Home > Summer Ideas and Activities for Kids > Easy Tin Can Lanterns to Make with Kids

Easy Tin Can Lanterns to Make with Kids

Are you looking for a fun Summer Craft that is great to do with the kids but also useful? This easy tin can lantern is ideal! We first made these punched tin can lanterns when our youngest was in preschool and they are so simple to make, you must read our top tip for making it easier. It’s not just a kid’s craft though, why not have a go yourself and create some beautiful lanterns to light the summer evenings as you fill them with citronella candles to keep the bugs away.

Recycled Can Lanterns

We loved making these and have created a collection to go around the patio in the garden.

I’ve left ours plain as I really like the effect however you can paint them with an outdoor heat resistant paint if you wish.

child punching holes in a tin can to create a lantern with a hammer and a screw

When it comes to decorations you can get as creative as you want. Our youngest was only just 4 when she made these with me for the first time and together we just placed random marks. However, you can create designs and decorations as you want.

tin can lantern with holes lit up from the inside created by a child

Looking for more Summer Craft Ideas for Kids – try some of our Summer Themed Paper Plates Crafts that you can make together

a diy tin can lantern with a butterfly pattern on, there is a candle inside it shining the light through the holes it is set on a table and in the dark on a summer's evening

Easy Tin Can Lanterns for the Garden

Cerys Parker
A quick and easy summer craft to create some tin can lanterns with the kids for the garden.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Activity Time 15 minutes
Freezing 1 day

Equipment Needed

  • Hammer
  • Screw or sharp nail

Materials Needed

  • tin can
  • water


  • Remove all labels and glue from the tin can and clean thoroughly.
  • Fill with water and freeze overnight.
    Celebrate Summer with Simple Tin Can Lanterns that Kids Can Make
  • Take out and with a hammer and screw (I found a screw had the sharpest point) place holes over your lantern. The ice will stop the tin can buckling as you create the design.
    Celebrate Summer with Simple Tin Can Lanterns that Kids Can Make
  • Once you have finished your design place the tin can in warm water for the ice to melt.
    Celebrate Summer with Simple Tin Can Lanterns that Kids Can Make
  • Dry and place a tea light inside.
    Celebrate Summer with Simple Tin Can Lanterns that Kids Can Make
Keyword Easy Crafts for Kids, summer crafts
Have you Made This?Let us know how it went!

More Fun Summer Activities for Kids and You

child blowing bubbles with a homemade bubble mix recipe text overlay reads Homemade Bubble Mixture Recipe
DIY Sidewalk chalk paint being used to draw a sunflower on the drive
toddler and grandfather looking at the creatures in a rock pool in Norfolk, UK
Pinterest friendly image for summer craft for kids to make a tin can lantern top frame show a child hammering a screw to create the holes and bottom image the lit tin can lantern
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.