Although our lanterns came out looking respectable, most of what I have to say about this project is what not to do. Principally: Don’t use tea canisters. It seemed like a great idea at the time, I had lots of tea canisters I wanted to recycle, and they are pretty shapes, with no sharp edges. BUT, they are too flimsy for nailing. We made it work, but the sides kept crumpling in and frustrating the kids. So use something sturdier, like steel food cans.
If you are going to use tea canisters, Emily said she had read that you can fill your container with water and freeze it, to give the kids something substantial to nail against. I have no idea if that actually works though.
I also got fed up with scrubbing labels and glue off, and after 5 seconds with steel wool there was no way I was going to sand the paint off the couple of them that were painted. So I rounded up all the flammable scraps in my yard, sawed some branches into chunks and lit a smokey fire. It was not the best fire, and I didn’t check to see if it was a spare-the-air day (oops), but let me tell you, it did take off the paint and glue. Of course I may have inhaled it all. Nothing like burning them to let off a little frustration at inanimate objects though. Take that Mr. covered in adhesive tea canister!
And I could not believe that not all my art kids had ever used a hammer. So clearly we need to do more nailing. I’ve discovered that Target carries the cheapest hammers, and bought 3 more. When I rounded up all the hammers in the house I discovered that we only had 6! Which was not quite enough. Why do we have 6 hammers? I don’t know, but I rounded up 3 old beaters, one ball peen, and each of the girls have their own hammer. How many hammers do you have? Is that more or less than the number of people in your house? And how do you feel about that? I felt awesome that we had 6 hammers, and now I feel even awesomer with 9! Yes I may need help, or I may not! Woo hoo hammers!