Outdoor Tuna Can Lantern

by Diane Henkler on 06/20/2011

Last week I made a candle chandelier for my deck. It looks so pretty when lit, but the rest of my yard was looking kind of neglected. I was determined to find a way to spread some more candle light around the yard to balance the light and provide more ambiance. I used to have Tiki torches, but they unravel and have to be filled up with oil that makes a mess.  I remember years ago seeing candle lanterns at a wedding that I thought were pretty clever and decided I could try to make them myself, but I needed to find some glass hurricanes.  A trip to the thrift store was in order yesterday.

Usually when I go on my weekly thrift store excursion I run in and do a quick cruise around the store to see if anything pops out at me. Treasure is not always waiting to be found, but you have to go frequently to stumble upon it every now and then.  Yesterday I went on purpose –  I knew my thrift store would have exactly what I was looking for – I had a choice  – lots of glass hurricanes to choose from. I ended up with 3 and a cylinder glass bowl that I plan on using for another project.

Total cost of my glass haul – $2.70.


Here is what I made with the hurricane. At the end of this post I created a few variations using the other glassware I picked up.


It was very quick and easy to make.

How to Make a Tuna Can Lantern

  I used a tuna can, wood screw, copper adapter, and an old paint stick.  If you don’t have an old paint stick, you could use an old broom stick – just cut the broom part off, or even buy a dowel.   The copper adapter was the most expensive part of this project – $3.00, but I like the way it looked. If you want to be really thrifty you could use a soda bottle cap on top of the stick. The adapter or cap adds a nice transition between the can and the stick and provides support.


Using my Craftsman rotary drill that my hubby got me a few years ago for my birthday, I drilled a hole in the top of the paint stick.



Then I used a awl and hammer to make a hole in the center of the tuna can.


Assembly order:  The copper adapter fits over the paint stick perfectly. Take your stick to the plumbing section at the hardware store and try a few different sizes out for the perfect fit. Every stick will be a bit different.


Screw the screw into the stick.


The top will look like this.


Place it in the ground.  The lantern is complete – just needs a coat of paint.  Once I removed the hurricane and candle, I sprayed the whole thing right where you see it in the photo – EASY!


I used Rust-Oleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze so the lantern will coordinate with the chandelier I made last week for my deck.


All Done!  If you have lots of wind – a hurricane such as the one I used will help keep the candles from burning out.


If you can’t find a hurricane when you are out thrifting – I also bought a small vase. It looks nice, too.



Lots of variation to choose from. A drinking glass works well also.    You may even have an old set of glasses to make a matching set of lanterns to place around your entire yard.


Now I need to eat more tuna so I can make a few more so my yard will have all- over ambiance at night.

Pink-CircleTo remove dried wax on glass after use – fill glass with ice water. Let set a few minutes and wax will come right off.


{ 177 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Suzan June 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Dianne – you are just FULL of great ideas! This looks like a super project for my granddaughter and I while she is visiting this summer. She is my “crafty girl” and loves to help make things. Last year we made a gazing ball from a bowling ball so this will be perfect…tuna cans and lamp chimneys into beautiful outdoor lighting!


2 Diane June 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Hi Suzan -
It will be the perfect project. Some tools, paint, and fun. It took me longer to gather the materials then it did to make it. I hope you have a wonderful time with your granddaughter.


3 Cindy June 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Diane, That is brilliant!!! It looks like something you would find at a decorating store, not in your cupboard! You truly are brilliant!!!
Hugs, Cindy


4 Diane June 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Thanks Cindy


5 Cathy June 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm

What a clever idea! Love it!


6 gina June 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Love it!!


7 Laurel@chippingwithcharm June 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm

So very, very clever! I’ll never look at tuna the same again :) Laurel


8 Bettsi June 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm

That is so clever! You made it look very high end. I am planning to make hanging lanterns for my tiny patio, but I think I need these (without the posts) to put on the patio railing! So pretty.


9 brandi June 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Diane, This is a brilliant idea, you are so clever!!! i just showed my husband and his exact words were, “wow that’s genius”.


10 Amy June 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm

How incredibly creative and beautiful at the same time. Wonderful job!


11 Millie June 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Super idea!


12 Laura@Laura's Crafty Life June 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Great idea! I would never have known what it was made out of hand you not shown us. Very nice!


13 Sallie @ Texas Cottage June 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Ingenious! I never would have thought of using a tuna can.


14 lucia June 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Sutch a good idea!! I love it, i want make one for me to.

Thanks for share



15 Lynda June 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm

FABULOUS! xo THX for sharing!!

:D Lynda


16 Tracy June 20, 2011 at 8:22 pm

How absolutely clever! I think I shall make a couple of these for my back patio. I am sure I will have no problem getting my son to eat the tuna!

Thanks for sharing!

~ Tracy


17 Michelle June 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

That is a truly amazing idea! WOW is all I can say!


18 Madigan at madiganmade June 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Diane!?!?! These are so beautiful and elegant! I would never guess they were from tuna cans! Genius!


19 Beverly June 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Oh wow! How creative you are. That looks great.


20 Tracy June 20, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Very nice!

Stumbled upon this (hehe). Really good directions for something that looks like it would be complicated.


21 Tonya @ Love of Family & Home June 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm

This is so clever!! I love it! You’ve inspired me to make some of my own for the backyard!!


22 Suzi June 20, 2011 at 11:04 pm

wow, I never would have guessed that pole was an old paint handle! This looks super awesome, great job! :D


23 Stacey@spiffedupspaces June 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Simple yet sooooo stunning and mega creative!! What a fun and easy project to light up your evenings. Hope you don’t mind if I post the link on my FB Fan page…too good not to share. :)

Love your ideas and your blog. Your creativity and ingenuity inspire me!


24 Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee June 20, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Wow! This is amazing! Great job! Nice shots too! Beautiful space you got here!
Hope to see you on my blog:)



25 Nan @ Playful Decor June 21, 2011 at 9:52 am

Tuna cans!! Now that’s re-cycling at its best! What a great way to extend the ambiance of the chandelier into your yard! Brilliant.


26 Lauren June 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

I SO love this! We are having an outdoor party after my son’s wedding reception for neighbors and family and these will be a cheap fix for lighting outside! Thanks for sharing!!!


27 Diane June 21, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Hi Lauren- they will be perfect. Congrats to your son.


28 Patricia in Denver June 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

Once again, using the simplest and most available items, you have managed to amaze me.


29 Judy June 21, 2011 at 10:02 am

You have THE BEST ideas! I am going to try this!


30 Jan @SouthernJunkin' June 21, 2011 at 10:11 am

Great ideas! My thrift store is overstocked with hurricanes and I’m always in search of new ways to use them! Thanks for sharing!!


31 Diane June 21, 2011 at 10:09 pm

HI Jan-

Why is it that thrift stores always seem to have a ton of these? You would think they would get broken.


32 Robin @Highpointcircle.blogspot.com June 21, 2011 at 10:23 am

This is one of the most creative ideas I have seen in a very long time–taking trash and turning into something that looks high end! Love it. Also, I usually read your blog in my email and decided to pop to your site today, WOW, I love it, I haven’t been on it in a very long time and was missing out. Thanks for all of the great ideas.


33 Diane June 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Hi Robin-

Thanks so much :) I used to do most of my blog reading through Google Reader and always felt I was missing out on seeing the actual blogs. I now use the Google Reader Next button and get to see all of them in full with the click of a button.


34 debbie June 21, 2011 at 10:33 am

Easy peasy and looks great too! Thanks for sharing.


35 Griffith Family June 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

As always, beautifully clever!!!


36 Rose Christopher June 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Absolutely ingenious! Love it.


37 Lesley June 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Simply put: Genious.


38 Dolly June 22, 2011 at 10:27 am

Fabulosa essa idéia principalmente para nós que sofremos tanto no verão com ataques de mosquitos! Obrigada por partilhar esse tutorial!
Abraços, Dolly


39 Colleen June 22, 2011 at 10:55 am

Wow, this is just brilliant. I would have never thought of this myself! I definitely need items to help decorate my gardens on the cheap. I cannot wait to put this one into action. Thank you!!


40 bj June 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I am loving this….so pretty and yet so simple and inexpensive. Great tips for us.
I just signed up to follow..come see me when you have time.
I am over from Beach Cottage.:)
xo bj


41 JoAnna June 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm

You are a genius! This is so Fab!


42 Vivienne @ The V Spot June 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Brilliant! I love it! Stumbled and pinned. :)


43 Dolly June 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Diane was happy with his visit, thanks


44 Glenda June 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm

now this is clever! Enjoyed the post and will probably try this out myself.


45 Crystal June 22, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Girl, that took some MAJOR creativity!! Love it! :)


46 Heidi Woodruff June 23, 2011 at 11:23 am

What a fantastic tutorial! Great idea! ~Heidi


47 Natalie C. June 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Visiting from your link on Crafterminds- this is great! I am going to put this on our to-do list for our patio area. I guess I need to go buy some tuna, though… ;-)


48 Briana June 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

What a GREAT idea to use something your would normally throw away…LOVE it!!! I would LOVE if you would link up your project to our {{What I Made Wednesday}} Linky Party…going on now! Thanks and I’m your newest follower! :)



49 alissa@33shadesofgreen June 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Wow Diane – amazing! What a great project.


50 'me' June 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm

What a great recycling idea!


51 Debbie June 23, 2011 at 8:35 pm

They are stunning!


52 kristy June 24, 2011 at 9:45 am

Nice Job.
Kristy @ 4 the love of WOOD


53 Stephanie@cre8tive June 24, 2011 at 10:10 am

Diane, you never cease to amaze me with your creativeness. Wow, you own trash to treasure in my book, who would of thought of marrying those items? You are a genius I tell ya! I am going to pin this. Have you gone on Pinterest yet? Dang, it is addicting, gets me behind on my reader though…but oh so fun!


54 Diane June 27, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Hi Stephanie-

Thanks. I Do have a Pinterest acct. It is the best thing, EVER!!! – I love it and get lost in time going though all the wonderful and inspiring images. Forget about the laundry, I’d rather be pinning.


55 mindie June 24, 2011 at 11:57 am

I am just reminding everyone about tonights link party that runs Friday evening through Mondays!
I also have an ongoing give away link party now too.
Hope to see you soon.
come strut your stuff


56 The Sage Butterfly June 24, 2011 at 11:58 am

Excellent! I have some hurricane glass with no bottoms. This would be a great way to repurpose it…thanks!


57 Donna June 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I just discovered your website today and you are amazing and incredibly talented! This is one of the best ideas I seen.


58 Alicia @ Thrifty and Chic June 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Diane, I love this!!! I just featured you and this project on my site :)


59 Sam @ The Junk House June 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Love, love, lurve! I’ve been landscaping my backyard, but it takes so long and is so much work that I’m starting to get discouraged. Something cute like this would be great inspiration to keep beautifying! Thanks for sharing! Oh, and I’m a new follower….LOVE everything on here! Ah!


60 Fishtail Cottage June 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Popping over to say hello for the “Blog Party”! i host a garden party on Thursday’s & would love to have you come by to peek around or even link up?!? hope to see you sometime! xoox, tracie


61 Amanda June 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm

well how snazzy is that?! love this upcycling idea on so many levels. the tuna can the thrifted glassware. good job :)


62 Tanya@takesix June 24, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Guess who’s going to be eating tuna this week!!!! I already saw many hurricane’s at my local thrift store. This is a totally awesome idea.


63 Kat June 25, 2011 at 1:26 am

OH MY GOODNESS are these so awesome and cute! WHAT a MIND YOU HAVE! I would have NEVER thought of this! And I thought I was crafty! LOL You rock! xoxoxoxo Kat =^.^=
PS NOW I have to get more power tools! LOL!


64 Meadowsweet Cottage June 25, 2011 at 2:26 am

Great idea for summer entertaining! And I needed an excuse to hit the thrift stores tomorrow, so thanks!


65 Christine June 25, 2011 at 3:40 am

Whoa! This is so cool! Very creative use of tuna cans.


66 abeachcottage June 25, 2011 at 6:59 am

Such a great idea. Love how your outdoor lantern turned out. Thanks for sharing the how-to at Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays.


67 Susan June 25, 2011 at 7:59 am

Absolutely lovely! I am headed to the store to get supplies! :)


68 Jackie June 25, 2011 at 8:59 am

Wow, this is a great idea! I plan on making a few of these.


69 Beth@A2Z June 25, 2011 at 11:11 am

Girl this is brilliant! I’ll be featuring you on my site as well as on Tip Junkie Decorate :).


70 Diane June 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm

HI Beth-

Thanks so much. I was away over the weekend and just got back and noticed a huge spike in my pageviews. WOW thanks xo


71 L.Lane Designs June 25, 2011 at 11:44 am

These are AMAZING! :) How great is that!!! A tuna can?!?!?!? Can’t get over it! How creative!!! Gotta pin this so I can make some of my own! :)


72 Kim @ Cheap Chic Home June 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm

This is fun, funny, and ingenious all at the same time–what a creative mind you have! I always enjoy visiting your blog, Diane.


73 Diane June 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Hi Kim – you are so sweet and always leave me the nicest comments. Thanks- xo


74 kelly June 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm

that is really cool, how in the world did you come up with that. i have those cans from costco chicken. i really want to try this!


75 Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish June 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm

LOVE this!!! Had to pin it and share on FB! It is amazing! :)


76 Emily @ ReMarkable Home June 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm

WOW! How creative and wonderful! I love it! I would never have thought to do that!


77 SouthernScraps June 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm

This is fabulous! And thanks for the wax removal tip.


78 Tanya @ Make The Best Of What's Around June 26, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Now that is creative! WOW :)


79 Rose June 27, 2011 at 5:51 am

Love this idea! I’ll be trying this one out for sure!


80 Ava June 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Loved your lantern idea, but was completely distracted by your beautiful row of conifers …soooo pretty xx Ava


81 Diane June 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Hi Ava-

We planted them about 3 years ago as we were having some water draining issues. The mound they are on helps out with the drainage issue as well as provides privacy into our backyard. Thanks for connecting with me.


82 Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating June 28, 2011 at 9:51 am

Simply brilliant…and beautiful. I’ll be featuring this project this afternoon on the A2D Inspiration Files blog.


83 Lynn June 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I saw this done several years ago for a wedding. They tied a beautiful white ribbon at the candle base area. I love yours! The color is perfect!


84 Diane June 29, 2011 at 10:18 am

Hi Lynn-

That is where I saw the idea many years ago. They were all spray painted white with white bows. The cans were nailed onto dowels without the use of the copper fitting. I thought it was such a great idea and finally got to make one for myself.


85 Heather - Dollar Store Crafts June 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Thanks for sharing this last week with Crafterminds. I’m featuring tomorrow on Dollar Store Crafts. Best use of a tuna can, ever!


86 Diane June 29, 2011 at 10:17 am

Hi Heather-

Thanks so much. xo I just caught the tail end of Crafterminds and am so glad the tweets showed up in my stream. I am looking forward to connecting with the group every week.


87 Lauren June 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Hi Diane! I wanted to let you know I featured this on my blog today — I’m sorry I don’t have a ‘featured’ button yet but wanted to let you know anyway!


88 gail June 28, 2011 at 10:14 pm

very clever! I love how this turned out!
thanks for linking up to Catch as Catch Can



89 debbie June 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I love this,, these would work great to line the pathway when my daughter gets married this fall.. we were gonna use tiki torches (painted black) but these look so much better.


90 Jordan (Wayward Girls Crafts) June 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I love this! DH saves all our tuna cans to make firestarters, but we haven’t gotten around to doing it. I’ll show him this tonight.

And I’m pinning this.


91 caroline @ c.w.frosting June 29, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Genious! And pretty to boot! Love your site & projects!!


92 Nike@ChooseToThrive June 30, 2011 at 2:27 am

Unbelievable! Bravo!


93 Cristy June 30, 2011 at 9:33 am

WoW! “Brilliant” idea! Seems like we live in a wind tunnel this year. Our patio sure could use a few of these.


94 Ashley @ DesignBuildLove.co June 30, 2011 at 4:39 pm

that’s totally amazing! NICE JOB!!!!!!!!!


95 CAS June 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm

This is so cool — almost as cool as that outdoor chandy from a couple of weeks back! Well, maybe it’s a toss-up!


96 gail June 30, 2011 at 9:53 pm

why didn’t I think of this! Such a great repurpose! LOVE them all.

catching YOU this week!


97 Jackie July 1, 2011 at 10:08 am

This is soooo adorable and ingenious! Thanks for sharing!


98 Pam July 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Fantastic. I love it and its just so simple and looks so nice. Thanks for sharing.


99 Holly L July 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm

You continually amaze me…this is absolute perfection.


100 Robyne July 2, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Wow! This is the best use for a tuna can yet! Thanks so much for sharing…can’t wait to try it.


101 Maria Trader July 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm

awesome!! thank you for sharing!


102 darlene July 4, 2011 at 7:32 pm

LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT …. gonna make this soon as the hubbs gets the new *paver* deck done … question, though: what is a *paint stick*? i’m thinkin’ those things they give you free from home depot or lowes, but it’s not lookin’ like that …. like a broom handle?


103 Diane July 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Hi Darlene-

It is the paint stick that a paint roller screws onto when you want to paint high up on the wall without using a ladder. I had a few old ones in my basement and used them. To buy them new at Home Depot/Lowes costs about $7, but you could use an old broom or mop stick to save some money.


104 Maggie July 5, 2011 at 11:15 am

My mom made these with my sister’s girl scout troup back in the early 60′s. Thanks for the memory.


105 Diane July 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Hi Maggie-

You are so welcome. I saw them done in white at a wedding a long time ago and have always kept the idea in the back of my mind for someday. Someday finally came.


106 Prissyville July 6, 2011 at 2:29 am

That was crazy smart! Wow! I like this better than the store bought ones I’ve seen!


107 Vivian July 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Diane, you are AMAZING! Lots of wonderful ideas! Loved your space!!


108 Megan Brooke July 18, 2011 at 9:18 pm

This is such a great idea! Great job!

Would love to feature this on my blog and link back to your tutorial if that’s ok!


109 Diane July 18, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Hi Megan-

Thanks – It is fine for you to feature the lantern on your blog. :)


110 dana August 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I used this idea for my daughters backyard wedding. We painted the dowel and tuna cans white. Glued thin purple ribbon on the dowels and a simple flower on the painted tuna can. We then filled the vases with water and flower petals, put in a floating candle, They lined the bridal runner all the way up to where the bride and the groom stood. It looked amazing!! My daughter was so happy with how beautiful and inexpensive it looked! Thank you for the great idea


111 Sheryll & Critters August 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Hi Diane,

I just loved this idea/craft of yours. I am going to make 8 of them(I have 8 tumblers). But I can not find anyone with wooden broom handles, so I am considering using 1″ x 2″ firring strips that are 8 ft long. I can saw off a little square to balance the can on? Do you think that will work? Also, if you get tired of eating canned tuna, kitty kat food cans work just as well. Oh yeah, I wanted taller than the broom handles would make them so thinking I will try the firring strips (still pretty cheap).

Thanks again,

Sheryll & Critters.


112 Michele December 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Thanks! I didn’t think about kitty food cans. Now I just need to ask friends.


113 Jane August 30, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Hi Diane

Love this idea! So chic – I am obsessed with restoration hardware and between this and your concrete pillars I could actually have the same look without having to starve myself!

One idea – Since fire outside always kind of freaks me out, you might be able to use those solar lights that they sell for walkways, and maybe use some museum putty to stand them inside the hurricane glass or vase. Then your yard would be lit up every night without any effort and no fear of fire!

Cool blog!


114 Shirley September 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

That is a great idea~I just threw out two old plastic leaf rakes and saved the handles ,*sticks, knowing something good would come of it. Thanks for this tutorial.


115 Diane September 10, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thanks Shirley – I do the same thing. I have a stash in my garage and basement of all the items I save to re-purpose someday.


116 susan September 13, 2011 at 7:54 am

Hi Diane, I am new to your blog and loving it already. I made these tuna can posts about 30 years ago. There were no dollar stores at the time OR pillar candles. I used tapers. I took the top of a soda bottle and put my screw threw that and into the can and dowel. (no paint handles) I lined my walk at Christmas. You really brought back memories.


117 Pure Home September 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I love this idea! What a romantic way to light up your deck or porch! And it’s great that the hurricanes are replaceable for a variety of shapes!

Pure Home


118 Kathy November 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I saw this idea briefly last week. Was at the hardware store w/husband and tried to explain to him and the clerk about the adapter. Neither one knew what I was talking about. Came home today and found this idea again, and showed it to my hubby. He said, “oh, I see. Very clever. But you need a paint stick. You were saying you needed a dowel stick.” Glad I revisited this idea! You came up with a very clever and cute light! Love it!


119 Michele December 25, 2011 at 10:32 pm

What an awesome idea! I can’t wait to make one. Guess I need to eat a lot of tuna. Can u buy broom sticks? I guess any dawl will do. Thanks again for the idea. I will surely share this my crafty friends.


120 Sheryll & Critters. December 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

I shopped for the wooden dowels and they were too expensive for me, so I purchased eight – 8 foot firring strips for 97 cents each plus tax (I have eight water tumblers). I originally planned on each staying as tall as I could get them, after posting in the dirt…… but I ended up cutting two of them short (in half) for some to be walking lighting & the others to be high for visual effect. I simply cut off a chunk and used it to nail the can into instead. Not the same exact “look”, but very cute and now my friend’s think I am clever…. grin. I do tell them all to read all of Diane’s blogs, she is so great.


121 amyd January 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm

came over from Not Just A Housewife contest…I do alot of upcycling – your project is pure genius!
amy of four corners design


122 Michelle January 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

Grear idea. I want to make several to put around my deck. How did you put it in the ground? I am afraid if I hammer in the can it will dent. Again great idea, thanks for putting on Pinterest.


123 Diane January 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

hi Michelle-

I put mine in to line my garden so the soil is soft and easy to just twirl the stick in as you would a beach umbrella in the sand. If it hard soil, you could make a hole first by hammering a stake into the ground and then removing it and then put the candle stick in to the hole.


124 Kylee January 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I love your trash! :)


125 susan January 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Ok this may be a stupid question but what exactly is a paint stick?? If I say that around these parts they would think it was the flat stick that you stir paint with. Thanks!


126 Sheryll & Critters. January 30, 2012 at 8:16 am

In this instance Diane used a paint stick handle extender… you know that you screw into a shorter roller paint handle, for when you need to paint a high ceiling or high walls.


127 Kelly Willcut January 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Just found this on Pinterest–what an awesome idea! Thanks.


128 amy@maison decor February 21, 2012 at 8:13 am

Hi Diane! I love this outdoor lantern~it is fantastic! I want to make a few of them. I have been poking around your blog, it is really impressive!! I am thinking of doing your zinc finish on the tuna can for the lantern, that would work too I think~so inspired!! I just opened two cans of tuna this week, time to get them out of the recycling bin!!


129 vikki February 23, 2012 at 10:57 am

I just discovered your blog, you are amazing. I would have to work double time to stay up with you. I wanted to follow you but couldn’t find that so let me know how to follow. Thanks for all the great ideas, I think this one is my favorite. Of course I also have an ugly kitchen similar to the one you had so I also may be using some of your ideas on it as well.


130 jan February 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm

love your blog……….so many creative ideas….already have my hurricane lamps so cheap at Goodwill………25-50 cents………had tuna tonight…….can’t wait to make the lanterns for around my deck.


131 Joy March 5, 2012 at 5:19 am

This is so cute! You are so creative and thrifty! I pinned this and have it linked back to this site. Thanks for sharing your great idea! I’m going to make one to use next summer.


132 Lucy May 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Love it!!! I went on a thrift store haul but unfortunately I could not find any hurricane lamp shades. I ended up purchasing some online for a couple of bucks. Now my problem is finding a tuna can that will fit the bottom!!! Thanks for the inspiration!


133 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

Hi Lucy – Isn’t that always the case – when you purposely are looking to find something – you can’t. Wait a week or two and I am sure on your next thrifitng adventure one or more are sure to be lining the shelves. Tuna cans all look the same, but are slightly different. Look at crabmeat cans, too.


134 Kris May 31, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Very cute light idea! I was also wondering if you knew what type of tree or shrub that is behind the light. They are just what I am looking for to go along the back of our side yard for a border. Thanks…


135 Diane May 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Hi Kris- I think they are Emerald Green Arborvitae. We bought them at Home Depot about 6 years ago.


136 Cecilia June 13, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Loving mason jars as I do, I would use mason jars to hold my lights, either tea lights or solar lights. I love the stands, whether sticks, handles, dowels, or whatever.


137 Renna June 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Thanks for sharing these instructions. I’m thinking of following your plan, but substituting an old pie or can pan for the tuna can, and creating a platform type bird feeder. :-)


138 Sheri July 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Wow!! I love it, and can’t wait to make 2 of them for camping!! They will be perfect and easy to transport right in the camper. Thank you so much for all your wonderful ideas!


139 Sal August 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

I have to start eating more tuna, I just found 3 boxes of glass hurricanes in the attic of my business, knew I didn’t want to throw them out but wasn’t sure what to do with them. Thanks


140 Diane August 13, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Hi Sal – What a find. When I got the idea to make the lantern – I had had to search through a few thrift stores before I found the style hurricane I envisioned.


141 Sheryll & Critters. August 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

Folks, don’t limit your opportunities. I used the medium, not tall, but not the tiny ones either of kitty kat food cans. I had somehow acquired some water glasses that I think are just dowdy (ugly). But they fit my empty kitty kat cans purfectly and I know love the glasses for outdoor torch lights/lanterns. I also could not afford dowels and no wooden broom handles on hand….. so I bought some very inexpensive PVC pipes… they come in long length’s and are less expensive (a lot) than dowels. At first I used some firring strips of 8 ft lengths and cut a piece off the top for the platform to hold the can. But this summer I switched to the PVC… just plug the end of the pipe where you want to attach the can… with wood glue and maybe some old newspaper first. It works and is prettier like Diane’s beautiful ones. I will save my pipes and glasses this winter and put them out again next year. And I always have some kind of use for the firring strips…. some where, you know? Don’t laugh, but you can also fill the pipes with kitty litter or sand also.

I have the longest wish list in the world that I have made from so many of Diane’s wonderful ideas/tutorials.

Diane is the very best I have found to learn, get ideas from, advice and what ever you need. She is honest and tells you the ins and outs of everything she does.

Thank you very much Diane for so many wonderful ideas and all you have taught me.


142 Carol Govora August 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Great idea! Your photos are nice and big. It’s so easy to see how to do everything to make these! So pretty!


143 amy September 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

This is amazing! I’m going to make it into a can holder for my husbands camping trips and just add a tiki torch stake to the bottom!


144 Bridgett Asner September 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I love it! Very crafty idea!!!


145 Lucy October 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Hiiii! Love the idea. Can u tell me what’s the diameter of the bottom of the hurricane shade?


146 Rose Myrtle October 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

Oh, my gosh! I never knew you could make these things out of these! So simple and inexpensive! I don’t know how you get these ideas! I couldn’t think of all these!


147 Sammy ~ Renew Redo October 24, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Such a clever idea! love it.

Sammy ~ Renew Redo


148 Sheila December 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm

My boyfriend came up with another clever idea… instead of one can per lantern, save two per lantern before you do the project. It simply needs to be sprayed to match and it becomes the “lid” for the lantern when it rains so you don’t have water logged lanterns and candles.


149 Diane Henkler January 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Hi Sheila – You have one smart boyfriend :) That is an excellent idea. One that has me saying, ” Now why didn’t I think of that?” Thanks for taking the time to share it. Happy 2013!


150 Martina February 13, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Hello there – That’s even a better idea :)


151 kathryn7kids January 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I love this recycle use! Thank you for post.my family eats lots of tuna so many lamps ahead!


152 Anne January 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm

You did a fantastic job with your tutorial. I’m new to Pinterest so glad to find you. Thanks..


153 DeBi January 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Great Idea! Would it hurt to drill a few more holes in the bottom if it was left out in the rain so it would drain?


154 Diane Henkler January 7, 2013 at 8:53 am

Hi DeBi – great idea – It would not hurt it at all. Thanks for taking the time to share your idea :)


155 TQ Fabulous March 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm

If you use a can as a rain lid or all the time with the battery lights, you could glue something cute to the top. Like a marble or finial shaped item. Small plastic tread spool and a marble painted with the rest. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks again, Diane! You are awesome!


156 Marcia April 2, 2013 at 3:13 am

These are great! I love up cycling and making lanterns was something I never thought of. You are very clever and creative ;-)

Thank you


157 Mary May 31, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Thanks for this great idea !! I’m going to make some for my yard too. How about using some kind of PVC connecter instead of the copper one? $3.00 is kind of expensive for a tightwad like me LOL


158 Diane Henkler June 1, 2013 at 9:49 am

Hi Mary – PVC would work. I just could not find a piece to fit my broom stick as well as the copper fitting did.


159 Elaina June 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Help? I don’t understand the purpose of the copper connector.


160 Diane Henkler July 1, 2013 at 9:48 am

Hi Elaina – It helps to stablize the can on the stick while giving the entire lantern a more finished look.


161 Bernadette July 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

We have a lot of wind in our area. I am just wondering how the problem of glass breaking in the event that a wind storm comes up and blows over the lantern?


162 Diane Henkler July 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Hi Bernadette – It is quite windy where I live, too. My neighborhood is called Winding Brook, but the builders dubbed it “Windy Brook” :) If you use the hurricanes where the bottom goes down into the can – they will be fine. A glass that just sits on the top of the can with no part of it in the can – may blow off. The bottom of the stick/stem is wedged into the ground and is very secure. It will stand up in a storm, unless it floods and the dirt that is holding it up washes away.


163 Pat July 13, 2013 at 10:39 am

Love these, but have a question about what happens when it rains…. does the can fill with water? I suppose some holes punched around the can would help, but in the meantime, the candles would be floating in water with the kind of heavy rains we have. Any suggestion?


164 Diane Henkler July 13, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Hi Pat – I don’t leave mine out all the time, so I have not had to deal with water getting into them. Drilling holes in the bottom of the can is a great idea if you plan on leaving them out. I would drill them in the bottom, so they would be hidden and not change the look of the lantern.


165 Eva July 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm

That is a very good idea for garden candle lantern. I like very much recycling deco….


166 Michelle Platt August 13, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Excellent Idea! I saw this a while back and have been saving my tuna fish cans all summer long! I think I’m going to embark upon this project sometime this week, as a matter of fact.
I will be sure to post photos.
Thanks for the great inspiration!


167 Anu September 10, 2013 at 11:27 am

How nice idea! I hope you don’t mind if I will link this idea to my quite new Finnish blog.


168 kay November 15, 2013 at 2:06 am

How many oz are ur tuna cans. Thank you. Great project!


169 Diane Henkler November 15, 2013 at 8:21 am

Hi Kay – 5 oz


170 vivi November 26, 2013 at 8:23 am

gracias por compartir tus ideas ,que tengas un lindo dia Dios te bendiga vivi


171 ijoasri December 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm

very creative


172 james December 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I just got through making a patio using recycled bricks from the 1890′s and have been trying to think of creative ways to do the lighting with recycled products. This is perfect! Since I have access to cedar trees I might use the cedar tree trunks instead of broom sticks. Since I already have plenty of glass chimney’s lying around all I need to do is look in my recycle bin for that tuna fish can I threw away and paint it.


173 Meg S January 1, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Love this!!! I made 12 for a party I’m helping host!!! Inexpensive w a great impact. I have 1 question though. How did you get these in the ground??? I used a wooden dowel and feel I’m going to have trouble getting it in the ground!


174 Diane Henkler January 2, 2014 at 9:07 am

Hi Meg – To get the lantern sticks/dowels into the ground – I just pushed them in. The ground was not hard. If your ground is hard, you can dig a small hole, place the dowel in and then pack the dirt around the hole and dowel to make it secure. Another way is to push the bottom of the dowel in the dirt and move it in a circular motion as you press down. (Like you were putting a beach umbrella into the sand) Once it is down far enough – straighten it out and press the dirt to pack it around the dowel. You can also place them in flower pots where the dirt is soft.


175 Renea H February 16, 2014 at 11:16 am

Looks like I will be having Tuna for lunch today before I head off to Lowes Home Improvement for some supplies. Now I will be adding copper to my list.. Very Nice DIY Lantern you have here..


176 Jamie April 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

I made these last summer for a graduation party, I used stakes from solar lights that no longer worked. I glued the tuna can onto them. They survived being outside all winter in northern Illinois.


177 Phil April 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm

This is a great idea but I was not able to find hurricane shades to fit the tuna cans. So, I substituted 6 oz. salmon cans instead. They were a perfect fit. I am havingh to make over 2o of them for a wedding. Thanks for the idea.


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