Poked Can Lantern Craft


I thought this project looked like a lot of fun, I also thought it looked like something I could do with my granddaughter and we’d both enjoy it. She was actually pretty excited when I told her about it and all the pictures & videos I saw all over the internet made it look simple and fun.

Ok, to be fair it is simple, but I found it to be a fairly annoying little project. I didn’t have any trouble hammering the nails into the cans but my granddaughter struggled to the point that it just want fun. I didn’t particularly enjoy it either.

As per most of the instructions I found on the internet (there are literally hundreds) I saved up various cans, made sure they had no sharp points inside, painstakingly removed the label glue (a real chore in itself) and ran the cans through the dishwasher. I filled the cans most of the way with water and frozen them solid. I held the cans in my lap on a thick folded towel and then I took a fat sharp nail and tapped it on the can with a hammer.

Sounds simple enough huh? Well, besides my epic struggle with label glue that just would not come off, the can butts expanding in the freezer so they no longer stood straight (weebles wobbled but they don’t fall down), ice shards flying all over the place when making the punctures, a frozen hand (Nope, I can’t hold a nail while wearing a pot holder, I tried!) and completely disappointing my granddaughter since she couldn’t do it. Yes, it was very simple!

I ended up just tossing out all the wrecked cans I saved and then saving a few new ones. I got out my cordless drill and drilled a simple pattern into them. I made one for my granddaughter but it was too sharp inside to give to her. Basically it was a pink inside-out cheese grater with butterflies and hearts.

PCL_darkThe single poke can lantern I did finished (pictured) is a tomato can that I drilled a heart into, painted the outside black and the inside pink with acrylic craft paint (so it would look interesting without being lit). Then I went over the top and bottom edge with a dark pink Sharpie, stuck an artificial tealight candle inside and took a few pictures and felt happy it was over.

Maybe others will find this project fun, I did not. Plus, all I got out of it was this crappy looking can!