Victoria Park Lantern Festival

Tin Can Lanterns

Don’t curb it, hammer it!

The patterned punctured tin can lantern is as simple and exquisite as its glass jar sibling. It is very quick to make and a cool choice for a hot summer day as you need to fill the can with water and let it freeze up before you start hammering patterns into the can. The ice keeps the side of the can from collapsing against the blows. Wood and sand are also known to be good internal supports.

Tins cans require hammering skill to make. It is great fun to experiment with different sized nails. With the tin can lantern you are no longer thinking how light will shine through layers of coloured tissue, but how it will shine through the holes you create. The relationship between positive and negative space are the key.

The tin can lantern is light to carry and not breakable, so they make awesome procession lanterns. However, the tin does conduct heat from the candle. Exercise caution when touching the edges of the can when your lantern is lit. As always parental supervision and battery powered lights are advised for the wee ones.

Back in November 2010 we partnered a with the Festival of Fire and hosted a tin can lantern making workshop in the pool house. You can find a comic book instruction sheet on how to make a tin can lantern on the ICH blog.

We sometimes have tin cans in our freezer in the pool house, so if you are coming to a lantern workshop and you are interested in making a tin can lantern, bring along a few nails of different sizes, a hammer and ask for a tin can to hammer on. Of course, this type of lantern is also very easy to make at home. Just watch out for the sharp bits in the inside of the can when you put the candle inside. This lantern has bite!