Tin Can Lanterns

Learn how to make a lantern with this DIY project for outdoor summer nights!

By: Staff from
Tin Can Lanterns
Tin Can Lanterns
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Illuminate your night with these gorgeous Tin Can Lanterns that will give any outdoor summer night a warm glow! DIY outdoor lighting ideas just got a whole lot more elegant with this tutorial that will teach you how to make a lantern using your favorite custom designs. DIY lighting ideas are simple, yet beautiful ways to enhance your outdoor decor ideas and these lanterns fit perfectly on any table, deck, patio, or porch for the summer season. If you are looking for table decorating ideas, these tin can lantern patterns are absolutely incredible.

Estimated CostUnder $10

Time to CompleteIn an evening

Primary TechniqueGeneral Crafts



Project TypeMake a Project


A lantern by definition is a portable lighting device or mounted fixture used to illuminate areas. They are a light source (like a candle or wick in a fuel or mantle) enclosed in a container that protects the flame from wind, rain, and snow, but still allows light to pass through. Lanterns are used for a variety of reasons, from signaling for ships to decoration; they are also used in religious rituals and other celebrations.

The first reference to lanterns is by Theopompus, a Greek poet, and Empedocles of Agrigentum. There is also evidence that other ancient civilizations (China and Egypt) used them long ago as well. Each had slightly different versions of "lanterns". For example, lanterns in ancient China were made of silk, paper, or animal skin with frames made of bamboo or wood. The simplest form of lanterns are candle lanterns, where a metal box or cylinder that has glass or mica side panels and an opening (or ventilated cover) on the top.

As technological innovation has occurred; lanterns have evolved over time. Lanterns have ranged from candle lanterns to oil lamps to gas lamps to battery-powered electric lanterns. Lanterns for everyday use were made from metal and glass and were popular up through the 1700; they remained popular until electricity superseded them. Even today, lanterns are still evolving as solar-powered lanterns become more popular around the globe. Today, you can make your own DIY lanterns out a variety of materials and supplies from your own home.

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At the end of April my 9 year old son is having six free of school days and we have freezing 5C in Slovenia. Instead of outside activities we will mostly stay in the home To keep him busy, we will try to do the lanterns for the warm days on our terrace. The project looks easy enough and I am really looking forward for the unique patterns that he will be making with his little hands. A hammer, a nail, unlimited release of his energy - thank you, your idea will make the complete household happy! LOL.

The idea of tin can lanterns intrigued me and I had to take a look. I was pleasantly surprised. I'm definitely going to make some of these. I like reusing something instead of throwing it away. I'm going to start collecting tin cans. You can paint them all different bright colors and string them up on your patio. I think this is a lovely idea.

Me and my partner were thinking of getting outdoor solar lights for when we have BBQ, not that you get the weather for it in Ireland but we can dream!! I think these would be perfect, they are so quirky and cute. We could even use insect repellent candles to keep any bugs away from us. And make Halloween ones as well, loving this idea.

These were inspirational for one of my county fair entries this past fall! I received a second place too! I used a snowflake pattern on them and spray painted them in gold. I had one small, one medium and one large size can. I tied a red and green plaid bow on each handle and placed a battery-operated votive candle in each one. It was a wonderful way to use recycled cans!

I have seen these lanterns several times, so this year they are going on my list to add to my garden. I love how they are delicate and beautiful while recycling something you would normally toss without a thought in the world. Great post! I want to put these all over my yard this year!

I love your lanterns simple but beautiful and than you for the information re their origin,interesting

I just love lanterns. It's so neat to know that they also have such an interesting history!

Loved learning the history of lanterns that led up to this adorable, and thrifty, upcycled DIY lanterns!


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