Tin Can Sculpture

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How to make sculptures out of old tin cans.

By Jeanne C. Wolf [Jeanne is an artist and teacher from DeLand, Florida USA.]

What You Need:

  • medium size tin can without sharp edges (one per student)
  • hammer
  • small nails
  • 2 inches of picture hanging wire (per student)
  • found objects like chop sticks, old paint brushes, twigs, costume jewellery, corks, fake flowers, bottle caps etc.
  • metallic (or other) paint in bright colors (acrylic works best)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Younger students will require adult assistance!

What You Do:

  1. With the hammer, pound two small holes in open top side of can, 1″ apart. This is where you will lace 2 inches of wire through for hanging when it is finished.
  2. Place can on sidewalk (or other hard surface) with the two small holes directly in the middle, flat against the sidewalk (or other hard surface).
  3. Slam the hammer down on the top middle of the can to flatten it. When the bottom round part comes forward, adult assistance will be required. An adult can gently press the round part flat against the smashed part of the can with his/her shoe. The round part will be the front of the sculpture (see photograph above).
  4. Paint the can in a bright colored paint.
  5. Let your creativity run wild after the paint dries as you fill the can with wonderful found objects.