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These tin can lanterns are for older children and definitely require adult supervision. If you decide to turn them into candles then younger children can certainly help with that part. These lanterns are good to make at any time of the year. In autumn and winter they make lovely indoor decorations that add an extra cosy element to nights in. However, they would be great in the summer to hang up outside for a more rustic light.

Make sure you follow my crafts for older children board 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 pointed screwdriver
  • Printout of a design/ silhouette picture
  • Tape
  • Tea light

If you are making your own candle you will need:

  • Wick
  • Saucepan
  • Wax pellets
  • Scent (optional)

Before you start make sure that you have taken off any sharp edges to the top of the can. Slicing your finger on a can is not a pretty sight. I have done if one too many times when pushing down things in the recycling bin and didn’t know they were in there.

Print out a design or silhouette picture that you want to put onto the tin can. If you are filling the bottom half of your tin with a home made candle, then you will need to think about how high it will go. This will affect where you can put your design. If you are using a tea light then it doesn’t matter.

If you are making the candle, I highly recommend doing that first and letting it dry before you poke holes into your tin can lanterns.

To make the candle

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

Stick the wick to the bottom of the can, and then pour your melted wax into the tin can. Make sure that you don’t fill it all the way to the top, half way is plenty.

Allow this to dry. We left ours overnight.

To decorate the lantern

Tape your design to your tin can.

tin can lanterns

Now carefully, on a flat hard surface, use the sharp pointed screwdriver to poke holes around the edge of your design. Remember it is better to make small holes at first and then go back and make them larger. I helped YC do this part by helping to hold the can still at the base. What ever you do DON’T PLACE THE TIN BETWEEN YOUR LEGS TO STEADY IT. If the screwdriver slips, it will really hurt.

tin can lanterns

These candles work really well, plus they smell divine. I love how the light comes out of each tiny hole.

Remember that the tin can lanterns can get very hot when lit, so make sure that you place it 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 crayon lanterns and stained glass night jars.

Pin for later:

Turn old food cans into tin can lanterns.




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