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tin lanterns,

Make quick tin lanterns

Conjure up a sense of ambience for your summer evenings with the soft glow of these home-made lanterns. These re-purposed tin cans will create a charming rustic tone and throw pretty flickering patterns across your dining table as you play host to guests or sit back and relax after a long day. With the main component more than likely sat in your cupboard right now, this project is not only easy to get stuck into, but gives you stylish accessories without breaking the bank.

You’ll need:
    • Tin food cans

    • Rust-Oleum, Hobby and Craft Enamel in Tranquil Blue

    • Blossom Pink and Heirloom White Jewellery wire

    • Electric drill with different sized drill bits

    • Metal file and pliers

    • Tea lights

    1. Prepare the tin cans by removing the lid and making sure there are no sharp edges left inside. Wash them thoroughly and remove the paper labels; you may need to soak the cans in warm soapy water to achieve this.

    2. Next, decide on the pattern you would like drilled into the cans and make a template of this design; it will need to fit within the dimensions of the can and be repeated approximately three times around the sides. Draw the template onto paper and punch out the holes. Lay this onto the can and then use a marker pen to transfer the hole positions to the can.

    3. The can will need supporting on the inside whilst the holes are being drilled – we used cardboard rolls layered one inside the other to achieve this. Drill the holes using different sized drill bits to create the design. Make two small holes opposite each other at the top of the cans to thread the wire for the handles.

    4. Remove sharp edges with a metal file. Now the cans are ready for painting. Spray the inside first with the white paint and leave to dry. Next apply the outer colours. Place the cardboard tube back inside the cans to prevent the colours from leaking into the inside of the cans. Leave them to dry thoroughly, preferably overnight.

    5. Finally, cut lengths of jewellery wire and thread each end through the holes drilled at the top of the can, using a pair of pliers to curl the ends. Bend the handles into a smooth curve and place a tea light in each.

STYLE SECRETS
    • Freeze the cans before punching in the holes to prevent them from denting. Fill three quarters of the can with sand to prevent bulging when frozen.

    • Avoid making holes in the bottom inch of the can. If the holes are too near to the bottom of the can then when the candle melts the wax will pour out.

    • You can always opt for a battery operated candle rather than a real flame, so that you can leave your lantern flickering all through the night.