The first thing my fiance ever gave me was a tiny white tin can lantern from St. Augustine, Florida. Historian that he is, he’d been down in the coastal town to tour the Castillo de san Marcos National Monument with a bunch of other history nerds. At any rate, I thought it would be fun to include this colonial craft as a table decoration at our weddings and as it turns out, they’re relatively simple to make.
Step One: Collect a bunch of cans.
Step Two: Clean cans of any remaining food remnants (we’re going for fun, not funky here), and soak to remove label.
Step Three: Fully detach lid of can. Keep bottom lid intact.
Step Four: Fill cans with water and freeze.
Step Five: Remove cans from freezer and place on towel and using a marker draw out a dotted pattern.
Step Six: Using a hammer and nail punch out the pattern drawn.
Step Seven: Once pattern is complete place frozen cans in sink to thaw.
Step Eight: Add a little sand to the bottom of can, place a votive in it and voila! Vintage tin can lantern.
History of Colonial Tin Lanterns: Sometimes called “poor man’s silver,” due to its inexpensiveness, tin was extremely popular during the Colonial period. Tin punched items were called “pierced wear.” For a bride on a budget, history will attest that this is the perfect bargain, yet beatiful, table topper!