How to Make Tin Men Out of Cans

Written by sandra webster
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How to Make Tin Men Out of Cans
Wash and dry all cans before beginning. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Recycling is a popular means of both reusing items and saving money. It also enables people to express their creativity. If you are looking for a project that lets you do all or any of these, making tin men out of cans may be just the thing. Leave your tin men silver, or clothe them as you see fit to add that personal touch.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Manual can opener
  • 1 tomato paste can
  • 2 sardine cans
  • 4 15 ¾ oz vegetable or fruit cans
  • 4 soda cans
  • 907gr. coffee can
  • 567gr fruit pie filling can
  • 369gr. coffee can
  • Funnel
  • 5 round bottle caps
  • Silver spray paint
  • Black sharpie
  • Heavy gauge wire
  • Screws with bolt backings
  • Epoxy glue or clear-drying caulk
  • 2 1-inch Movable Eyes
  • Drill (optional)
  • Hole punch
  • Hammer or mallet
  • Tin snips or wire cutters
  • Duct tape
  • Screw driver

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  1. 1

    Remove top lids from all cans and save for now. Remove any labels and make sure cans are empty. Wash and dry the cans.

  2. 2

    Flatten a tomato paste can and bend into the shape of a nose. Use the mallet or hammer if you can't crush it with your hands.

  3. 3

    Cut slits with the tin snips or metal cutters on either side of the 369gr coffee can where ears will go. Make the cuts based on the size of the tomato paste lids that will become the ears.

  4. 4

    Spray paint all the cans, funnel, two lids from a tomato paste can, two lids from vegetable cans and bottle caps with silver paint. Let dry.

  5. 5

    Cut 4 pieces of heavy gauge wire 3 3/34 inches long. Cut one piece of wire 20 inches long, one piece 13 inches long and one piece 7 inches long.

  6. 6

    Draw the shape of a hand on a lid cut from a vegetable or fruit can. Cut the shape out with the tin snips (metal cutters). Make the other hand the same way.

  7. 7

    Drill or punch a hole in each sardine can in what will be the back of the foot (short side of the can). Drill or punch holes in the middle of each bottle cap.

  1. 1

    Punch or drill one hole on either side of each vegetable can, about ½ an inch from the top and another hole on either side ½ an inch from the bottom. Punch holes in the soda cans about 3 1/3 inches from the bottom.

  2. 2

    Place one vegetable can upside down over a soda can so the first set of holes on the vegetable can lines up with the holes on the soda can. Slide a piece of 3 ¾ - inch wire through the two cans and bend each end to secure. Repeat the process to make two legs and two arms.

  3. 3

    Place one sardine can open side down on a flat surface. Hold one completed leg section on the back of each can. Attach with screw and bolt backing.

  4. 4

    Attach a hand to the bottom of each arm section with epoxy glue or clear-drying caulk

  1. 1

    Flip the 907gr coffee can upside down and punch a hole in the centre of the bottom. Make a hole on either side of the bottom about ½ -inch from each edge. Make similar holes on either side at the top, ½ -inch from the bottom. Make three holes in front where bottoms will be.

  2. 2

    Punch holes 2 1/2 inches from the bottom on either side of the fruit pie filling can and one in the centre bottom. Attach it to the body can with a screw and bolt backing to form the neck. Attach three bottle caps to the buttonholes in front with screws and bolt fasteners.

  3. 3

    Attach the arms to the outside of the body can with the 13" piece of cut wire, bending the edges to secure.

  4. 4

    Attach the legs inside the body can using the 7-inch piece of cut wire, bending the edges to secure.

  1. 1

    Flip the 369gr coffee can upside down and punch one hole in the centre of the bottom, and one hole on either side of the top 1 ½ inches from the open edge. Bend one end of the 20-inch cut piece of wire, slide it into the can with the bent end inside. Slide the funnel upside down over the wire and let it drop down to sit on top of the head can. Bend the top of the wire over to keep in place and create a hanger.

  2. 2

    Slide the ears into the slots on either side of the head can and glue in place. Position the flattened tomato paste can nose and use duct tape to hold it in place while you drill or punch holes. Attach with screws and bolt fasteners. Drill or punch holes where the eyes should be and attach bottle caps with screws and bolt fasteners. Glue movable eyes over the tops of screws.

  3. 3

    Slide the bottom of the head can over the top of the neck can until the holes line up and slip the 4 ½ -inch piece of cut wire through the holes; bend wire at both ends to secure.

Tips and warnings

  • Watch for sharp spots left after removing can lids. Wear gloves to prevent cuts, or place a piece of tape over the sharp spot while working.

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