Friday, June 29, 2012

Tin Can Lantern Tutorial

I've always loved the look of punched tin! It's very rustic country and in my mind feels very patriotic. So of course I wanted to make some for the upcoming holiday. Nowadays most of my crafts have to be able to include my little men and this one turned out to be perfect for both of them! Here's what you can do. 
The day before wash your tin cans and fill with clean water, then freeze overnight. The frozen water helps the can hold it's shape while you punch the holes. And in the end turned out to be very refreshing on a hot day :)
Print out your design on card stock; you can outline a printed shape with dots like I did.  Cut to fit your can and tape on. Using card stock helps battle the condensation that will form on your can. Regular paper with fall off too easily.
Take a thicker nail and hammer each dot all the way through the can. For little hands I recommend a mallet. Will (almost 5) happily completed his pattern with little assistance from momma ;)
Once all the holes are punched you can rip off the paper.  (You can see the ice pushed the bottom of the can out.  When the ice is out you can just use a hammer to tap it back into place.)
A perfect little job for the smaller tykes of the group. By this point the ice will have melted enough to remove it from the can. If not run it under warm water. Dry the cans and then you're ready for the next step!
Let them paint it up! We used acrylic paint, since it holds up well to the elements. It gets messy, so don't say I didn't warn you! After they finished I came back through with a toothpick to open up any holes that were filled with paint. Once dry I did a bit of distressing with sandpaper but that is completely your call. I just happen to love the look of chippy paint :)
Add your candles, preferably citronella ones, and you're ready for a festive night outdoors!
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  1. ko, I haven't thought about this craft in many years and on a day when the temps are well into the 100's it will be perfect. Thank you for the reminder. Have a great day and a great weekend.

  2. LOVE this idea! I have seen it several times before, but never read how to actually go about doing it! Thanks for posting the tutorial!

  3. Great craft idea and I love his too big tee shirt :)

  4. Would love to do this one day. Preferably when my kids won't hit each other or me with the hammer. :-)

  5. Nice idea! I'm grateful for the pro-tip about using a mallet. We are going to be making a tin can robot soon, and I was trying to figure out how to punch holes, and finding a way to have the boys do it themselves is awesome.

  6. love love! what a great idea! thanks so much for sharing!
    I need to read back a few posts and see what you've been up to!

  7. That is so cute!!! Well done.

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  10. is ther any body that can help me wit 10 of these cans with the numer 50 0n them

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  12. LOVE this idea! I have seen it several times before, but never read how to actually go about doing it! Thanks for posting the tutorial!
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