Making a Recycled Tin Man

Recycle clean empty food cans into a delightful tin man for your home or garden. This is a guide about making a recycled tin man.

February 27, 2009 Flag
5 found this helpful

I created this mini man from some recycled soup and coffee cans, soda tabs, funnel, bolts, screws, candy tins for feet, coat hangers, swivel, spray paint and tin snips. I used and awl and hammer to make the holes I needed. Tin snips were used to cut out hands and heart. I hang him in my garden. By Wendy S from Coopersburg, PA

March 1, 20091 found this helpful

These are cute. One of my customers at the bowling center where I work makes these but he goes a little bit further with them. He makes bird feeders out of them!

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March 1, 20090 found this helpful

WOW how cute and fun looking! I might try

to make one for myself, it is so cute.

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March 2, 20090 found this helpful

how adorable. I just love it

if you ever decide to make them to sell let me know. I would be interested

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March 4, 20090 found this helpful

I want one! I dont know if I'm talented enough to make this. Want to sell one?

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December 8, 20090 found this helpful

April 16, 2007 Flag

Here's a cute Tin Man made from recycled food cans.

Materials Needed:


First spray paint all cans and paint nose and mouth and pop tops black. Then cut slits on both sides of medium can and insert tomato paste ears with glue.

Make two holes in bottom of the medium can, then take the tuna can and poke two holes in top on both sides. Wire medium can into tuna can.

Take a piece of wire and cut to length you want to hang with and double it and push up through the little part of the funnel. Make sure you make it long enough to wire through the medium can under the funnel to hold it together. Screw the funnel down thru the bottom of the medium can then screw in pop caps to make eyes.

Take the 8 small cans and poke holes in top and bottom of all, wire two to gether to make four sets for arms and legs.

Wire the arms into the top of the coffee can. Insert legs up thru bottom of coffee can and wire in. Poke 2 holes in each of the bottom of the sardine cans and wire onto bottom of legs for feet. Screw in the pop caps for buttons.

You can go by the picture to see how to put him together. If you have questions post below.

By Sandy from Bluff City, Tn.

June 28, 20070 found this helpful

How tall is he when finished? I saw one hanging in a garden when on a garden tour one time. He was so cute. I took pictures but have no idea where they are..

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July 27, 20110 found this helpful

Have you tried a feed supply store? I get all my metal scoops and funnels there since animals tend to chew on anything plastic. They come in all sizes. Janet

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August 19, 20120 found this helpful

Our neighbors got one of these at a craft show in Omaha, NE Love it. Did you sell any in Omaha, or do you sell them. Would love to have a couple.

yanke AT to let me know.

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June 14, 20160 found this helpful

Love the idea and the outcome I would like to see it as it goes together

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October 9, 20160 found this helpful

July 24, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

Where can I buy tin funnels to make a tin man? I live in the Vancouver area in BC. All I can find here are plastic ones. Thanks!

By Penny L.

July 28, 20110 found this helpful

I would just buy the plastic ones and spray paint them silver. :)

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July 29, 20111 found this helpful

Have you tried a store like Princess Auto or Peavey Mart, a place that sells farm/agricultural supplies?

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August 22, 20111 found this helpful

If you can't find a metal one, what about spray painting it with silver spray paint? I was thinking if all else fails and you can't locate one, it might be something to think about? If you have the supplies maybe you could spray paint one and see what it looks like?! Hope this helps. :)

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Anonymous Flag
April 27, 20161 found this helpful

Check out auto parts stores.

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July 14, 20160 found this helpful

September 20, 2004 Flag
0 found this helpful

My sister-in-law received, as a gift from one of her students, a Tin Man Birdfeeder made of used Tin cans. I would like to have instructions of how to make some.
Laurie from Whitman County

February 26, 20050 found this helpful

I have seen the tinmen for sale in the window here.

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April 3, 20050 found this helpful

Make Our Tin Man!


- Awl or Ice Pick

- Heavy Wire or Clothes Hanger

- Wire Cutters

- 2 - 1" Wood Screws

- 1 - 1/2" Metal Screw with Nut

- 2 - 1" Moveable Eyes

- 32 oz. Coffee Can

- 13 oz. Coffee Can

- 20 oz. Fruit Pie Filling Can

- 4 - 15 3/4 oz. Vegetable Cans

- 2 - Sardine Cans

- 4 Soft Drink Cans

- Krylon® Silver Spray Paint

- Acrylic Paint - Black, Red

- 6" Funnel


1. Open tops of each can and remove contents. Drain cola cans. Spray all cans and funnel with silver paint. Spray funnel inside and out. Let dry completely.

2. With an awl or ice pick, punch holes in vegetable cans, each side, 1/2" from top and bottom. Punch holes in the cola cans, each side, 3 1/2" from the bottom. Turn vegetable cans upside down over the cola cans until the first set of holes on the vegetable can meet the holes on the cola can. Run a 3 3/4" piece of wire through both cans; bend ends of wire. You have just made the arms and legs.

3. Turn sardine cans with open side down (feet). Place each leg combo on the backside of a sardine can. Run wood screw from open side of sardine can through bottom of cola can to attach feet to leg.

4. Turn the 32 oz. coffee can (body) upside down and punch a hole in the center bottom. Punch holes on each side, top and bottom, 1/2" from edge. Punch holes in the fruit can (neck) 2 1/2" from the bottom on each side, and one hole in the center of the bottom. Set neck right side up on the body. Bolt together using a screw and nut.

5. Punch holes in the 13 oz. coffee can (head) in the center bottom and on each side 1 1/2" from the open end. Cut a 20" piece of wire, bend one end. Run up through can, leaving bent end inside can. Drop funnel (hat) upside down over wire and let slide down to rest on top of the head. Curl the top of the wire; this will prevent the wire from coming out and will also be your tin man's hanger. Place the head down over the neck until the holes meet. Run a 4 1/2" piece of wire through the holes; bend at both ends.

6. Place legs inside open end of body and attach a leg to each side of the body by running a 7" piece of wire through holes. Bend wires at the end. Arms are attached to the outside of the body with a 13" piece of wire.

7. Glue the eyes approximately 1 1/2" from the top of the head. Paint nose, mouth, and ears. Three 1" crcles (buttons) are painted on body. All are black. A red heart is painted on the left side of the chest.

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May 6, 20070 found this helpful


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June 14, 20070 found this helpful

just wondering where the bird feed goes

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September 13, 20070 found this helpful

August 29, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

Where can I find moveable eyes for making a tin man?

By Jeanie

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September 26, 20140 found this helpful

Walmart in craft area and Dollar store has small bags of various sizes for eyes.

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February 4, 2012 Flag
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Where can I find the funnels for the tin man project? I cannot find the right size.

By Goosey from Columbia, SC

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February 8, 20120 found this helpful

Walmarts auto department

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December 5, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am looking for craft ideas to make a tin man.

By Deena

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December 6, 20090 found this helpful

Craft: Tin Man Mania

This was a Contest Winner! Very Original!

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December 5, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

How do I make a Tin Man out of cans for a Wizard of Oz themed children's party?

By coppekat from Arlington, VA


Tin Man Instructions

I'd use duct tape (aluminum colored) or that really shiny metal type tape that's the same size as a roll of duct tape. However, that can give cuts, so even though it's nice and shiny, maybe not. Use duct tape to make joints holding cans together.

For top hat, use aluminum foil to cover a paper cone or an oil funnel, can't quite recall what's on his head except its a cone I think. Cover cardboard or poster board, which you can get most places, with foil for any odd shapes you might need. You could wrap an old pair of sneakers with foil for feet, stuff gloves with plastic bags and cover with foil or duct tape or both for hands. Whatever works. (09/22/2009)


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