We have recycled and upcycled so many tin cans. From handbag planters to antique washboards, tin cans can be transformed into so many different things. So, when my friends at the IBC decided to make this month’s challenge “I can upcycle”, I was all blasé about the challenge. Coz you know, I’ve been there, done that, and can probably print a few T-shirts attesting to the same. Well, I was wrong. Coz I ran out of tin can upcycle ideas somewhere along the line. Seriously, who does that? And then I ate some pilchards….. out of a tin can. Weird I know, but inspiration can strike at any time 😀 And that tin can became a pull toy llama on upcycled tin can wheels.
Isn’t she cute? Now you’re probably wondering where on earth I’ve put the tin can.
It’s there I promise.
Well pieces of it are 😉
What you need
For the llama
- Thick piece of wood
- 2 Teddy bear eyes
- Free llama cut out template
- Scrap fabric for the blanket
- Scrap fur fabric for the llama
- Wool for the pompom tail
- Wood screws, jigsaw and drill
For the pull toy platform with tin can wheels
- Two empty small tin cans
- Skewers and toothpicks
- Eye hooks or fence post nails
- Craft foam
- Texture paste, glue, and craft paint
- Vaseline Petroleum Jelly (optional)
How to make a pull toy llama on wheels using tin cans
We’ll start with the making the little llama and then give her some rolling tin can wheels.
How to make the llama
Using the template cut the llama out of a piece of wood. If the thought of using a jigsaw scares you, then you definitely want to read this tutorial first. While you have your jigsaw handy cut a platform from the wood that measures 18 cm x 11 cm (7” x 4.3”).
Position the llama on top of the platform a pre-drill two pilot holes for the screws that will attach the finished llama to the rolling platform.
Sand the llama and the platform and paint both in a base color. I chose a grey primer since I wanted to make a little black llama with a grey nose. If you’re like me and cut outside the lines, use the wooden llama as a pattern to cut some furry fabric. If you’re an expert jigsaw user you can use the llama template 😉
I used some leftover bits from when I made my anti-doo-doo elfish slippers. You’ll need two side pieces and a long strip that’s as wide as your wood is thick. Glue the fabric to the llama with contact adhesive. Keep the nose exposed.
Leave a small gap at the top of the llama’s head for the ears.
Adding llama ears, eyes and a blanket
To make the llama ears cut two banana shapes from black felt and glue them on top of the head. I couldn’t find any felt, so I used one of my hubby’s socks that had lost its partner some time ago 😀 Glue a teddy bear eye on either side of the llama’s head. If your teddy bear eyes have little screws on the back, you can just cut them off with side cutters.
Make an extra fluffy pom pom tail and glue on.
To make the llama’s blanket, cut a scrap piece of fabric 19 cm x 5.5 cm (7.5” x 2”) and drape it over the llama’s back. I used ripped strips of fabric and added self-adhesive interfacing to the back to join them all together.
Don’t you just love all those different colors? I used another longer piece of scrap fabric to make some reins for the little rolling llama too.
You can use the same template to make a dinosaur if llamas aren’t your thing. He kinda looks like Littlefoot from “The Land Before Time”.
Painting the platform
Since my llama is black with a multi-colored blanket, I chose to play around with the colors in the blanket when painting the platform. I just wanted them to peak through the black paint. Fortunately, I have lots of cans of spray paint that and haphazardly sprayed the edge of the platform in pinks and blues.
Smear some Vaseline along the edges before painting the platform black.
Once the paint dries, wipe the Vaseline away to expose the gorgeous layers of paint underneath.
Making the tin can wheels
Cut the bottom and top of the clean empty tin can off using a can opener. Mark the center point and drill a hole that’s a little bigger than your skewers. Tin cans make great wheels, but I wanted mine to be thicker and almost look like they were carved from stone. It’s entirely up to you whether you want to do the same. To thicken the tin can wheels up, I cut three circles from craft foam and glued them one on top of the other.
The cut circles were then glued onto the tin can lid.
To give them a stony texture I mixed some fine beach sand with craft glue and applied it all over the wheel. Mix up a dollop of grey, blue and white craft paint and paint the wheels.
Lightly dab on a teeny bit of white.
Now to make the axle.
Making the wheel axles
To make the wheel axles I used thick skewers or dowels and toothpicks. Cut the skewers so they’re about 2.5 cm (1”) longer than the width of your platform. In my case, that’s 13,5 cm. Drill a small hole on either end of the cut skewers as shown below.
Check if a toothpick fits inside the hole.
The toothpick will prevent the wheels from falling off the axles. Trim the toothpicks and paint the skewers and toothpicks in a color of your choice.
Attaching the wheels and axle to the platform
To add the tin can wheels and axles to the platform I used fence post nails. Flip the platform over and position the axles and then hammer the nails in to secure.
To finish off, glue or screw the little llama onto the platform.
And the pull toy llama on wheels is all done.
If you like the idea of making a pull toy llama on wheels, and upcycling a tin can at the same time, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Don’t forget to go see all the amazing ways my friends from the IBC have upcycled their tin cans.
- Ever considered using tin cans to make art? Sara from Birdz of a Feather will show you how.
- A beautiful way to add color and sound to your garden from Interior Frugalista.
- Pull toy llama with tin can wheels, by yours truly 😉
- Gorgeous wall decor From Anita. Gosh, I never knew tin cans could look so good.
- Mossilicious tun can planters made by Meegan. I am definitely making a few of these for our succulent collection.
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉
Or if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then these pull toys will appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.