Review: Homemade Canned Lanterns | Nanny Anita

These canned lanterns are intended for older children and definitely require adult supervision. If you decide to turn them into candles, younger children can certainly help. These lanterns are good to make anytime of the year. In fall and winter, they make lovely interior decorations which add an extra cozy element to the nights. However, it would be good in summer to hang outside for a more rustic light.

Be sure to follow my craft board for older kids on Pinterest for more ideas. Don’t forget to save the pin for later.

To make these tin can lanterns you will need:

  • Tin cans
  • A sharp screwdriver
  • Printing a drawing / silhouette image
  • Ribbon
  • Tea light candle

If you are making your own candle, you will need:

  • Wick
  • Pan
  • Wax granules
  • Perfume (optional)

Before you begin, make sure you have removed the sharp edges on the top of the box. Slicing your finger off a can is not a pretty sight. I have done this too many times pushing things in the recycling bin and had no idea they were there.

Print out any design or silhouette you want to put on the tin can. If you are filling the bottom half of your box with a homemade candle, then you will need to think about its height. This will affect where you can place your design. If you are using a tea light, it does not matter.

If you are making the candle, I highly recommend that you do this first and let it dry before you punch holes in your tin can lanterns.

To make the candle

Melt wax pellets in a saucepan over low heat, add a scent if you like. I added pineapple to mine and YC added honeysuckle.

Glue the wick to the bottom of the can, then pour your melted wax into the can. Make sure you don’t fill it to the top, half is enough.

Let dry. We left ours overnight.

To decorate the lantern

Glue your design on your tin can.

tin can lanterns

Now, carefully, on a hard, flat surface, use the sharp screwdriver to punch holes around the edge of your design. Remember, it’s best to make small holes at first, then go back and make them bigger. I helped YC do this part by helping to hold the tin can down to the base. Whatever you do, DO NOT PLACE THE BOX BETWEEN YOUR LEGS TO STABILIZE IT. If the screwdriver slips, it will really hurt.

tin can lanterns

These candles work great, plus they smell divine. I love the way the light comes out of every little hole.

Keep in mind that tin can lanterns can get very hot when lit, so be sure to place them on something heat resistant. Also, don’t leave your candles unattended.

If you enjoyed making these tin can lanterns, be sure to check out my melted pencil lanterns and stained glass night jars.

Pin for later:

Turn old tin cans into tin lanterns.


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