I had been rolling this idea around in my head for quite a while- Robot Action Figures made from pop/soda cans. When the Christmas contest was announced, I knew the time was right. I altered my plans slightly to make my action figure into a Christmas ornament instead. What's the difference between the two? Probably not much, other than fewer points of articulation and some sparkly glitter.
Some other notes about this project- I used tin snips on the cans, which tends to create small and very sharp aluminum splinters. Be proactive in your cutting to avoid creating these, and when you are trimming, be sure to track them and dispose of them. They are not the kind of thing you want laying around to step on or stab your hands with.
Also, I chose to eyeball everything, so I can't really provide measurements for you. There were a few reasons for choosing to do it this way. First, the drawings of Robot that I based my modeling on are very imprecise. Except for the head being pretty well cubed, it looks like he would have been designed by hand too. Thus, the head was the only part that I made a template for, and I still just did it by hand after my template was a little too big for the body I had created. Also, trial and error by hand is more fun, and allowed me to do things like shorten the legs, and giving the final result more of a sculpture kind of feel rather than something like a molding. The imprecision will also give your final product more of an organic feel. Want to build your own? On to step one!
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
Since the ornament will consist of a base made from pop cans, you will need a good number of these. I ended up using about fifty, but a large number of those was just trial and error for different techniques of building and connecting. You will also need some glue and/or tape to hold them together. I bought a package of the movable eyes from hobby lobby, and used them for several of the body decorations as well.
After the base is built, I used flex paste (also available at hobby lobby, mostly used by model railroad builders) as a kind of body putty, plus a paintbrush to apply the flex paste and some sandpaper for when it is dry. Tin snips are the tool you will mostly use for cutting, and I also used an Xacto knife for cutting slots in the aluminum for matching tabs to go into. I also suggest painting yours, however I have not done that with mine. Finally, you will need some glitter to make it all Christmas spectacular when you're done.