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Beer Can Lanterns

Beer Can Lanterns

Crafty backyard lighting that is fitting for any beer lover.

Cans are definitely the most crafty of beer containers. Already having your backyard decorated with the can planters we shared in Issue 12, we decided to provide another can-based craft to match. Can lanterns are the perfect addition to late night outdoor drinking. Choose your favorite can and watch it illuminate the evening. They are sure to take any late night BBQ to the next level of awesomeness.

What you need

  • Wood plank (size is up to you and how many cans you want to use)
  • 1 Nail (must be thinner than the hooks)
  • Hammer
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Bolt cutters or other sharp cutters for thin chain
  • Sharp knife or blade (box cutter or kitchen knife will work)
  • Eye hook screws (at least 4 with an additional 2 more per can)
  • 4’ of thin chain (the thinnest by the foot available at your local home improvement store)
  • Empty cans (as many as you would like to hang)
  • Small 1” round candles (1 per can, color and scent optional)

How to Assemble

Step 1: Place the flat head side of the screw­driver inside the can and gently bang (with hammer) all around the bottom to flatten out the bottom of the can as best as possible.
Step 2: Poke hole through the middle center of the top of the can with the nail. A gentle hit with the hammer will easily accomplish this. Remove the nail.
Step 3: Screw one of the hooks into the newly created hole.
Step 4: With blade, cut incisions down the side of the can about a half-inch apart and all the way around. The incision should start near the top where the can starts to get wider and continue all the way to the bottom. We highly recommend you wear protective gloves starting at this stage to ensure you don’t cut yourself on the sharp edges of the can (or the blade).
Step 5: Compress the two ends of the can and ensure that the sliced segments all bend outwards. You may need to use the screwdriver to help aid the direction of the bending. Continue to do this and form the segments until you get the lantern type shape you desire.
Step 6: Gently stretch two of the sliced segments apart until you can fit one of the candles inside.
Step 7: Repeat steps 1-6 for each can.
Step 8: Place two hooks in the top side of the board at equal distances from opposite ends. The closer to the ends the better, as these will be used for the chain to hang the lantern.
Step 9: Place one hook per can on the other side of the board. Positioning depends on amount of cans and desired appearance.
Step 10: Cut the chain into desired lengths. We recommend different lengths for each can and a longer piece to hang the board.
Step 11: Using the cutters, cut the end links on each piece of chain so that there is a gap barely wide enough to attach it to the hooks, place in the cans and board.
Step 12: Attach the chain to all ends of the cans and board and proudly hang on display.
Step 13: Light the candles and enjoy a few canned beers out in your yard.

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