Home » $1 and Free, cheap crafts, Headline, Man Crafts

Make Soda Can Lanterns

23 February 2012 83,061 views 18 Comments

by heather

soda can lantern

I am always excited when I find a fun craft idea to make with recyclables. These soda can lanterns are  a little bit amazing! I think they would be so fun strung together in a garland and hung outside for a backyard barbecue. They kind of remind me of some of the kitschy yet fun soda can art I have seen when camping in RV parks. There's a secret to cutting the cans, so check the original article by Teresa Wong at TheStar Online. [how to make soda can lanterns]

You can get most of the stuff you need for this project at the dollar store, including the box cutter/razor blade. You might find some nice colorful soda cans at the dollar store, or raid the closest recycling bin you can find. If you don't have colorful cans to work with, hit them with some spray paint before you begin. You can use battery-operated tealights instead of real candles to help cut down on the risk factor. The last battery-operated tealight we used lasted for DAYS... it was turned on constantly in my son's room, and it lasted at least 72 hours of light time. And, it's still working.

Project estimate:

  • Aluminium soda cans, on hand
  • Wire, on hand or $1
  • Cutter and small pliers, on hand or $1 each
  • Screwdriver, on hand
  • Tealights, on hand or $1

Total: FREE and up

Follow Me on Pinterest

Disclosure: this article may contain affiliate links or other forms of sponsored content. Opinions are 100% the author's. Full disclosure policy.


  • Lisa said:

    I’ve seen these before! If you pop them out at an angle, they spin in the wind.

  • Janice said:

    Bad idea. I am sorry, but all I can think of with this project is sliced up fingers. The metal can edges are sharp as a blade.

  • heather (author) said:

    @Janice, thanks for your feedback. You definitely need to use care & caution when making these.

  • Brompting said:

    May be you could benefit from my expirience. Actually I should post this on the “How to” page, but I cannot leave a comment there.
    You can prevent the can from bursting if you fill the can NOT to the brim. Leave about 1/4 of an inch for air. When the water turns into ice it can expand.
    Good luck to you all.

  • Tuesday Tutorial – Lanterns! said:

    […] these cool?  They’re soda cans!  Side note – this comes from a site I just found called Dollar Store Crafts.  Ingenious!!!  So…I might be […]

  • RIkelle said:

    Love these thanks for sharing!. The aluminum is surprisingly not that sharp

  • Soda Can Lanterns | Recycled Market said:

    […] A fun recycling idea, Soda Can Lanterns seen at Dollar Store Crafts […]

  • Stacy Sews - Diary of a Fabric Junkie » Blog Archive » Linky Thursday said:

    […] may have nothing to do with sewing, but I just love this soda lantern tutorial – what a fun way to keep the outdoors lit up in the […]

  • Adela said:

    Love them !
    Definitely they are not for kids under 10 and for adults who have 2 left hands!

  • 3y3va said:

    I love this idea! I’m going to make some. should call them hillbilly lanterns :D

  • Mooie lantaarns voor Sint Maarten | Leuk met kids said:

    […] Een lantaarn van een blikje, verzonnen door Dollar store crafts. […]

  • kyle said:

    i like bacon

  • debra said:

    I want to use white Christmas tree lights to insert…..the spray can still be used to spray the outside or is their a better paint to use to paint the cans?

  • heather (author) said:

    @debra, I think spray paint is a good choice.

  • Soda Can Lanterns · Candle Making | CraftGossip.com said:

    […] via Dollar Store Crafts […]

  • Samantha said:

    I am planning on making my mom some of these out of her favorite beer cans for mother’s day. I was thinking about making them for lights outside her patio, but I know that the soda cans will be extremely light and might blow away. Any suggestions for how to weigh these down?