…plus a tin man you can easily make! How to included…
How to make a ‘Tin Can’ lady and more!
Here at Flea Market Gardening, we adore the funky and foolish, so when Patti gathered her collection of various tin cans, some rusty wire and bottle caps, we were happy to see this tin can lady that appeared!
This is a recycle project that can bring life to your garden and make you feel great about saving items from the landfill. Patti started out with a big project, then years later improved it to the point of amazing whimsy!
Patti Clarke from Sun Valley, Nevada made this ‘Tin Lady,’ and for a few years she was unpainted and rusting away. Recently, she decided to jazz them up with paint, proving that she has an innate ability and talent for picking colors. She soon added a mate for her lady and the ‘chromium couple’ even have pets…. tin dogs, of course!
Patti says, “We added one more dog. They were not so easy to paint after they are already made! The only thing I haven’t found is a small pipe for my tin man.”
Patti tells us, “Here you can see how the hair is attached to head. The hair is curled heavy wire attached to holes drilled in top of the head large coffee can. The eyes and nose are made of bottle caps placed in different directions. The mouth is a piece of wire shaped in a smile.”
After you collect your cans,
- Remove labels. You can paint over any glue.
- Pre-cut wire and punch holes in the smaller cans with an icepick.
- Use wire or screws to attach the cans together.
- For the eyes, drill two holes and attach bottle caps with screws and bolts
How to: Body construction
The tin ‘people’ are constructed from cans, twisted wire, bottle caps and screws! Rebar is driven into the ground to hold them up and paint to decorate them are the only other things you’ll need.
“This is how the arms and bosoms are attached. They are wired to the upper body.”
“This is a front view of the skirt. It’s attached with screws and the buttons are bottle caps attached with screws.”
“The skirt is a coffee can split and wrapped around. This is the back side and it is attached to the body with screws. You can also see that there is a wooden stake attached with screws. However, it didn’t hold her up right so I had to brace the whole structure with some rebar.” Patti added all these refinements after her ‘lady’ was already in place, so it was a challenge she says!
“This is a picture of the leg and foot. She has on a pair of my old sneakers which the legs just sit in.”
The tin man not only plows, but the plow helps to stabilize him. “This is my tin man and two dogs plowing. The man has rebar to help hold him up. He actually stands without the rebar but he moves around too much, so the rebar keeps him standing in one place. This shows the tin man from the back to see how he is wired.”
The dogs, painted black and brown, have eyes and noses are made from bottle caps and their tongues Their tongues are leather pieces painted red.
“After we made these, my Dad took home another set of cans and started making his own. It was fun watching the different ways he wanted to create his tin people and dogs. My ‘people’ are so much more fun painted. People notice them more!”
Nell’s tin man to make
Nell Stelzer says, “This is the finished project hanging inside. I wanted it to rust and thought it should since some of the cans I had saved were starting to show rust. ”
“Last January, my challenge was to make a tin can man. These are the supplies I used,” Nell says.
- I used wire at first but the pieces did not hang right.
- I punched holes with an awl and used screws and nuts.
- His funnel cap is wired in so it can hang on the small shepherd’s hook.
“I glued buttons on for the mouth. I added a button mouth and a ceramic heart that I was gifted last year and had not used yet. I could not find a funnel at the thrift stores so this one came from a kitchen department.” Nell tells us, “My Tin man is rusting well except for his hat which is aluminum. He seems to be guarding the hosta!”
Two more tin men