Make a Tin Can Man in Your Garden

There is no more fun than using something you've retrieved, found, saved or salvaged in a garden.

 It is especially fun if you make a tin can man from these items...


Its an old custom to reuse items wherever you can. Some call it Art, others call it Necessity.

Artists do this naturally. To them, any item is potentially art. Garden Art. Landscape Art.

And the can is so plentiful..and it rusts to a nice patina outdoors in the garden. 

Did you know that  British merchant Peter Durand invented and patented the tin can in 1810 and three years later the UK’s first commercial canning factory was opened - but the can opener was not invented until 50 years later?!  how did they open all those cans?


A tin Can Man can have such personality too....look at this one above : looks like Woody Allen in Sleeper:

 Richard E, made this sweet metal man below in Albany, NY....Richard explains, “I have been a Wizard of Oz fan since childhood, never missing the yearly showing on TV. The Tin Man is my favorite character.” Richard’s love for the movie inspired him to build a life-size Tin Man with “a moving heart that is activated by opening the door on his chest.”

of course - that is somewhat elaborate. You may want to try somethign a little less daunting...

and how do you connect these cans you ask? make a hole with scissors and use some wire and other items:

You can also add some gardener touches and grow hair out of his head:

My fave is the mix of cans and plastic:

This one is from the book by DK Kindersley  'Ready Set Grow!' - great instructions for making a tin can man....



  1. Now that is something I can do for my garden and I hope it will chase the birds off my fruit trees! Great blog!

    1. Thank you Island gal! could be a new venture - tin can men scarecrows.

  2. Landscaping Glastonbury CTNovember 19, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    I LOVE the tin mans! This is something I can do with the kids!

    Great one!

    Landscaping Glastonbury CT

    1. Thanks! I hope you make a great one - and I kinda like it when they keep the labels on...and plant up their heads with flowers.....

  3. Love the tin can people. My favourite is the one with the flowers in the tin on his head.

    1. yes! flowers soften the look...and are fun to grow.

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  5. I loved your blog ! and the idea of the tin can man is just divine ! I'm so happy I accidentally came across this wonderful blog. I'm definitely following you.
    If you'd like to check out my blog you'd be more than welcomed to do so.

  6. I love your tin man, especially the one with the cans and plastic, it is such a neat idea.
    thanks for sharing

  7. Simply wanna say that this is very useful , Thanks for taking your time to write this.
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  8. Love the tin man an would love to make the life size one. Is there any way to get the list of things that were used to make it. thank you for great pictures.

  9. Hi Rusty! The book I mention at the end is the best source of materials and 'how tos' DK.


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