DIY weddings: Upcycled tin lanterns

DIY weddings: Upcycled tin lanterns

A fabulously easy way to add some interest to your venue and get your wedding colours about the place! Use the tin cans to spruce up the bar area, hang from trees or decorate the garden area as the sun goes down. These pretty, cost effective lanterns will add some sparkle to any venue.

Upcycled tin lanterns

Difficulty: Easy / Time: 0.5 hours / Cost: 50p per item

What you’ll need:

  • A selection of clean tin cans (we asked people to collect them for us too)
  • A drill
  • A Sharpie/marker pen
  • A file
  • Some double sided tape
  • Ribbon, lace or twine


Mark out the pattern you’d like on each tin can with dots. Be aware that you’ll need to keep it on one ‘face’ of the can.

Secure the can and very carefully drill holes through each of your marked dots. Next, file off any of the sharp edges of the drilled holes with the file.

You can also decorate the can with ribbon or lace – or a mixture of both. Simply, add the double sided sticky tape to the neck of the can and wrap a length of twine around the top. You may decide you’d like to hang the cans, or you may want to place them on tables. If you’d like to hang them, simply thread the ribbon underneath the twine on opposite sides of the can and tie a knot in each to secure in place.


Pop a candle into the can to add some twinkle. Some venues have strict fire restrictions so you may need to use LED tea lights instead, which you can easily find online.

Tip: Why not spell out your names with the pattern of dots on the cans, or the surname that you both will share.

Ask Claire… Our DIY wedding articles are written by the lovely and very talented, Claire. Claire is a graphic designer who created an array of beautiful handmade wedding decorations and props for her own wedding at Sopley Mill near Christchurch in 2015. If you fancy any of the items on our DIY weddings page but haven’t got time to make them yourself,  you can contact Claire by emailing and she can make them for you!