Kingfisher Project, Kelvinbridge, Glasgow, 2006





Introduction: Kingfisher Project, Kelvinbridge, Glasgow, 2006

kingfisher project, Kelvinbridge, Glasgow, 2006


or, how to make a kingfisher from discarded IRN BRU cans

Step 2: Foraging

Habituation to this task may engender a heightened awareness and sensitivity to one's surroundings. The eye becomes highly tuned to a specific configuration of colour and texture, constantly scanning the fabric of the urban environment; one might imagine this arrangement to resemble the singular and intimate relationship of predator to prey.

Step 3: Method of Collection

Method of collection and transportation of empty cans.

Research suggests a normal collection rate of approximately one can every five minutes in areas of high commercial and recreational activity.

Step 4: Tools

a. Tin cutters
b. Scalpel (with spare blades)
c. Embroidery Scissors
d. Flat-nosed pliers
e. Measuring tape

Good quality second-hand tools can often be found at markets and large independent hardware shops.
Curve-nosed tin cutters and a pair of dividers may also be of use.

Step 5: Torso (template)

slits can be made with the scalpel; it is best to cut them only as and when you are ready to insert a tab.

Order of construction: torso (major seams), chest and shoulders, head, lower body, wings, tail, feet.

Key: cut out: _
fold: --------------
crimp: =======>
pierce: *
blue: /////////////

Step 6: Can

use scalpel to remove top, then cutters, down through surplus area and around base. Trim edges.

Step 7: Joining Major Seams

a. begin with the double row of slits; insert tabs in outer row of slits, from beneath.
b. bend tabs round and down. Insert all tabs; some of them can be bent back underneath to help hold the rest in place while you work.
c. edge seam tightly together.
d. fold back all tabs underneath and clamp tight.

- use metal handle of tin cutters to press seam flat against hard worksurface.

Step 8: Crimp

- you can change the depth and breadth of the curve by adjusting the length and width of the crimp.
- longer, narrower crimps can be acheived by extending the creases with your fingernail.
- less accessable crimps can be flattened by reaching into the hollow body with the handle of the tin cutters and pressing out against a hard worksurface.

Step 9: Head

Step 10: Wings and Tail

a. crimp outer edge tightly to give form to the wing. Wing-tip can be feathered.
b. & c. tail sections should bend to fit the curvature of the lower back and abdomen.

Step 11: Feet

wires can be used to attach the bird to a riverside branch or alternative perch.

-tabs can be folded back with the help of a scalpel blade inserted into the slit.

Step 12: PDF

Downloadable .pdf version - please print some out and distribute them at the local bookshop, squat cafe, pub, library, social centre or infoshop...

Please Note: e-mail, i.e. double s!!!



    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Spotless Contest

      Spotless Contest
    • Microcontroller Contest

      Microcontroller Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Thanks Abell22, I'm touched and slightly perplexed - are you aware that this particular kingfisher is made out of aluminium cans?

    check out for more of my work

    Braw, not only is "skeggy brew" the ginger nectar of the gods but with your ingenuity becomes the drinker of the nectar of the flowers of the gods. Would it be possible to attach little wings so that the wind whirs them like a real kingfisher or even a hummingbird? There is no lack of a breeze in Scotland and the audible pitch could possibly be tuned to sound like wings too. Excellent instructable and barry drawings. slanj

    This is amazing and beautiful! Do you have any plans for making any other kinds of birds? Thanks for sharing!

    green woodpecker, perhaps? someday.

    great project is there any more drink can items on this site, they are a good material to work with on a lot of projects.

    yep, there's a beer-can camping stove which looks fantastc.

    excellent looking project, dude the images are fantastic! definetely the best instructable maker here

    my momma told me to never ever double never to stick my finger in soda cans.

    not one cut in six months of collecting and experimenting and i don't think icaught aids or syphillis either. but yep, caution is advised