Light up the Night

DIY Tin Can Lanterns

Spring is the perfect time to work on all those DIY projects you have been dreaming about all winter, and what is a better dream then being able to use your pool area even at night!

These Tin Can Lanterns are great for hanging in trees, lighting up the pool deck, or making a path leading from the pool to your outdoor movie theater! The best part is they are easy to store, or even place around your house when the weather turns cold.

Safety First: If children are working on this project, we highly recommend having an adult around to help with the tools and mineral spirits.

What you need:

Tin cans
Mineral spirits
Paper and pencil
Sticky tape
Fabric bag filled with sand
Masonry nails
Small locking pliers
Wire coat hangers
Small bolt cutters
Ring-bending pliers
Spray paint

DIY Time:

  1. Remove the label and any blobs of glue from the can using the mineral spirits (or another adhesive remover) and the cloth. Pack the can with sand and add a layer of water at the top. Freeze overnight to ensure that the top layer of water forms into solid ice.
  2. Draw your design on a piece of paper to fit the size of the can or photocopy a template. Tape in place. If you’re drawing your own design, ensure that the gap between holes is at least as large as the diameter of each hole.
  3. Place the can on the sandbag. Punch holes in the can using the masonry nails (held in place with small locking pliers) and a hammer. Place the can in the freezer for about 30 minutes after each 10 minutes of work to ensure the can remains solid. If you’re making several lanterns, work on them in rotation. (Wearing thick gloves is recommended in order to protect your hands from the cold metal)
  4. Once your design is complete, punch a pair of holes opposite each other 3/8 in. (1 cm) below the top of the can for fitting the handle. Remove the remaining ice and sand from the can and rinse any remaining debris off the can.
  5. Make a handle out of a 10 in. (25 cm) length of wire, use pliers to help you bend your handle into the shape of your choice.
  6. Fill the can with newspaper and spray-paint it evenly. Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area or outside. Once the can is dry, attach the handle.
  7. Place a tea light inside the can, and enjoy your lantern.

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