Totem Poles


These were in a recent Family Fun. I thought it would be a way cool yard decoration. I had everything at home to make these so I didn’t have to spend any $. It just took some time to collect big cans and scrape the labels off.
what you need :
-cans, large #10 work best plus a few small soup cans
The yellow square on top is a plastic corn startch container. I also used a big planters nut container that felt kind of paper like but was covered with foil. It has held up so far just fine.
-Acrylic craft paint
-Paint Brushes
-Clear sealer spray paint
-3/4 in PVC pipe, or wood dowel or stick
-spray paint, I used brown, gold and green, dark basic colors. I got lots of free spray paint at the reuse shed at our county landfill. I saw the reuse shed full of paint on a school field trip.

I spray painted the cans on top of newspaper on the grass. I let them dry overnight and painted the faces the next day.
To paint the faces I googled “totem pole” images and picked some faces or designs to copy. I drew out the designs on cans with a marker and then filled in the outline with paint. I lined our picnic table with newspaper and laid out all of our paint. I even used some yellow t-shirt puff paint that worked good to make dots. I squirted paint on paper plates. You could use wax paper too. We had lots of brushes in different sizes. The more paint and the more colors you use, the more interesting your totem pole will turn out. My brother and sister each painted a can of their own to add to our pole. My sisters painted the green one in the middle. She painted different faces all around the can, not just one. It looks neat from all directions.
After they dried we sprayed them with clear sealer so they will last a long time outside in our yard. My dad drilled small holes in the bottom of the cans and then used tin snips to cut out 3/4 in holes. We threaded them onto the PVC pole. You need to keep the plastic lids on the cans and cut 3/4 in holes in those too. Everything will hold to the pole tighter if you thread through the can and the lid on each item . It looks nice to mix different sizes. Small, then a big then maybe a medium. Family Fun used a cut up laundry soap jug to make wings that go on top of one of the cans. I did not have the right container but might add wings later. My mom tied raffia bows in between cans to add something different.

Here is the original instructions from Family Fun
I think I made my totem pole simpler than the Family Fun instructions.





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