Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Constellation Tin Can

Silkworm and I were robbed of yet another meteor shower last night, the one that was supposed to be summer's best. It had been sunny all week until the clouds rolled in just in time to block our view of the night sky. We have to chalk it up as the third meteor shower we've missed since April.

On the bright side, we finally got to making one of those awesome constellation tin cans to reimburse our little star-starved hearts!

Tin can (made of a thin metal)
Piece of paper
Nail (of the size you want your star holes to be)
Piece of wood (to work on your project on)
Small light source (candle, LED candle...)

Step One: Cut a piece of paper to fit around your tin can like a label. Tape it on.

Step Two: Trace constellations on the paper, be they real or made-up.

Step Three: Place your tin can on your piece of wood. Line up your nail on one of the stars you drew on the piece of paper, and hammer it through to punch a hole. Continue punching holes out for each star you traced.

Step Four: Remove the piece of paper to reveal your finished tin can. Put it over a lit candle or other active light source (the stronger the light, the better) and fall in love with your quirky lantern!

For a similarly awesome tin can project, check out this tutorial from Night Sky Online on how to make a tin can planetarium! It's a tad easier and much quieter, for those who, say, live in apartments.


  1. I've always wanted to make something like this. Great tutorial! :)

    1. Me too, I'm sorta happy the lack of a beautiful meteor shower finally motivated me. :) Thank you!

  2. that looks like such a fun fun tutorial. i remember going to camp during the summers and seeing these big beautiful stars. i haven't seen anything like it as an adult... would love to though :)

    1. I don't know what I ever did without night skies chock full of stars. ♥

  3. Beautiful! I would make one of Cassiopeia, my favorite constellation! I don't think I've ever seen a meteor shower and now feel like I am severely lacking in this life experience. I am going to have to wait for the next one and clear my night clearly!

  4. Very cool. I want to see the finished effect! x

    1. Do you mean with the light inside? Because the photo does feature it with the light inside! It doesn't really make any dots on the wall unless it's really dark and the light is really bright, but the constellations light up on the can. :)

  5. Aw, bad news about the meteor shower. I've still never seen one! I have the luck you're having this season my whole *life*! I've only seen a handful of shooting stars, too. :/ The good news is we can make our own magic, like you've done here.

    1. I've never seen a meteor shower either! I only started trying to catch them this year and I have had the worst luck with the weather. But I'm not giving up! And you are so right, making your own magic is the best protection against the unpredictability of life, because if you can make your own magic, it doesn't matter if the forecast rains on your parade! You'll just have it indoors instead, or on the moon.


Silkworm and I love hearing what other people think. In fact, it's probably our favorite thing, so don't be shy to leave us a note or ask a question!

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