for the holes you will be hammering. Wrap the paper

around the can, securing with either tape in the back or use a rubber band.

Use a large nail and hammer into the marked dots, the ice will prevent the can from getting swooshed while you hammer away! Don't forget to poke holes along the

sides of the can if you want to add handles.

For a great RUSTY effect, I used 2 spray paints.


For the first coat use a terra cotta color,

mine is an ACE Hardware brand, but any brand will do

After the first coat dries, spray lightly with RUST-OLEUM MULTI-COLOR,

you want the first color to look through a bit for the rusty effect

I painted my hearts "white" to make them stand out more

To add the rope handles I pulled some twine through the holes on

the sides and tied the thicker rope handles onto them.

I also used a dab of hot glue, so they stay up.

Please click trough my blog post with the link provided here so you can check out all the other awesome RUSTY projects!!!

DIY home decor using repurposed tin cans

Check out more creative ways to reuse empty tin cans here.

Resources for this project:
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Christine @ Little Brags
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 35 questions
  • Can56115167 Can56115167 on Nov 11, 2022

    I'm very interested to know how your cans "Swoosh"?

  • Sue Sue on Nov 09, 2023

    Why not use drill instead of nail/hammer?

  • Bobby Bobby on Nov 09, 2023

    I don’t want to sound completely stupid but what was the final project made .I may have misread something but I’m not afraid to ask cause I’ve always thought there has to be a use for these empty cans.Like I always wash out my empty 2 liter bottles of soda and fill them almost full and freeze them solid. Unfortunately where I live the power will go out if the wind blows.And since I live on a dead end where there is only 2 houses and that’s including mine .So I’m not on the high priority list.But with all the frozen bottles of water my food is still good and partially frozen after 5 days which is a good thing.I live on one of those fixed incomes they forgot to fix lol .I’ll be lookin forward to reply .

    Thanks again

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2 of 400 comments
  • Gail Gail on Jan 19, 2024

    thanks was confused about the (multicolored on can) when the lid was orange..then couldn't read the other color..ty

  • Alex Alex on Apr 07, 2024

    Hey there, I'm in a bit of a pickle: I'm experiencing a sense of loneliness and am keen on expanding my social circle or even finding a significant other. Do any of you have suggestions for reputable dating sites?