DLTK's Crafts for Kids
Coffee Can Totem Pole Craft
Contributed by Leanne Guenther
This is a fun First Nations (Native American) themed craft for kids to make; they can show their creative side by
decorating the totem pole however they want.
My oldest daughter, Tasha, recently moved to British Columbia for
university (yikes, they grow up fast). B.C. Is quite famous for
its Northwest Coast First Nations totem poles. The figures on the
poles represent the ancestry of the family that built it -- with each
image usually having a story attached. The poles are carved from
red cedar in real life but we made ours with tin cans and cheerful paint
You can also make this a colors project by using two primary colors
and then mixing them together to make a secondary color. We didn't
do this, but if we had, the green can would have been orange.
- three coffee cans
- something to color with (if you are using the B&W template)
- paper and printer
- three colors of paint
- optional: construction paper (if you aren't using the templates)
- Paint each of the three coffee cans a different color (I chose red,
green and yellow).
- Let dry.
- Print the template of choice.
- If using the B&W template, use markers, pencil crayons, stickers
or paints to decorate the wings, mouths and eyes as you see fit.
- Cut out the template.
- Glue the faces and wings from the template onto the different coffee
- Stack the coffee cans on top of each other to make a totem pole.
- Optional: Use construction paper to make your own faces for the
- Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
- Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).
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