How to Make Tin Can Lanterns

Don’t you love the look of lanterns? You can find them in almost any home décor store you walk into. The only problem I have with them is their price! I love the way they look dimly lit at night. You can use them inside or outside. They are perfect for any party. I just have a really hard time spending $10-$20 for one lantern!

Tin Can Lanterns - penniesintopearls.com - how to make lanterns out of tin cans. Super cheap way to dress up your home inside and outside!

I have made a few paper lanterns in the past. They all turned out pretty but they didn’t last much past one use. It is hard to store a paper lantern without it getting smashed. Other then looking cute, the only other thing they had going for them was they cost just pennies to make!

So I have been on the search for an alternative cheap way to make some pretty lanterns. I found the solution and I am going to share it with you! Tin cans! Don’t you just love how many different uses there are for tin cans! Well! Add lanterns on to the list of what to do with a tin can.

As you are making your meals just be sure to save the tin cans, give them a good wash, and you are set for making your own lanterns!

3 Steps to DIY Tin Can Lanterns

1. Sand off any glue or sharp/ruff edges.
2. Decide what type of design you want on your cans. Or maybe you want a random pattern. If you are going with the pattern, tape a piece of paper around the outside of the can, draw you pattern on the paper, and start drilling holes following the pattern. You might want to sand off any new sharp edges.
3. Paint with any paint color you love that you might have laying around your house. I ended up using a flat off white color of home paint I got on clearance for $1 at Lowes. Spray paint would work great for this project as well.

Note: Learn from my mistake! I drilled the holes after I painted. You can see in the pictures that the drill would slip occasionally add take off paint. So drill first then paint second! 

That is it! Super easy, right? Are you going to go with a pretty planned out pattern or a random splash of light? Let me know in the comments bellow! Let’s chat!

Tin Can Lanterns 1 Tin Can Lanterns - penniesintopearls.com - how to make lanterns out of tin cans. Super cheap way to dress up your home inside and outside!


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  • Sarah Koontz {Grounded & Surrounded}
    May 13, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Such a fun craft idea. My kiddos would love this. It would be super fun to paint it one color than take an old doily or some lace and wrap it then paint a second color so there is a design.

  • Christine
    May 13, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I love these beauties….PINNED
    Christine from Little Brags

  • smoretraiolit
    May 8, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!