“Laura was proud to be helping Ma with the milking, and she carried the lantern very carefully. Its sides were of tin, with places cut in them for the candle-light to shine through.
When Laura walked behind Ma on the path to the barn, the little bits of candle-light from the lantern leaped all around her on the snow.”

“The night was not yet quite dark. The woods were dark, but there was a gray light on the snowy path, and in the sky there were a few faint stars. The stars did not look as warm and bright as the little lights that came from the lantern. ” Little House In The Big Woods

In different ways, Laura carrying a tin can lantern to light the way when helping Ma with milking, reminds me of my very own journeys to the outhouse with sisters or Mum many nights with tiki torches to light our path. 

I have made my own two Little House On The Prairie style tin can lanterns. It is amazing how such simplicity can be so functional and cute. Here is how I made them.

DIY Little House On The Prairie Tin Can Lanterns

Tools And Supplies

Tin cans


Metal wire



How To Make The Lanterns

You can simple place the nail and gentle hammer it in random areas of the can. Just make enough holes for the light to shine through from the candle.

You can also make a more detailed pattern on your tin can by drawing a pattern on it and boring the holes in that shape. I found it easy to cut out a pattern on paper and use tape to attach it to the tin can.

Then I used the nail and hammer to make holes around the perimeter of the paper pattern.

I made a hole on each side of my lanterns to run metal wire through for making handles.

Note: Always make sure to not put too much pressure when hammering the nail, as that will cause the can to have dents.

My lanterns turned out quite nicely with not too much dents. I could have used a drill to make the holes. But I wanted to use simple tools, as I doubt that they had very advanced tools like drills on the prairie 🙂 Put a candle in each can to complement your tin can lanterns.

I would love to ask: What beautiful homespun childhood memories do you treasure? Or what old fashioned or frugal practices put joy in your days?

For me, it sitting under the big tree in front of my cottage while watching produce being roasted that will go my dinner later. My doggies are all laying down relaxed under the tree with me, and hubby is managing the fire. Today, I am grateful for being able to enjoy these simple pleasures.

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