DIY Can Lantern


Good morning my friends! It is Saturday morning, the kids are asleep and I thought I’d share a favorite DIY with you! Can Lanterns! Have you seen them? They’re really cute and it’s fun to do, my kids loved it, too!

What You’ll Need

  • empty metal cans (soup cans or large coffee cans work best)
  • graph paper
  • permanent marker
  • tape
  • hammer
  • finish nails
  • clamp
  • drill
  • 3/32″ masonry drill bit
  • outdoor spray paint
  • wire hanger (optional)

Remove Label

Run label under hot water to loosen adhesive, then remove by gently scrubbing with a sponge or rag.

Sketch Out Design

On graph paper, mark the top, bottom, and sides of the can with a permanent marker. Remove can and create a dot design within the marked parameters. Tip: the more dots you draw, the more light will show through the finished lantern.

Tape Graph Paper to Can

Trim paper to fit the top and bottom of the can, then attach with masking tape.

Punch Pilot Holes

Attach can to a solid work surface with a sturdy clamp. Using a hammer and finish nail, stamp each drawn dot to create small holes in the can underneath. When finished, remove graph paper.

Drill Larger Holes

This part can be a little tedious

Using a 3/32″ masonry drill bit, drill through each of the small pilot holes made by the nails. This will clean up the holes and create a consistent, polished look. Feel free to play around with other drill bit sizes to create different looks.


Aren’t they beautiful!?

Stuff the inside of the can with paper towels or an old rag. Holding the can at least six inches away, lightly coat with outdoor spray paint. Layer three or four thin coats until the metal is no longer visible. Remove rag when dry.

Optional: Add a Handle

Illuminated Tin Can Lanterns for Night
The kids think it’s amazing!

Drill a hole on each side of the can and add an old wire clothes hanger or piece of rope for carrying or hanging.

I found this on Pinterest! It was a fun DIY. What do you think?