Saturday, 15 June 2013

Re purposed soup tins: Garden lanterns



I love it when I can make something for nothing, and repurposing something that would otherwise end up in the bin has got to be one of the best things to do....
....not only for the environment, but also for a great sense of achievement.... 
....Today I am going to show you how I made these cute tea-light lanterns from old soup tins:
I've used an array of tricks and techniques, so apologies if this post is a tad lengthy, but keep reading.....you might pick up a trick or two....

 

This is what you will need:


Old soup tins
isopropyl alcohol or cosmetic brush cleaner
cotton wool
sandpaper/sanding block
liquid bleach
plastic spray bottle
sunshine
pen and paper to make pattern
masking tape
2ml drill bit
drill
file
pliers
wire




 Ready....?
.....lets go!


We are going to do this in 5 easy steps...



step 1


CLEANING OFF THE GLUE: 




 When you have removed the labels off your soup tins, you will probably find some glue lumps (like in the picture above)....these can be removed fairly easily in two steps:

A)hold under hot tap water then gently peel away the majority of the glue....
there will still be some stickiness left...

  
B) use some cosmetic brush cleaner/ isopropyl alcohol on a bit of cotton wool to rub away the remnants of the glue.... 




step 2 



AGEING YOUR TINS:


 

You will need some sandpaper or a sanding block, a plastic spray bottle with liquid bleach


give your tins a light sanding down...


 Pour your liquid bleach into a plastic spray bottle (I used an empty kitchen cleaner spray bottle), and spray all over the surface of the tins....

 

Leave in the sun to dry...repeat several times until you get the effect you desire... 



step 3


 

THE PATTERN 


 

You will need: a drill with 2ml drill bit and some masking tape...
....and of course a pattern...

 

Make up some patterns to fit the soup tins on some card..
...use your imagination or feel free to copy mine....

 

Stick your pattern onto the side of the soup can...closer to the bottom than the top...

 

Now you are ready to drill the holes...

 

Apply a gentle, but even pressure, so as not to make the tin buckle...

 

 Take care removing your template. .....You might want to keep it for the future....

 

 Then add a bit of masking tape across the top of the tins, like in the picture below...
.....then drill out a hole on reach side, near the top, for the wire handles to fit through. 


Now you are ready to make and fit the handles....


  But first: the H&S bit.....



step 4

 

SMOOTHING OUT THE SHARP BITS



 

 Inside your soup tins there will probably be a sharp edge at the top. Now we don't want anyone cutting their hands up trying to place a tea light in our lanterns, so this needs to go....


 Use a file, or a small hammer to bang the sharp edge down flat inside the tin...
I used a rounded metal file, and I also filed away any sharp bits inside from drilling the holes.... 

 

Finally I ran my sanding block over the inside of the tins...you can of course use normal sandpaper for this....



step 5



ADDING THE WIRE HANDLES



Get some bendable wire from your local hardware store....I used garden wire :

 

Cut it to length: You want it to double over like in the picture above...
...secure the ends of your doubled wire with a tiny bit of masking tape...


Place that end of your wire into your drill and tighten...

Sling the loop of the wire around a nail/hook or screw...
...gently power the drill while keeping the wire taught .....
This will twist your wire for the handles beautifully..

Thread the wire through one of the top holes in the soup tin you made earlier, then loop it around and through the hoop that was created when you spun the wire....pull tight...
Thread the wire through the hole on the other side...
      
 ...then use a pair of pliers to help tighten and neaten up the wire ends... 
...that's it!! 


I love the distressed look of these soup tin lanterns,
 

and they look gorgeous in the garden...

 

but they really come into their own after dark....


These would also look gorgeous on the mantle piece or hanging in a window indoors....maybe with a bit of lace added to the top rim...

 These took me about a day to make, and although there's quite a lot of processes, they are actually a really easy DIY...
...and providing you already have the tools for the job, they don't cost a thing to make...

thanks for popping by...

xxx
June



12 comments:

Magdalena Jansdotter said...

Fab idea hun!They look really great..I love that you put "sunshine" in the list of what is needed.. :)
)O(

june olsen said...

Thanks lovely! Just realized you blog as well....will have a proper look later....today is little miss moo's birthday party, so a bit busy right now....Xxjune

Anonymous said...

I missed it. What do you put in the can to make it light up???? Thanks.

june olsen said...

Anonymous! Just a tea light / candle!

Citizen Rosebud said...

Hi, Jane. Found this post on Pinterest, and am glad I did. Drill instead of nail means I am actually going to do this. I love tin art and want to make candle tins, and thanks to you- gonna make that happen. Great tutorial- clear easy to follow. Thanks a bunch.

june olsen said...

Citizen Rosebud ! Thank you! So please I could be of help and inspiration!!
xxJune

Noreen said...

I really like your detailed directions. Thank you for taking the time and making this effort! I'm going to make some for our senior center craft sale!

Green Eyed Irish said...

I dont bother to post much, BUT you are quite literally a genius!! Power tools for homemade.....SOOOOOO much easier and clean. For someone like me with hands that cramp this is brilliant :-) I also really like how you showed how to age it... THANKS.

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Diena Cameron said...

June, hi there. I love your lanterns, they are the cutest thing especially when you consider that they might not cost you anything. Love the patterns you made so i am definitely pinning for that reason plus the big tip of how to twist the wire for the handles ! Thats a first for me and i have been doing crafts for years and years ! Thanks and Happy Holidays.

Jael Komac said...

thank you for all of your work with the pictures and instructions. So nicely done and I love your handle twisting! Brilliant!

jean said...

This is the best, most complete instructions I've seen on any of these sites.
Thanks you very much, jean

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