We needed cute decorations for a Cub Scout/ Boy Scout Banquet. The theme was "We Are all Different, but the Same," so we wanted something to represent the diversity of scouting. After bending a soda can one day, I decided it resembled a face with a large mouth. I decided that these cans would make a great assortment of "Singing People". Each unique Can Person has different hair, skin tones, clothes etc. Some are in uniforms, others are dressed as family members, but you could dress them as sports players, scientists, clowns, or whatever you'd like.
Step 1: Getting Started Tools and Supplies
You may need help from family and friends to collect enough cans.
Supplies you'll need are:
- Drink cans
- Fabric scraps
- Needle & thread
- Glossy acrylic paints for "bodies," assorted colors (Depending on how your dressing your people)
- Flat Paints for flesh tones - beige, browns, pinks etc...
- Tacky glue
- Glue gun (remember don't let the kids use without supervision)
- Yarns, cotton balls etc... (Anything that would make hair. Use your imagination. Almost anything will do.)
- Googly eyes assorted sizes
- Permanent Markers for outlining
- Old lip-sticks for cheek color (blush)
Step 2: Remove Tabs and Bend Cans
You'll need to remove the pull tabs to make the face a tiny bit more realistic. Then, you must wash the cans, and let them drain upside down for a day or so to dry out.
To get the shape of the body, bend the cans slightly underneath the can opening.
Your can person will look as though they are bending at the waist with their mouths wide open.
Step 3: Painting
Hint: I painted the main clothes then let my helpers do the detailing.
Paint clothes on each can according to your theme. Theme ideas could be boy scouts, girls scouts, sports, choirs-singers, and other endless ideas.
Paint the top of the cans a flesh tone.
If you would like to add hands, be sure to paint them in. We'll add fingers with a marker later on.
Step 4: Add Details
Use your marker to draw in details like: hair, ties, hands, scarves, sleeves, pant lines etc....
You can also add on some props if you would like. I added some flags to my little scouts. Just poke a hole into the can, and add some tacky glue to hold the flag in place. Doll or Action Figure accessories would make good props for your can people.
You can use a hot glue gun on these cans, but you have to be careful. The metal will pick up the heat really quick, and the cans could get too hot to touch. Tacky glue works really well.
Step 5: Sewing a Cape, Robe, or Skirt
- Gather Stitch
Tie the gather off at the end, and then glue it onto your can like another accessory.
Step 6: Adding Hair
- If you'd like a bald can, then don't add any hair.
Step 7: Facial Expressions
Use a fine tip permanent marker to add facial expressions, eye brows, eye lashes, mouth edges, moles, etc...
If you feel you've messed up just repaint and start again.
For ideas of expressions look at comic strips, or coloring books. Look anywhere simple people drawings can be found. You might even try watching a cartoon with your kid.
Try looking at http://www.billybear4kids.com/Learn2Draw/face/cartoon.shtml for ideas.
Step 8: The Eyes Have It!
The easiest way to put the eyes on is to dab (with a cotton swab) a little glue on the can where you want the eye to go, and then put the eye on the glue.
Tacky glue works better than the hot glue gun for the eyes. The hot glue will leave tell-tale bumps or strings, so stick to tacky glue.
- Hint: Tacky glue is thicker than regular white glue. It gets "tacky" when air hits it so it won't run when you are trying to glue small things. Regular white glue will work, but be careful or it will run all over theses cute little faces.
Step 9: Keeping Helpers Busy
Keeping helpers is easy if you have all the supplies ready. Put googly eyes in dishes so they don't roll away. Put glue in a dish of some sort so you don't glue everything to your table. Have extra cotton swabs on hand to dab glue. Have Fun!
There's plenty to do to make these cans ready for the celebration. Simple details are what make them so much fun.
Step 10: Ready to Celebrate
All the cans no have eyes and hair, and they're all clothed, so they are ready to celebrate.
Step 11: At the Celebration
Now you are ready to decorate with your diverse group of Can People .
Step 12: All Done
The party's over and it's time to rest.
Hope you enjoy making your celebration fun and memorable!
Remember that you don't need a celebration to make your can people. A rainy Saturday is enough reason to have fun with Can People.