Make | Tin Can Lanterns

Have a go at making tin can lanterns!


Part 1 | Introduction



Examples | Cubs | 2020

Internet Video

Part 2 | Instructions

Step 1 | Get a can

Step 2 | Fill it with water and freeze It!

Step 3 | Come up with a design

Step 4 | Get your equipment

Step 5 | Hammer time!

Step 6 | Defrost and illuminate

Part 3 | Badges


Great Indoors

Skills Challenge

About This Page

Part 1 | Introduction ⭱

Summary ⭱

Cubs – you wil need a parent to help you with this activity.

Our activity for this week will be creating a Tin Can Lantern, as another craft activity towards the Skills Challenge Badge.

Basically, you take a tin can and hammer some holes into it according to your design; you then put a light source inside and enjoy!

I set out below some instructions. I have updated these instructions with my own efforts.

Have a go at making one this weekend if you like and send in a picture or two.

Save a frozen (see below) can for the meeting, so we can all have a go in the meeting.

Examples ⭱

Here are some examples (not made by me):-

Examples | Cubs | 2020 ⭱

Here are some examples made by the cubs in 2020.

Internet Video ⭱

Here is a useful video to get the idea:-


Part 2 | Instructions ⭱

Step 1 | Get a can ⭱

You start with an empty cleaned tin can.

Remove all the wrapping and give it a good wash.

I suggest you find two or three tin cans so that you can have spares, and practice.


The can may have some sharp edges where the lid was taken off. Use a pair of pliers to squash down those sharp edges. Be careful!

Step 2 | Fill it with water and freeze It! ⭱

The can may bend when you hammer it.

So, fill the can with water, and put it into your freezer for 8 to 24 hours to let it freeze.

For my freezer it took about 6 to 8 hours.

The ice stops the can from bending when you hammer it.

Be very careful handling a frozen can, as you can get ice-burns. When you take them out to use, I suggest dipping them briefly in warm water, t warm up the outside, and then drying the outside of the can to hammer on.

I suggest that you put two or three cans in the freezer, so you have some to practice with.

I have not tried, but an alternative could be to fill it with rice: then cut out a piece of cardboard as a lid, and cello tape on, to stop the rice coming out.

Here is my frozen can and the LED lights I used:-

Step 3 | Come up with a design ⭱

Decide what your design is going to be.

You could then:-

Consider applying the design to the can before freezing.

I found a Scouts design, printed it, and taped it around my can just before hammering.

The link to the Word Document is here (each row in the table is the height of a normal tin can: Fleur-De-Lis.

Step 4 | Get your equipment ⭱

You will need:

I used a screw (didn't have a nail).

I also had some safety gloves handy, but didn't need them in the end.

Step 5 | Hammer time! ⭱

Parents – please supervise your cub with this!

Take your frozen can. Remember to warm up and dry the surface for safer handling.

Place it on your towel, propped up on either end to stop it rolling.

Hammer a series of small holes through the lines of your design.

Only just pierce the can. You do not need to hammer too deeply.

Here me hammering.

Here is a video to illustrate:-

Step 6 | Defrost and illuminate ⭱

Place the can in a bowl of warm water and let the ice defrost until the ice block can come out.

It takes 2 or 3 minutes.

Dry the can.

Insert your chosen illumination, switch off the lights, and enjoy!

You could also paint your can (before or after)!

See example (from internet}:-

Part 3 | Badges ⭱

Artist ⭱

Artist Badge

"a. Design and build a model."

Great Indoors ⭱

Great Indoors Badge

"Stage 1 - Item 1 - Practical skills. Try one new practical skill that you can do from home."

Skills Challenge ⭱

Skills Challenge Award

"3. Pick two creative things to try, and show your leader what you’ve done."

About this page


This page was created by Julian Turner, Section Assistant Leader, Falcon Pack, 1st Ripley Scouts, Derbyshire, UK.

Related Links

Webside | 1st Ripley E-Cubs Home Page.

Website | 1st Ripley Scouts Home Page.

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