Monday, June 6, 2011

Food Can Stilts (A tutorial from me - Surprise!)

In case you missed this last week, here is a guest post I did at Brassy Apple for a fun and easy summertime activity!

Today, I am showing how to make some

EASY, INEXPENSIVE and QUICK food can stilts.


After I get home from work, the kids and I play for hours. They are so much fun! These stilts (or rompers, as they were called when I was younger) are one of their favorite activities. It builds great coordination and forces the kids to work on their balance.

-Two emptied cans of food (28oz or larger)
-Two pieces of rope or heavy duty string, each at least 1 yard long
-A sharp object that can puncture metal, i.e. screwdriver, knife
-Spray paint (optional)

1. Empty two large cans of foods. These are 29oz. fruits. If you use smaller cans, they will be less sturdy. Wash out the cans!

2. Peel the labels from the cans and gather your spray paint. I got this Krylon outdoor spray paint at the dollar store! SCORE!!! (Those are my cute kiddos!!!)

3. If you are brave, let your kids spray paint the outside of the cans. Allow the paint dry. (My kids like to help with everything I do. That's why I don't get much done!!!)

4. Using a sharp object, punch two holes through the can on opposites sides. I used some type of knife. The holes need to be near the top of the can where a lid still exists. I do NOT recommend letting your kids do this part!

5. The holes need to be large enough to fit your handle through. When I inserted the knife, I wiggles it back a forth a bit to make the hole wide enough.

6. Cut your handle material. I used something called mule rope (or at least that is what my husband told me it is called.) It is like a strong flat rope. I suggest a rope or heavy duty string. I would also suggest at least a yard or more of material. It depends on the height of the person for whom you are making it. The handle should come about half way between the knee and hips or whatever is comfortable. Insert your handle material through the holes from the outside to the inside.

7. When the handle material is inside the can, tie the ends in double knots. You can burn the ends of the rope if you want. You are finished!

Here is one pair of spray painted and one unspray painted cans. If you don't paint your cans, there is a chance the cans can rust. I have tied knots in the handles of one pair to make them easier for my younger/shorter son to use. That is an easy way to adapt the handles for smaller kids.

Walk. Walk. Walk. I did want to mention that the food cans can/will bend if they are stepped on sideways. I just bend them back into place the best I can and let the kids continue clanking around.

These were a hit at my kids' birthday party last year! (Kids under the age of 3 may have a hard time balancing on these. Use your judgement as to when kids are old enough to play with these.) The neighbors love to play with these toys.


  1. I remember making stilts with the cans when I was younger. My friends and I would all be out on the street clanking about for hours.

  2. love it,must make some of those soon! and how adorable are your little ones!

  3. We had these all the time when I was little. For very little ones that still want to play along, we used tuna fish cans.....very sturdy.

  4. Those are too fun! I have a ton of formula cans that I saved that would be perfect for this!

  5. Those were favourite toys when I was a kid. My boys have some made of 4x4 blocks with a hole drilled through. Tons of fun!

  6. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [07 Jun 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  7. ohmygosh, ROMPER STOMPERS!!!! I love it!
    We will have to do this over the summer!
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


Thanks for leaving a comment. I always like to know what you think of the projects I highlight!

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