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This is an Instructable for a simple and elegant hanging metal lantern. The lantern is constructed from perforated patterned metal to create a nice light and shadow effect. This Instructable will teach you how to fold sheet metal in a way to make a strong joint.

Step 1: Step 1: MATERIALS // TOOLS

MATERIALS

/ Decorative Perforated Metal http://www.accuratealloys.com/decorative-perforate...

/ Metal Wire

TOOLS

/ Tin Snips or a Jig Saw with a metal cutting blade

/ Ruler

/ Sharpie

/ Cut resistant Gloves http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/safety/hands/cut...

/ De-greaser http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/StaplesProd...

/ Mallot http://www.lewiscontractorsales.com/Merchant2/merc...

/ Piece of wood or metal bender http://www.harborfreight.com/18-inch-bending-brake...

/ Spray Paint

Step 2: MEASURE THE PIECES

/ Cut the metal in various sized strips, I varied the dimensions from 7" x 20" to 4" x 18" going any smaller or bigger becomes difficult to bend or too big to hang

/ Use a Sharpie to draw a line on the metal for your cut line

Step 3: CUT THE METAL

METHOD 1

/ Use the tin snips and follow the line

/ Be sure to wear cut resistant gloves because the edges are extremely sharp

/ This method works well for patterns with less metal, its pretty hard on your hands but leaves a clean cut

METHOD 2

/ Use a Jig Saw with a metal cutting blade

/ Be sure to wear eye protection because it does shoot little pieces of metal everywhere

/ This method is Loud and does leave a jagged edge but is quick and easy

Step 4: BEND THE METAL ENDS

/ To attach the ends of the lantern you need to bend the sheet metal ends in opposite directions

/ The end bends should be no more than 1" (anything more begins to warp the shape)

/ You can get away with about 1/4" bends on the smaller lanterns (Its difficult to bend it any smaller)

METHOD 1

/ Using a Metal bender secure the sheet metal and bend the ends

/ This method is easy, fast and works the best but requires the tool

METHOD 2

/ Clamp a piece of wood over the ends of the sheet metal and bend the ends upwards

/ I was able to bend the pieces just using my hands but it was tiring (tiring enough to make me to purchase a metal bender)

Step 5: HAMMER DOWN THE BENDS

/ Using the mallet hammer the bends so they create a flatter hook

/ Be sure not to hammer the folds too flat because they're going to need to hook together

Step 6: SHAPE THE LANTERNS

/ Use the side of a table and press the sheet metal while slowly rotating the metal to create its cylindrical shape

/ Be sure to wear gloves and try and be consistent in your bends to create a nice curve

Step 7: HOOK THE PIECES TOGETHER

/ Using the bends at each ends hook them together to create the joint

/ It takes a bit of practice to get the folds flat enough but not too flat so that you cant get them together

/ The metal's springiness will create enough tension to keep the joint in place and strong

Step 8: PINCH THE FOLD FLAT

/ Use a pliers to pinch the joint flat, this is both for aesthetics and to make sure it does not come apart

Step 9: PREP & PAINT THE LANTERNS

/ Use the Simple Green metal cleaner to degrease the metal

/ Paint the lanterns using spray paint

Step 10: HANG THE LANTERNS

/ My dad ended up hanging the lanterns in their backyard and sent me this video

/ He used the metal wire and strung the lanterns across an existing string of lights

<p>cool!!</p>
that's awesome! I have a few very dangerous to bare hands 'icicles' and spirals from metal shavings at work hung on the big Christmas lights. This idea seems safer around the house.
<p>Great</p>
<p>These look excellent!</p><p>I love the simple construction too. So nice! :)</p>

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