How to Make Christmas Lanterns Made of Recycled Materials

by Scarlett Gauthier
Decorate your home with festive hand-crafted Christmas lanterns.

Decorate your home with festive hand-crafted Christmas lanterns.

Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Lanterns are frequently used to illuminate walkways and patios, as well as lawns and gardens. They can also serve as Christmas decorations, whether inside or outdoors. You can express the holiday spirit by handcrafting your own Christmas lanterns with recycled materials. These inexpensive crafts can be given as personalized gifts to friends and family or used to decorate your home with a festive touch.

Items you will need

  • Coffee can
  • Soap
  • Clean cloth
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Spray paint
  • Christmas coloring book
  • Tape
  • Marker
  • Drill
  • Drill bit, 1/4"
  • 22-gauge craft wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Round-nose pliers
  • Votive or tea light candle
Step 1

Remove any paper from the outside of the coffee can. Rinse the inside of the can with soap and water. Dry it thoroughly with a clean cloth.

Step 2

Cover the inside rim on the top edge of the coffee can with duct tape to cover sharp edges.

Step 3

Spray-paint the exterior of the can as well as the duct tape in your desired color. Hold the spray-paint can approximately 8 to 10 inches from the coffee can. Allow enough time for the paint to set until it is dry to the touch.

Step 4

Choose an image from a Christmas-themed coloring book. Cut it out to serve as a template. The image can be anything from an angel to a holiday tree. Tape the template to the side of the can.

Step 5

Draw a dotted outline around the template. Space the dots evenly around the outline, approximately 1 inch apart. Remove the template and repeat the procedure on the opposite side of the can.

Step 6

Drill small 1/4-inch holes on the template outline in each marked dot. Drill a hole on opposite sides of the can approximately 1/2-inch from the top edge.

Step 7

Cut a piece of 22-gauge craft wire to a length between 12 and 20 inches. Make U-shaped loops on each end of the wire with round-nose pliers and hook them in the holes at the top of the can.

Step 8

Insert a votive or tea light candle inside the coffee can to illuminate the lantern. Hang the lantern in the desired location.

About the Author

Scarlett Gauthier began writing in 2003. Gauthier has a graphic design/arts DVS from Rosemount Technology Center in Montreal.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images