Tin Can Tea Lights

How To Make Tin Can Lanterns

How To Make Tin Can Lanterns

The school that my 8 year old daughters attends is running a young entrepreneur stall at the Christmas fete.  Abbi has embraced this completely.  Ideas were… shall we say… enthusiastic.    After much “brainstorming”, she finally settled on making and selling Tin Can Lanterns.  There are loads of images and suggestions for these on other websites – I cant remember where I first saw them.How To Make Tin Can LanternsYou will need:


Tin cans, pen & paper, masking tape, paint.


Hammer, nail, pliers, gloves, safety goggles.
How To Make Tin Can Lanterns


We scrounged many many tin cans from all our friends recycling bins, washed them, filled them with water and put them in the freezer over night.

To punch the holes, we tried first using a power drill, however it was difficult to get a grip on the frozen can, and I was worried a trip to A&E would be needed for either Abbi or me.  We found it much faster to simply punch the holes with a hammer and nails.

For some of the designs we just tapped holes randomly around the can.  For others we drew simple pictures of stars and hearts on paper, wrapped them round the can with masking tape, and tapped out the holes.  Its best to start at the top of the can, as the ice starts to chip out, and may warp.   Place the frozen can on a towel to stop it moving around.  We wore cycling gloves so we could get a good grip, and didnt get ice burn.  Initially I made my daughter wear safety goggles…..(but perhaps that was a bit over cautious). Once the cans were filled with holes, we crimped the inside of the can with pliers to remove the sharp edge.

This made the cans look a bit like….well tin cans with holes in, so we painted them.How To Make Tin Can LanternsAnd then for the special handmade look added a handmade label.  My daughter branded her shop “Lollipops”, so obviously the branding went on the label too.How To Make Tin Can Lanterns

Once lit, they make even the dullest miserable November night look pretty.How To Make Tin Can LanternsHurrah – Stock for her stall with almost zero outlay.  Abbi is selling these items with her friend this weekend.  Lovely girls that they are, they are giving all profits to Great Ormond Street Hospital.  I’ll post how they get on after the weekend.


We made the logo for her stall (Lollipops), into t-shirts for her and her friend Sienna.  They were allowed 1 hour to sell their stock (and the room was so crowded nobody could move in the classroom).  They sold these tin can lanters, and also some tin can organisers.

23 sold in total for £23, which we have donated to GOSH  Great Ormond Street Hospital.How To Make Tin Can Lanterns How To Make Tin Can Lanterns

illuminted Tin Can Lanterns on a table in the dark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.