How to Make a Tin Man from Recycled Materials

by Tonya Staab
Published: Updated:

Don’t throw away empty boxes and ribbon spools, instead make this Tin Man with kids that is inspired by the Wizard of Oz.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. #LegendsOfOz

The Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return was released in theaters today. The twins and I are hoping to see it this weekend.

We got into the spirit of the movie though with a fun craft project inspired by it. Follow the instructions below to make your very own Tin Man out of recycled materials.

a boy holding a Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz that was made out of recycled materials

What you need

  • Whatever recycled materials you have on hand, we used the following
  • Gift wrap rolls (x2)
  • Cardboard box
  • Toilet paper rolls (x3)
  • Cardboard ribbon rolls (x4 – 2 sizes)
  • Round plastic container
  • Scrap foam
  • Bottle cap
  • Funnel – a spare one from the kitchen
  • Metallic silver spray paint
  • Red, black and white acryclic paint and brushes
  • Glue (strong – E6000 or hot glue)


instructions to make a tin man from the wizard of oz out of cardboard boxes and other materials

Make the head as that will be used as the base for all other pieces you need to cut out. Attach the funnel to the top of the container, and then cut out a piece of foam for the base of the Tin Man’s head, attaching that with glue too.

Step 2

Make the body. You will make this in a similar fashion to homemade pinatas. Cut out the front and back piece, a long strip and assemble them using tape. Cut holes large enough to fit toilet paper rolls in the top and bottom of the body. Insert toilet paper rolls into each end allowing some to stick out of either end. Attach the head, using glue to the top toilet paper roll.

Cut out a small square of cardboard and attach it to the front of the body.

Step 3

Make the arms and legs. These are made using a combination of toilet paper rolls, gift wrap rolls and ribbon rolls.

For the arms, cut a gift wrap roll to desired length and attach using hot glue, and then attach a ribbon roll over the top.

For the legs, cut a hole in the center of the third toilet paper roll and attach it to the base of the body. Cut slits in either side, flatten one end of a gift wrap roll (cut to size) and insert it into the slit. Use hot glue to hold it together. Attach the smaller ribbon rolls to the top of the legs.

Attach the bottle cap nose using glue.

Step 4

Spray your Tin Man with metallic silver paint, giving it two coats, allowing each to dry completely.  Once dry, use the acrylic paints to add detail to your Tin Man – eyes, and other details to the body.

a boy holding a tin man that he made out of recycled materials

About Legends of Oz

Legends of Oz movie poster

Dorothy’s only just returned home from her first incredible journey to Oz, but she’s already being called back for another adventure! After waking to post-tornado Kansas, Dorothy (Lea Michele) and Toto are whisked to Oz on a magical rainbow mover sent by their old friends the Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), the Lion (Jim Belushi) and the Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer). Time in Oz has passed much faster than back in Kansas, and Dorothy discovers that the Jester (Martin Short) – the devious brother of the Wicked Witch of the West – is taking Oz over one region at a time, holding their leaders captive and casting a pall of darkness over the beloved land. Even Glinda (Bernadette Peters) is unable to combat the Jester’s evil powers, making Dorothy their only hope.

When she arrives in Oz, Dorothy’s plan is to travel to the Emerald City to reunite with her old friends and join forces with them to stop the Jester. However, the yellow brick road isn’t quite as easy to follow this time around, especially with the Jester planting tricky detours to lead her astray, so she enlists the help of Wiser the owl (Oliver Platt), Marshal Mallow (Hugh Dancy), China Princess (Megan Hilty) and Tugg the tugboat (Patrick Stewart) to help find her way.

Dorothy is grateful for the support of her new friends, but when she realizes that having them by her side means putting them all in grave danger, she has to decide whether to continue to accept their assistance or forge the road alone. But with the future of Oz at stake, it’s going to take as much heart, brain and courage as they can collectively muster to defeat the Jester and return order and happiness to the Emerald City.

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