I realized yesterday that if I want to make tin can lanterns for Halloween this year, I need to start saving my cans now. Depending on how I cook for the next 10 days, it may already be too late for me to get more than just a couple. Maybe I'll have to make my famous 6-can chili for dinner--twice!
Start with a rinsed out can. I find that 14-16 oz cans work best. The 10 oz soup cans will also work, but it's harder to get the candle inside once you've made the lantern, so you may want to place the candle inside the can before you make the holes.
Using a can piercer (one of these things) punch holes around the rim of the can.
Those points are SHARP, so be very careful with these! Drop a tealight or votive inside, scatter your lanterns on your walkway and in your yard, and light the candles with a long-nose lighter. You'll shred your hand if you try to use regular matches. This picture doesn't look like much, but you all know how candles are magical outside at night.
To avoid the trash-strewn-all-over-the-lawn look, I put these out on Halloween night just as it's getting dark, and in the morning I scoop them all into the recycling bin.
I don't know if Martha Stewart would find tin can lanterns elegant enough for her home, but they work for me.