There’s no place like a homegrown vegie garden, so protect it from unwelcome feathered visitors with this super scare-bot. It’s the perfect project to make with your kids and – by giving used cans and utensils new life – it also provides a great lesson in upcycling. Check with your local cafe if you don’t have enough cans at home, as they’re bound to have plenty (and you’ll be helping them reduce their waste, too). To create a unique personality for your patch, use any combination of cans and utensils you like, and let your imagination run wild!
Gather your supplies
• 850g cans (9, for legs and neck)
• 425g cans (3, for shoulders and neck)
• 20L oil can (for body)
• Tin bucket or 4L paint can (for head)
• Ag pipe (for arms)
• Metal eggslices (2, for feet)
• Metal tongs or beaters (2, for hands)
• 95g cans (2, for ears)
• Metal drawer handle (for mouth)
• Metal drawer knob (for nose)
• Jar lids and plastic bottle tops (for eyes and buttons)
• Pot plant (for hair, we used Casuarina ‘Cousin It’)
You'll also need
Degreaser; soft galvanised wire; pliers; 15mm galvanised button-head screws; 50mm galvanised button-head screws; electric drill; 5mm drill bit; Phillips-head screwdriver bit; sandpaper; metal stake; safety glasses; cable ties (optional)
Wash and dry cans. Remove labels and lightly sand any cans with painted designs. Use degreaser to remove any oily residue.
Mark centre of base on each can, except 20L oil can. Use 5mm drill bit to drill a hole at each mark.
Attach a 1.5m length of galvanised wire to a 15mm button-head screw by twisting end around screw shaft. Repeat to make 3 more.
Stand oil can with pouring hole facing up. Top with two 850g cans, 1 on each side of handle. Using drill, screw 1 button-head screw with wire attached through each can.
To form 1 leg, thread wire through 3 more 850g cans, finishing with flat base of last can facing out. Screw a button-head screw slightly into can base. Pull wire tight, wrap it around screw, then tighten screw. Cut off excess wire. Repeat for other leg.
To make feet, attach a metal eggslice to base of each leg using button-head screws.
To make shoulders, screw 425g cans to sides of oil can at other end from legs, using button-head screws with wire attached.
To form 1 arm, thread a length of ag pipe onto shoulder wire and push into shoulder can. Finish with metal tongs or beaters for the hand – insert into pipe, wind wire around utensil, then thread through pipe to hold securely together. Cut off excess wire. Repeat for other side.
You can alternatively use cable ties to hold the shoulder, arm and hand together, if you like.
Screw 850g can to body to form neck. You may need to use a few screws to secure. Screw 425g can to base of tin bucket. This will sit inside the 850g can, so the head will be easy to remove for maintenance.
Attach ears, eyes, nose and mouth to head, using screws to secure all parts. For ears, screw a 95g can on each side. For eyes, use 2 jar lids, each topped with a plastic bottle top. Use drawer handle for mouth and drawer knob for nose. Screw on plastic bottle tops along oil can for buttons.
To position scare-bot in garden, drive metal stake into ground. Attach stake to back of oil can using at least four 50mm button-head screws.
Slip head into position and add pot plant for hair. Leave plant in plastic pot so you can change it periodically, to give your scare-bot a new look each season.
Isn't he great?