10 July 2012

A Pin Test #3: Inexpensive Tin Can Lanterns

I am late getting today's post up. I started this project a little too late in the weekend to have time to complete all the steps I anticipated. I have been sick the past few days and yesterday was the worst of it. Today I was up early and out the door helping my parents move. The weather cooperated by providing us a nice 109-degree day to pack and unpack cars. (Boo, weather!) I can't tell you how glad I was to make the quick 30-minute drive back to my coastal enclave where it was just 75 degrees and beautifully breezy as it is almost every day! Praise the Lord!

This week I had a hard time deciding which project to take on for Pin Test #3. As I was cleaning my kitchen I had two empty pineapple juice cans that seemed ripe for a project and I remembered these soup can lanterns I'd pinned recently. This project which I had seen in several places online originated with Lowe's Creative Ideas. There is a great tutorial at the link.

I decided to use a technique I'd heard of before and implement hammer and nail instead of drilling the holes since I did not have any goggles. Speaking of which, WHY do I not own safety goggles? Seems like something I could use. A treat for myself this week, ha. The trick with this method is to fill the can with water and freeze it so that the pressure of the hammering doesn't bend the can. I washed the cans out well and then filled them with water and popped them into the freezer.

While I was researching this project I saw someone complain that the ice method bulged the cans out when the ice expanded. I had my fingers crossed that I would catch mine before that happened, but then because I didn't have time, I had to leave them in one more day and the bottoms bulged badly. Luckily I took a hammer to the bottoms and flattened them out so they, while not pretty, do sit perfectly flat on a table surface. Ergh. I also found that when working around the top of the can, the ice would crack and chip so the can did not have the support inside it needed. Frustrating. There is one area of one of my cans that doesn't look so hot. Here's the ugly reality of the project.

I pounded the holes with a large nail, with the can sitting on a fat towel on the kitchen counter for support. I was going to paint my cans, but now I am pretty partial to the metal look. I was pretty sure I was going to call this project a FAIL. I was very disappointed. One lesson I learned was that you must be very patient when working on your pattern. It's easy to get rushed and not take the time to make the holes evenly spaces. I free handed the pattern as I went along, so it's not meant to be perfect, but I could've taken my time a bit more. Lessons for next time.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got the bottom pounded back flat, added a candle and took it outside for a photo I was pretty happy and found that this was in fact a success. Beautifully charming and even better, completely free if you consider that I pulled this can out of our trash after we enjoyed the pineapple juice.

So A Pin Test #3 end with SUCCESS. I have still another can to play with. We'll see how it goes now that I have learned the lesson I have so far. If you have tried or decide to try this project, let me know how it goes and what lessons you have learned. Here are links to other tin can lantern tutorials with good advice:

Design Sponge - Karen's Coffee Can Lanterns
Jennifer Adams - Canterns
Crafty Gal - Tin Can Lanterns
Seattle Seedling - Tin Can Lanterns

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a great day!

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