Picture of A Homemade Whistle in less than a Minute
In this Instructable I will show you how to make a quick whistle from a tin can.

When I was a kid we used to make these whistles out of jam tin lids. 

Apart from being a fun toy for kids, I think these whistles would be great working with dogs, directing cranes, or even to attract attention in an emergency. They are pretty loud and you don't have stick your fingers in your mouth - this can be a pain if you happen to be wearing gloves or your hands are dirty.
I have heard that similar whistles are popular with shepherds in New Zealand who use them for directing their dogs.

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Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
1 lid from a tin can
duct tape

A drill with a bit about 3mm
hammer and centre punch
A small piece of ply or something to bend the tin around. About 4mm thick.
A knife for cutting the duct tape.

Step 2: Make the tin safe

Picture of Make the tin safe
Cut some duct tape into a strip about 10mm wide. Use this strip to cover the sharp edge of you tin lid.

Step 3: Make your Whistle

Picture of Make your Whistle
Simply bend the tin lid in half around something (a piece plywood is perfect) that will maintain a gap of about 4mm between the two halves. Keep the ply in place and drill a 3-4mm hole right through the whistle. The hole should be about 5mm from the folded edge, about half way along.

Clean up any sharp bits from around the hole, and that's it.

Just look at the video to see how easy it is.

victor58 months ago


kdomingo210 months ago

If I don't have a drill, what do I use? Just the nail? Please reply..

cammers (author)  kdomingo210 months ago
You could try a nail. It depends on the thickness of the material. Good luck.
Cool! Great instructions! It didn't take long, and was very satisfying in the end! Thanks!
Dreistein3 years ago
if i made the hole smaller would this work as a dog whistle?
cammers (author)  Dreistein3 years ago
I haven't tried it. Give it a go and let me know how it is.
he means would it work as a silent dog whistle
It works as a dog whistle "as is" - this is what shepherds use to signal their dogs on the far side of a field.
cammers (author)  Kiteman3 years ago
Nice 'tache Mr. Kiteman.
Kiteman cammers3 years ago
Thank you - it's to go with my latest project.
xinistrom3 years ago
hey i made one but it doesnt sound? tell me your secret? ;)
cammers (author)  xinistrom3 years ago
It does take a bit of trial and error to figure out how to make it whistle, but once you get the technique it's easy.
I tried to explain how in the last part of the ible. But it's not easy to communicate in words.
Good luck.
sdavidson33 years ago
thanks this works great
mrdovie3 years ago
The whistle seems to get warmer or colder as you play it. Convection cooling and heating? Neat!
Pattie0763 years ago
I use to make these out of flattened pop bottle caps.
cammers (author)  Pattie0763 years ago
Good idea.
robives3 years ago
There's a free downloadable paper whistle on my site here which you might also enjoy.
cammers (author)  robives3 years ago
Thanks robives. That looks really neat.
rimar20003 years ago

I will make some of these for my granddaughters!

cammers (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Thanks Rimar. And thanks for the patch too.