Help your kids make a tin can lantern with these easy step by step instructions. Once it’s complete use it as an outdoor decoration.

How to make a Tin Can Lantern. Creating a tin can lantern is a great kid activity.
Tin Can Lanterns (Photo credit: Elin B)

Instead of going out to buy decorations for your patio table, let your kids make them! Help your kids make a tin can lantern. It’s fairly easy and your kid will be so proud of themselves. You could put a citronella candle in it to keep mosquito bugs away.

Tin Can Lantern

Tin cans (soup cans or other)

Universal oil-based primer

Oil-based enamel paint

Pin hammer

Nail Galvanized wire (4-6 in.)



Clean can by soaking in hot, soapy water. Making sure to remove all of the label and glue.

(optional painting)
Apply a coat of primer and let it dry. Apply a coat of paint and let it dry.

Fill the can with water and place in a freezer until solid. (this will ensure you don’t dent the tin.)

Use a hammer and nail to punch out holes, creating a freehand design around the can. For a handle, punch out two holes on either side of can. Using a pair of pliers, bend wire through holes and secure. Place a candle inside and hang in a safe place.