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!

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