Making Halloween Punched Tin Can Lanterns

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October 15, 2018

Tin Can LanternsA great way to put your old tin cans to use is by turning them into lanterns. All you need to do is punch holes into them, then place candles or LED lights inside. If your tin cans are on the thin side, before you start this craft, fill the cans with water then freeze overnight. This will keep the cans from bending when you're punching holes into them.


Total Time: 1 hour


  • tin cans
  • white paper
  • scissors
  • tape
  • marker
  • nail or hole punching tool
  • hammer
Tin Can Lanterns


  1. Cut 2 strips of paper a little shorter than the height of the cans.
  2. Tin Can Lanterns - cut two strips of paper a bit shorter than the cans
  3. Tape the pieces of paper onto the cans.
  4. Tin Can Lanterns - tape the strips to the cans
  5. Draw your designs onto the paper. I went with a Jack-o-Lantern and ghost.
  6. Tin Can Lanterns - draw designs onto the paper
  7. Use your nail or punching tool to hammer holes on the lines of the designs.
  8. Tin Can Lanterns - punch holes rather close together

  9. Go all the way around the design with evenly spaced holes.
  10. Tin Can Lanterns - make holes evenly spaced around the design
  11. You can place a light inside the can to make sure the holes are big enough. If some are small, just go over them again gently with the nail.
  12. Tin Can Lanterns - check hole size by putting a light inside - increase a hole size as needed
  13. For smaller cans or designs with more intricate designs, use smaller holes.
  14. Tin Can Lanterns - use smaller holes on smaller cans or on more intricate designs
  15. Peel the paper templates off the cans.
  16. Tin Can Lanterns - remove the paper templates

  17. Place candles inside the lanterns, then light. You can also use LED lights.
  18. Tin Can Lanterns - place tea light candles inside or use LED lights
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