DIY Tin-Can Stilts

DIY Tin-Can Stilts

Randi from Swoon is with us today to share a wonderfully nostalgic DIY on how to make stilts for the children in our lives…

If your children are anything like mine, they have days when they grow weary of their usual toys and games and boredom creeps in. With summer just around the corner, I’ve been looking for simple and engaging activities for my children that can be completed fairly quickly, but enjoyed for days to come. These “stilts” are super fun and have the added bonus of encouraging the children to go outside and move. They can be made fairly quickly with materials you may already have on hand. Hopefully you will enjoy racing and running through the yard with these as much as we have!

DIY Tin-Can Stilts

To make one pair of stilts, gather: 2 28-oz tin cans, hammer, medium or large nail, string or twine, tape, scissors, hole punch, paper, and markers or crayons.

1. Remove label from cans. Wash in warm soapy water, rinse, and dry.

DIY Tin-Can Stilts

2. Cut two pieces of paper that are 13.5″ wide x 4.25″ tall. Decorate with crayons or markers!

3. Punch two holes in each strip of paper, about 3.75″ in from each end and about 0.5″ from the top.

4. Turn cans over (bottom side up), wrap paper strips around each one (hole-punched side on top), and secure with tape.

DIY Tin-Can Stilts

5. Using a hammer and nail, punch holes in each can where the holes in the paper are. Do this by tapping the nail in with the hammer and then carefully pulling it out. You should end up with two holes opposite of one another on each can. The nail pictured above didn’t give me a big enough hole, so I switched to a slightly larger nail (not pictured).

6. Grab one end of a roll of twine or string and push it through one of the holes in your can. Pull the string through the inside of the can and push it out through the other hole. Keep pulling string through until the strings on either side of the can reach thigh-height on the operator of the stilts. Tie a knot at the top of the strings, creating a loop.

The operator of the stilts will make them work by standing on the cans and pulling up tightly on the string loops as they walk. With a little practice, your children will be running around with these in no time!

DIY Tin-Can Stilts


Randi Edwards is a regular contributor to Playful Learning, who specializes in crafts for kids. She also manages our wonderful contributors and helps to make this a beautiful place with a little design magic. She puts her passion for daydreaming to work over at her blog, Swoon where she shares ideas, original projects, and favorite things. She loves to laugh and considers herself a lifelong student. She lives in Seattle with her husband and three young children, and strives to make her home a beautiful, playful, and accessible place to grow up.

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