Wizard of Oz Crafts: Build Your Own Tinman

by Meghan

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I have been reading the Wizard of Oz to Big M at bedtime for the last few weeks.  We read a chapter every night, and she has become totally in love with the story and characters.  She plays with her Kelly doll characters during quiet time, and every day asks to make a Wizard of Oz-related craft.  Last week, we built our own Emerald City.  Today, she wanted to make a Tinman!

Build Your Own Tinman

Build Your Own Tinman

So again, at breakfast, Big M asked if we could do a project (her word for arts, crafts and general fun activities!). “How about… we build a Tinman?” she asked, with a huge smile from ear to ear.

“That’s a great idea – let me see what I can find in the craft closet.”  And off I went to round up supplies.  I often save what would otherwise be trash to use as future crafting treasure, so in the closet, I had an empty Kleenex box, a couple pool noodles from the Dollar Store, and various adornments.  Instead of paint, what better covering for a Tinman than tin foil!



12″ piece of pool noodle
Empty Kleenex box
Silver pipecleaners
Glue stick
Glue dots
Assorted pom poms, googly eyes, sequins
1 Heart

Cost: Less than $5
Prep Time: Less than 5 minutesClean-Up Time: Less than 5 minutes

This activity was relatively easy, and had limited mess.  The girls had fun exploring all the different textures of materials too – from the smooth, shiny foil, to the rougher pipe cleaners and pom poms.

We started by wrapping our piece of pool noodle and Kleenex box in foil.  Big M used the glue stick to secure it in place.  To keep Lil’ M entertained while Big M built her Tinman, I gave her the rest of the noodle, a sheet of foil and some pipe cleaners to play with independently, keeping a close eye on her to make sure she didn’t try to eat any of it!

We inserted the wrapped pool noodle into the hole of the Kleenex box to make the Tinman’s body and head.  I cut one pipe cleaner in half, and Big M stuck those into the sides of his body for arms.  I made loops at the end of two full length pipe cleaners, and she stuck those into the bottom of the body for his legs and feet.

I gave her a handful of red pom poms and two googly eyes, and she gave him a face.  “Hmmm…” she said, tapping her finger to her chin, “There’s something missing.”

“He needs a HEART!” she proclaimed.  In last night’s chapter, the friends (all save Dorothy) finally received their promised gifts from the Wizard.  I was so thrilled she remembered!

Fortunately, I still had heart sequins leftover from Valentine’s Day.  I also grabbed a bag of silver sequins to give her some more decoration options for her Tinman.  She used them to give him ears.

Tinman gets his heart

Big M is taking on an increasing role for Playground Parkbench these days… not only does she serve as the featured crafter and creative inspiration for our activities, she now has taken on the role of photo shoot stylist and director as well.  “Mama, take my picture with my Tinman on the step!”


“Yes, ma’am!”

You could also easily use this method to build your own robot, as well.  If you enjoyed this Wizard of Oz craft, be sure to check out our Build Your Own Emerald City post.

Have you shared the Wizard of Oz with your kids yet?  Who is their favorite character?  What are some of your favorite Wizard of Oz themed activities?

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