Making Tin Can Toys

by Edward Thatcher 1919

Camp and Kitchen Equipment

A Toy Tin Kitchen Plate 20

An excellent coffee pot may be made from a gallon can or from a smaller one. This tin must be of the rolled rim or locked seam type so that it will not melt apart or leak if it should accidently boil dry. Lugs are riveted to the side of the can. A series of small holes are punched in a triangular formation in such a manner that they will be immediately back of the spout when this is soldered in place. The spout is made of a separate piece of tin of a triangular shape. This piece of tin is formed into shape and is then riveted to the coffee pot over the strainer holes. After it is held in place by the rivets it is tightly soldered so that it will not leak. The rivets are to prevent the spout from melting off. A lid for the coffee pot may be made from the bottom of another can of the same size. Some cans are provided with a cover and these make excellent coffee pots.

Doll House Bathroom and Landry made from Tin Plate 21

Boiling or Cooking Pails

The boiling or cooking pails are made in the same manner as the pails described in Chapter IX, page 100. Care should be taken to use only rolled rim or locked seam pails for any utensil that is to go over a fire.

Frying Pan

The frying pan is made by cutting down a large round or square can of the rolled or locked seam type. The edges are turned and a suitable handle is riveted on as shown. Be sure to rivet all joints that are to be subjected to the heat from a fire.


A toaster or broiler may be made from folded strips of tin which are strongly riveted together as shown in Fig. 95. Be sure to put two rivets in each corner of the toaster.

The Canteen or Hot Water Bottle

The canteen or hot water bottle may be made of two cake or pie tins soldered together or from large round gallon cans cut to size and made up like a large tin can wheel. A water-tight screw cap may be fitted to the canteen by removing the screw top and cap from a maple syrup or automobile oil can and soldering the screw' over a suitable hole in the canteen. Most of these screw caps may be melted off the original can by simply heating them, the cap itself being re-moved during this operation.

Camp and Cooking Equipment Figure 95

A Camp Shower Bath

A camp shower bath may be made of a very large can, a shoe paste box, a short length of rubber hose and two small flat pieces of tin. A 5-gallon can that has contained automobile oil is easily found and a hot lye bath will remove all traces of the oil. The lye solution is placed in the can and raised to the boiling point. It is then poured out and the can is rinsed with hot water. The top of the can is removed and a strong handle fixed to the can. A small nipple of tin is soldered to the side of the can, near the bottom. This nipple is simply a flat piece of tin rolled into a cylindrical shape and of a suitable size so that a piece of rubber hose may be fitted tightly over it. A second nipple of the same size should be made for the spray nozzle. The spray nozzle is made from a shoe paste or salve box. A number of fine holes are punched in the box lid and the tin pipe or nipple is soldered in a hole made for it in the bottom of the box. A wire hook is provided at the rim of the pail to hold the spray nozzle in place when it is not desired to have the water run out of it. It will be found convenient to have a double pulley and rope rigged to hoist the pail to a convenient height after filling.

Kitchen Range made from Tin Figure 96

The Match Box

The match box is made of two cigarette boxes, one for good matches and the other for burned matches. These boxes are of ample size to hold the paper drawer of a large box of parlor matches. The hinged top is left on the box that is to hold the unburned matches. This box is soldered to two supporting brackets in such a manner that it is held away from the piece of tin forming the back for the two boxes and so that the lid of the upper box may be raised. The lower box is simply soldered to the back piece. Three folded strips of tin are soldered to the front of this second box to form a holder for a strip of sand paper to strike the matches on.