Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tin Lanterns--An old favorite craft revisited

Are you on the lookout for fun craft that involves modern day materials and historic ideas? If so, here’s a craft that you might like to try at home. At the turn of century, before the discovery and popularity of light bulbs, tin lanterns with punched out patterns were used widely to provide light in a decorative and useful manner. Since each one was hand-made, patterns varied widely from the very ornate to the very simple. For our annual Family Weekend at the museums, one of the crafts available was making tea light tin lanterns.
If you would like to make your own tin lantern just follow these directions for an historic experience. Small mushroom cans with flat sides work really well like the one pictured here.
1. Simply eat a can of your favorite soup.
2. Wash the empty can and fill it with water.
3. Place the can of water in the freezer overnight.
4. When completely frozen, remove the can from the freezer and wrap a hole-punch pattern around the can and tape in place.
5. Take a nail and a hammer and begin to punch out the pattern.
6. When the pattern is all punched out, let the ice melt a little more then empty and dry out the can.