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Tin can man

A fun garden project for adults and kids alike. Design your own version of our tin can man, who can double as a hanging scarecrow, using whatever cans are on hand.

You will need:
  • 10 x 425gm cans.
  • large dog-food can (a large Milo or paint tin would be as good).
  • 95gm tuna can for the neck. An 800gm peach can for the head. A plastic funnel for hat or a small plant for hair (we used 'pork and beans' aka Sedum rubrotinctum).
  • 3 lengths of wire about a metre long (or at least one and a half times the height of your tin man).
  • Plastic-coated electrical wire is easy to work with, and wire cutters.
  • Can opener.
  • Hammer and a nail (thicker than the wire) to make holes.
  • Outdoor paint - we used two coats of self-priming Resene Lumbersider for the toy soldier (optional). Ears (we used wine bottle tops), eyes, buttons, belts or other accessories (optional).

As seen in kiwigardener

Step 1 Prepare tins
Lay the cans out to plan your tin man - all cans except two for the feet should have just one end removed.

For the feet, remove both ends of two cans and then partially flatten them.

If you want to paint your tin man, remove the labels from the cans and paint the cans, leaving them to dry over night before you do any assembly.
Make holesMake nail holes
With a hammer and nail, make holes in the cans to thread the wires through to hold your tin man together. It may help - especially for children - to mark the hole positions with a marker pen first.

Make a hole in the centre of the base of all the leg and the lower-arm cans.

Make one hole in the side of the upper­ arms cans, 1cm above their base.

Make a hole near the open end of each lower-arm can.

Make two holes 5cm apart in the base of each body,neck and head can.

Make a hole in the middle of the side of each foot can.


AssemblyThread together
Assemble your man by threading the wires through the holes.

First, thread a wire through the body, ready for the arms. Next, make a knot in each end of two wires and thread one through a hole in one foot and use the other for the other foot.

Thread one 'foot' wire up through a lower and a upper leg can, the body, the neck and the head cans and do the same with the other 'foot' wire.

To secure and tighten the wires, bring them out though the side holes on the 'head' can and twist firmly at the rear of the head


Step 5 Add more tins
Assemble your man by threading the wires through the holes.

First, thread a wire through the body, ready for the arms. Next, make a knot in each end of two wires and thread one through a hole in one foot and use the other for the other foot.

Thread one 'foot' wire up through a lower and a upper leg can, the body, the neck and the head cans and do the same with the other 'foot' wire.

To secure and tighten the wires, bring them out though the side holes on the 'head' can and twist firmly at the rear of the head.


Step 6Bird scarer - tin man
For the arms, take the wires already threaded through the body through the side holes on the upper arms, then down through the centre holes in the lower arms. Firmly tie the ends to the holes punched at the open end of the lower arm cans. Trim wire ends.

The funnel (hat) can be attached with another wire threaded through each side of the head and up though the funnel's spout. Use this wire to hang your tin man to a tree, post or fence.


toy soldier Toy soldier - tin man
Alternatively, you can pot a succulent in your tin man's head and prop him up with a wooden stake.
 

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