Festive Punched-tin-can  Lanterns

Here is an easy to do project that will liven up any Christmas display. 

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All you need are some small empty tin cans, a string of miniature Christmas lights (preferably white), several nails of different sizes, a hammer, a nail set punch, and some tiny cork stoppers if you have them.

First you remove labels from the cans, fill them with water and freeze them.  When the water has turned to ice, you can now pound nails into them.  It is best that you make a design on paper and tape it on the can so you can work continuously without stopping to look at what's happening!   Stars, crosses, kaleidoscope designs, hearts, Christmas trees work well.  Use different sizes of nails to produce different effects.

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Then you punch a hole just large enough to press one of the light bulbs inside at the top of the can with a nail set punch.   If the hole becomes too big, this is where you need the cork- push the bulb completely through and insert a cork in the hole to hold the wire.

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If you prefer antique-looking lanterns, you can darken them by placing the cans in a hot oven (500 degrees) for 20-30 minutes.   You can also hold them over a candle flame to create carbon streaks, often seen outside real lanterns. 

 

This great idea and pictures courtesy of Country Folk art magazine, January 1997

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Thank you Lord for the wonderful ideas that we can share with one another.  I particularly like this one because it makes use of tin cans which most people in my country would  throw away. 

 

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