How to Make Yard Art Out of Corrugated Tin

Corrugated tin has been around for almost 200 years. The process of making the galvanized iron sheets was discovered during the 1820s. Immediately the new “tin” roofing swept the nation, then the world. It is still used for buildings that require a roof that is quick to install and takes little training for the job. The iconic image of corrugated tin makes it ideal for use when creating lawn ornaments. You can cut and assemble pieces of the tin with only a few tools and end up with a piece of art that will last for many years to come.

Things You’ll Need
Aluminum posts
Scrap block of wood, 2 inches by 8 inches by 24 inches
Tin snips
Variable-speed drill with bimetal bit
2-part epoxy
Plastic 1-inch putty knife
Bolts with washers, lock washers and nuts
Adjustable wrenches
Painter’s tape
Drop cloths
Spray cans of enamel primer
Spray cans of enamel paint
Work gloves
Safety glasses
Dust mask

Step 1
Stand an aluminum post in the grass on your lawn. Lay a scrap piece of wood on top of the post. Drive the post into the ground by hitting the scrap wood with your sledgehammer. Drive as many posts as needed for your design.

Step 2
Hold a piece of corrugated tin firmly with one hand. Cut the metal with your tin snips into a shape that will fit your design. Cut angles and round shapes by trimming away small slivers of the tin with your snips until the desired shape is achieved. Cut as many pieces of corrugated tin as you need for your design.

Step 3
Hold a piece of cut metal against your post. Maneuver the tin so that it sits at the angle dictated by your design. Hold it firmly against the post. Drill through the tin and your post with the bimetal bit on your drill.

Step 4
Mix the 2-part epoxy following the instructions on the package. Spread the epoxy onto the tin and the aluminum post with your plastic putty knife. Cover only the metal that will be touching another piece of metal.

Step 5
Hold the corrugated tin against the post and line up the holes in the 2 pieces of metal. Slide a bolt through a washer, then push it through the holes in the metal. Slide a washer and lock washer onto the end of the bolt. Twist on a nut and tighten it with your adjustable wrench. Install a bolt assembly through each set of holes in the metal.

Step 6
Spread drop cloths under your piece of yard art to protect the grass. Coat the entire assembly with spray primer. Hold the can 12 inches away from the surface of the metal. Spray the primer using short bursts in a side-to-side motion. Apply the primer in a thin, even coat that covers all of the metal. Be careful not to apply excess primer in one spot that will cause a drip or run.

Step 7
Spray 3 coats of enamel paint onto your piece of yard art. Apply each coat thinly using the side-to-side motion. Let each coat of paint dry completely before applying the next coat. Place painter’s tape in a line to separate different colors to match your design.

Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand tools.
A dust mask is required in addition to your gloves and glasses when spraying paint.
Take your time when cutting corrugated tin. The edges of the metal sheet are extremely sharp and can cause cuts and punctures that will require medical care.

Builder Bill; Corrugated Tin Roofing or Corrugated Iron; Bill Bradley; 2011

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