Want to teach how to save a penny AND the environment? Make a piggy bank out of rescued materials! In this Instructable, learn how to turn aluminum cans and a plastic jar into the substrate of your fiscal responsibility.


1. Lots of cans (15-18)
2. 14-16g wire
3. Plastic jar (e.g. peanuts, pnut butter, mayo)

Step 2: TOOLS

1. needle nose pliers
2. one finish nail
3. aviation snips
4. utility knife


Sculpt the skeleton using wire and the plastic jar. Regarding size, my only guide was the snout. Not my snout, but the pig's. I wanted an intact can to form the neck and head--or snout.

Cut away the top portion of a plastic jar and its lid. Start the initial wires through holes in the jar. These holes are punctured with a finish nail. In your strategy of forming the early wires, include a ring around the jar close to the lid. This will later help to seal the bank, keeping coins in.
Needle nose pliers bend, twist, and cut the wire

I started with a general torso, to which I added legs that also help to form the hind and to join with the snout. Finally, spirals give the extremities dimension. Extra credit for getting all four hoofs touching the floor simultaneously.


First harvest the aluminum. There are other Instructables that describe this step eloquently. Check them out to learn how to open the can with aviation snips to yield a flat rectangle of aluminum.
Use these rectangle sheets to cover the wire skeleton. Plan for tabs that bend around wires or that fit into slots on underlying sheets.
Shaping these segments is a bending of the brain that should be embraced rather than disliked. To prevent frustration, make templates out of newspaper. With intuition, trial, error, and modification, you'll find the right template to transfer to the aluminum sheet (with a marker--on the unprinted side). Cut the sheets with aviation snips.
I started from the jar/lid and worked up. The legs are basically cones.
Consider the weight of the coins as you position the tab-slot articulations. Cut the slots with a utility knife.
Don't forget the coin slot and the curly tail, a potential showstopper.



    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Paper Contest

      Paper Contest
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest

    2 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    The best recycled piggy bank, ever!!! Love it..u go girl.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great project! It would be a good idea to split that final step into 2 or 3 extra steps with a couple of photos for each, and a little more description. Let me know if/when you update it!