So far all of our DIY Projects have been pretty easy and straightforward. We’ve dabbled with bedazzling shoes, making blankets, and even household decorations. But this week I want to take it to another level. Don’t be alarmed. This project is still fairly easy but it will require some handiness with tools and some imagination. This particular project has innumerable possibilities and relies completely on your preference and creativity. This week we are going to make coffee can lanterns. This is a great project to add a rustic, country look inside or outside the home. You can also use formula cans that are all metal (some are cardboard).
What you’ll need:
- A coffee can or formula can, or even canned food cans.
- Nail (either one large one or a few of different sizes, depending on your preference and pattern)
- A strong piece of wire or part of a wire hanger and pliers (If you want a handle to hang your lantern from)
- Tea candle or equivalent
1. If you haven’t already done so, rip the paper off of your can and be sure to remove the sticky leftovers so the can is completely clean. (you can use vegetable oil to help remove the label glue)
2. Fill the can to the top with water and stick in the freezer on a level surface. Let the water freeze completely solid. Note: the freezing process may cause your can to expand on the bottom so that it pops out a little. This won’t be a problem because after your done, you can simply hammer it gently back into place.
3. After your water has completely frozen, you can either use a piece of paper taped to the can or draw dots directly on the can in the pattern you wish to create. This is where the sky is the limit. Get creative!
4. After you have created your desired design with dots, place your can on its side on a STURDY, UNBREAKABLE surface.
5. Hold the can securely and place the nail on the first dot. Hammer the nail into the can until it goes completely through the metal and hits the ice. (The further you hammer the nail in, the larger the hole will be up to the size of the nail).
6. Repeat these steps for all the dots in your pattern until the pattern is complete.
7. If you are adding a handle, cut a piece of wire (easiest source is from a wire hanger) with wire cutters or bend back and forth until it breaks.
8. Choose where you want to put your handle and make another hole with the hammer and nail on either side of the top of the can.
9. Stick one end of the wire through one hole (from outside to inside) and use the pliers to bend the tip into a “U” shape on the inside of the can.
10. Bend the wire into an arc and slide the other end of the wire into the opposite hole (this may require some help from the pliers) repeating the “U” shape for the end.
11. Now all you have to do is let the ice melt and you can put a candle in your new lantern and light it up to make a beautiful, rustic decoration that will have beautiful patterns of light reflected on your walls.
Note: You can also paint the cans if you want to make them look a little prettier.