Lighting that lasts more than a season!

Create Your Own Matariki Lanterns

Make beautiful lanterns with a tin can, battery powered fairy lights and a few basic tools.

What You'll Need

Remove Label


Run label under hot water to loosen adhesive, then remove by gently scrubbing with a sponge or rag.

Sketch Out Design

On graph paper, mark the top, bottom and sides of can with a permanent marker. Remove can and create a dot design within the marked parameters. Tip: the more dots you draw, the more light will show through the finished lantern.

Tape Graph Paper to Can


Tape Graph Paper to Can

 Trim paper to fit the top and bottom of can, then attach with masking tape.

Punch Pilot Holes

 Matariki Lanterns

Attach can to a solid work surface with a sturdy clamp. Using a hammer and finish nail, stamp each drawn dot to create small holes in the can underneath. When finished, remove graph paper.

Drill Larger Holes

Matariki Lanterns

Drill through each of the small pilot holes made by the nails. This will clean up the holes and create a consistent, polished look. Feel free to play around with other drill bit sizes to create different looks.


Stuff the inside of the can with paper towels or an old rag. Holding the can at least 15cm away, lightly coat with outdoor spray paint. Layer three or four thin coats until metal is no longer visible. Remove rag when dry.

Matariki Lanterns

Add Fairy Lights 

Place battery powered seed fairy lights in your tin and watch them light up your lantern and create their very own twinkle! 

Optional: Add a Handle

Matariki Lanterns

Drill a hole on each side of the can and add an old wire clothes hanger or piece of rope for carrying or hanging.

Matariki Lanterns