Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tin-Can Lantern

This little birdie says CHEAP-CHEAP, CHEAP-CHEAP.

I've been wanting to add a little chic to the Cupboard.  Simple project, slightly time consuming, and great use of the chick pea cans I've been collecting from making all that hummus!  Seriously, at $.89 a can, this project has Poor Man's Cupboard written all over it.  Couple of tips:

Use graph paper to make your template.  This makes it so much easier to make it even.  I measured the can and then cut out a piece of graph paper to fit.  Then I divided the graph paper into two panels: a left panel and a right panel.

I found my template online, and drew half of the image onto the right panel of the graph paper.  Then  I folded the paper in half, traced the image on the back side of the left panel, then opened up the paper and traced the copy onto the front side of the left panel.

Now I had a perfectly even template, I just needed to punch the holes.  I taped the template to the can and started punching away.  I had a test can to try different methods, and the end I used a wood boring bit, the kind with the sharp point.  It was easy to hold, and easy to be accurate with my punches.  

Not going to lie, this was a time consuming process.  I didn't even bother with the corner florets on my template...the birds and the center vine probably took me about an hour to punch out, mostly because I was taking my time and trying to be as accurate as possible.

In the end though, it's pretty satisfying.  I have the template, and I plan on making at least one more to make a pair.  I might choose a less complicated template and make a second pair of these.

I have a coffee tin, too; although I don't make that much coffee at home, and it's still half full.  But I thought it might be fun to make an outdoor citronella candle out of.

Also, I saw one suggestion online to pour water into the cans and freeze, so that you don't dent the can when you're punching the holes.  I tried this with my first test can -- and as I was punching the holes and holding the can, the ice started melting and seeping through the holes, and the paper got wet and was hard to handle.  I think as long as you take your time, you can skip this step and just be careful with the can.  Mine came out totally fine without the ice.


  1. Beautiful! Can you tell me where you found your pattern online?

    1. Thanks! I found a stock picture through a Google Image search - can't find the original picture. But the stencil I made myself, drawing it freehand onto the graph paper. Graph paper is the key - you can sketch half of it, and be able to mirror it easily on the other side.