DIY

How to make tin owls for the garden

Round out your garden decor with a parliament of ecowise owls.
Better Homes and Gardens

With their big eyes and distinctive shape, these birds are perfect for crafting out of cast-off items – think old CDs, lids, flan tins, even old bike wheels or cutlery. So empty out your junk drawers, garden sheds and recycling bins, and unleash your creative spirit – it’ll be a hoot!

This easy-to-make version uses basic items you may have lying around the house – or perhaps in the recycling bin! You can vary the materials to suit what you have, but the basic requirements are something round for the body (in this case, a large tin lid), as well as double sets of lids to create matching eyes – metal or plastic lids work fine. You’ll also need something for the beak and eyebrows. Feet are optional, but you’ll find that three-pronged forks work perfectly.

Gather your supplies
• Cake or biscuit tin lid
• Large metal lid (2)
• Medium metal lid (2)
• Small plastic lid (2)
• Metal washer (2)
• Metal button (2)
• Dessert spoon (3)
• Slender tree branch for display (optional)

You’ll also need
Metal cutters; vice; pliers; hot glue gun and glue sticks; cordless drill; screws (optional)

Here’s how

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 1 Place cake or biscuit lid on work surface. Play around with positions of eyes and beak until you get them just right. Large metal lids, which will form the background of the eyes, should be placed on top half of body just overlapping the outside edge. Place a spoon in between eyes to create a beak.


Step 2 Using metal cutters, remove scoop section from 2 spoons. Place narrow end of each handle into a vice and twist with pliers to bend (these will form owl’s eyebrows).

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 3 Leave 1 set of eyes in place to act as a positional guide. Remove other set of eyes and using hot glue gun, attach large metal lid flat side down. Repeat for other eye.

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 4 Glue medium metal lid in place flat side up, then follow with small plastic lid with flat side down. Glue metal washer and metal button on top of each other inside each small plastic lid. Repeat for other eye.

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 5  Glue metal spoon between eyes so its scoop section forms owl’s beak. Glue bent spoon handles to top edge of eyes to form eyebrows. 

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 6  To create an owl perch, secure tree branch to a fence or shed wall using screws. 

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 7 Position owl so base rests on perch, then mark and drill a hole through tin lid (between spoon handles is best). Screw owl to fence.

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

HEY, BIG EYES!
This version creates an bigger owl by using an old bike wheel for the main body – the more spokes the better! He’ll look great on his own, or you can make a pair in different sizes to sit together on a wall. Either way, this owl will wake up any tired-looking space.


Gather your supplies
• Bike wheel (1)
• Vinyl LP record (2)
• Large plastic pot saucer (2)
• Metal flan tin (2)
• Old CD (2)
• Small jar lid (2)
• Small oval-shaped plastic basket (1)


You’ll also need
Cordless drill; tie wire; pliers; wall hooks or screws

Here’s how

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 1 Clean materials with warm soapy water. Dry well.

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 2  Put 1 vinyl LP record inside 1 pot saucer, followed by 1 flan tin, then 1 CD. Using centre of CD as a guide, drill a hole through all layers.

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 3 Put 1 jar lid on top and drill 2 holes through lid only, at least 1cm apart.

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 4 Holding metal bike wheel at back, thread tie wire through holes in jar lid and pull both strands through all layers.

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 5 Using pliers, secure tie wire firmly around spokes.

(Credit: Better Homes and Gardens)

Step 6 Repeat Steps 2-5 to make second eye. For beak, thread tie wire through plastic basket and secure to spokes. Using wall hooks or screws, hang owl onto vertical surface.

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