Introduction: Beer Can Lantern || DIY Tutorial

About: As a hobby I post DIY/tutorials on crafting and mechanical builds on YouTube:
Price: 1 – 5$ || Time: 1 – 3 h || Difficulty: Medium – Hard “Crafty and patience”

We are in this tutorial going true how to craft a beer can lantern. The beer can is rather easy to prepare.. The hard/time consuming part is to cut the negative from the aluminium foil! But do not be afraid.. the time spent is well worth! :)

Step 1: Watch This First! :)

This is a tutorial video I have made! It was my second video ever, so some scenes are a little bit unnecessary long.

If you can not watch the video true the "picture frame", then you can follow this link instead!

Step 2: Requierd Items

You will need:

  • Aluminium Foil
  • Aluminium tape
  • Regular Tape
  • Scissor
  • Cutting board
  • Scalpel/knife
  • Negative for your motive (we will make this!)
  • Small Rubber Hose
  • Hot Glue and Glue Gun


  • File (with a round side)
  • Sandpaper Pliers (for metal)
  • Drill and screwdriver
  • Spray paint
  • Beer Can

Step 3: Preparing the Foil

A negative can be made in for example Photo shop or Gimp:
Start of by finding a picture that you want to use, a picture with strong contrasts is recommended. When you have chosen, start of by change the colour to "grey scale". Then "Posterize", chose level 2. The amount of levels is equal to the amount of colours in the picture. So level 2 means black and white! :) Print this!

"1."Remove any extra material and place your negative on the foil. Make sure that the foil is still larger then the size of hole you want in your can.

"2."Apply a second layer of aluminium by using aluminium tape. This is to make the foil more stable and less likely to lose its shape while cutting and using the lantern.

"3."Use some clear tape to attach the negative to your foil. I also using clear tape over the whole picture, to give the paper a extra stiffness.

Step 4: Cut, Cut,Cut!

"1." Before we start to cut, it is necessary to make sure that no black areas are hanging freely in any white arias. For example, if the nose of my dog where placed with completely white areas, the nose would fall of when removing the white. There fore I using a marker pen to add some extra "black" to prevent this.

"2." This is one of the most time consuming steps. it is now time to use your scalpel/knife to cut away all white areas within your picture. But do not remove any white on the outside, only where you want the light to shine true!

"3." When I have cut on the edge of all white areas I want to remove I can remove the paper/negative. By flipping the aluminium foil over, you can make a fast check so all areas have bin cut.

"4." I had to cut all previus cuts again to remove the foil. But this is mor rewarding, sins we now can see the result! Make sure to not rush or cut to deep to shorten the time.. Take breaks if you feel that you start to rush this step!

Step 5: Preparing the Can

The heat has to be able to escape. There fore I remove the top of the beer can by drilling holes around the top "2.". By using some pliers I could then remove the "lid" ".4". Using a file and sandpaper all extra material where removed to make the can more aesthetic! :)


Step 6: Finish the Beer Can

Sandpaper the outside "1." to give the surface a roughness witch the spray paint easily can attach to. Before spray painting the can we need to cut a hole. Make sure that the hole is not larger then your foil! "2."

"3." Apply enough layers of spray paint so cover the can label.

"4." Place the aluminium foil we recreantly cut inside of the can. Make sure that you does not damage any of the details on the foil. You can then take two pieces of aluminium tape to attach the foil on the inside.

You will need to work with the foil afterwords to give the negative the right proportions again.

Step 7: Finish!

Use your scalpel to cut the hose open, make sure that you do not split it!

"1." Place the hose on the edge and apply some hot glue "2.". Keep doing this until the whole edge is covered.

And your done! Light a Tea light and enjoy your creation!

Note!! Make sure that this is placed on a pace of cork or similar. Due to heat. Do also make sure that there is no flammable materials over or near by this can lantern!

Happy crafting! :)

If you liked this please take a look at my YouTube page. Subscribe to make sure you do not miss any fun projects that I do not post here. It means a lot to me! :)

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