DIY Fall Tin Can Lantern

Fall tin can lantern

Do you know what’s strange? I don’t love decorations. I’ve always taken a realistic/pragmatic approach to holidays and I can’t find a reason to buy festive decorations just to keep them in a closet for the majority of the year. BUT I do love crafting and upcycling. If I can do them both at the same time, then I’m all over it.

The plus side is that if I make something festive, friends know that it’s out of character for me. Sometimes, they will ask if they can have the festive thing I just made. I’m more than happy to give it to them. 🙂

I digress… this lantern was such a fun project. As mentioned in a previous blog post, I was sick a few weeks back and ate a lot of soup, so I have a number of tin cans just waiting to be upcycled!

This is an easy one because you probably have all of the supplies in your house already, except maybe the spray paint. It’s perfect for sitting outside as the sun goes down to provide some extra light and keep the bugs away. You could even make an adorable fall centerpiece out of these if you made a few.

Want to make your own? Grab the supplies listed below and keep reading!

Quick tip: if you want the avoid the hammered look, fill your can with water and put it in the freezer for a few hours before you get started. The ice will help the can keep it’s shape.

tin can fall lantern supplies

Upcycled lantern supplies

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 


Leaf art on tin can

Step 1: tape leaf clip art to the can

Tape your leaf printout to your tin can.

hammered tin can fall lantern

Step 2: create a leaf outline

Pick a point on your leaf and hammer the nail through that point the can.

Continue this process around the outline of the leaf.

gold spray painted upcycled tin can

Step 3: paint the can

I used white spray paint to put a base layer on the tin can.

After it dried, I added a second splotchy layer of gold to make it unique and give it some flair.

Step 4: hammer out the imperfections (optional)

Now you can hammer the inside of the can to even out the surface if you’d like.

I chose not to do this step. Fall is all about change and imperfection. Here, in lovely Pennsylvania, fall is cold and everything begins to die. But somehow, its incredibly beautiful. I wanted to capture beauty with the colors and imperfection with the hammered look.

That’s it! Throw a flameless tealight or small candle (may I recommend apple cinnamon, orange spice, or pumpkin) in there and you’ll have yourself a fancy new fall candle holder.

I’d love to get your thoughts! Leave them in the comments.

Happy crafting! 🍁

Leave a Reply