Tag Archives: DIY

DIY Zoetrope


This time we tackled a trickier project but it turned out pretty neat!

The instructions for this DIY Zoetrope come from: http://www.shareitscience.com/2017/01/diy-zoetrope-animation-steam-project.html

First, you’ll want to cut out your cylinder from the dark paper. The dimensions for the paper are suggestions, you should change the measurements depending on the size of your base. We used a paper plate for the base of our zoetrope.

Cut a strip of the dark paper approx. 2.5 in wide, and 17 in. long. Then using your ruler, measure out the slits. We made ours 1 in apart and 1 in deep. Each slit was 1/8 in wide. Next, tape the strip of paper into a cylinder shape.

Poke a hole in the base of your zoetrope with a pencil or something pointy. Place the paper cylinder on the base. You may need to use tape or glue to keep it in place. Put the pencil through the hole and secure with tape if it is wobbly or loose.

Draw yourself a cartoon on a strip of white paper. The paper should be no wider than the base of the cylinder. Make sure it does not cover any part of the slits.

When you are finished, roll up the cartoon strip and place it down into the cylinder. As you spin the pencil in your hands, look through the slits at the cartoon. It will look like your picture is animated!!


Pinterest vs Reality: Fidget Spinner

diy fidget spinner

We’re jumping on the bandwagon and attempting to make our own fidget spinners. You can find the pin here (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/103934703883002122/) or the original video here (http://www.redtedart.com/easy-fidget-spinner-diy-free-template/)

  1. Trace and cut out fidget spinner pattern. I had to trace out a shape that is larger than the suggested template since I was using buttons rather than pennies.
  2. CAREFULLY attach one penny to each end of the spinner using a small dot of glue. Let dry.
  3. Trace a penny to make two circles on a new piece of cardboard. Cut out circles.
  4. CAREFULLY use a nail or needle to make a small hole in the center of the spinner. The hole should be big enough to fit the toothpick through.  The toothpick should be slightly loose within the circle so the spinner will spin easily.
  5. Use a nail or needle to make a small hole in the center of each of the small circles. These will be your holders.
  6. Cut the end of the toothpick off and push through a small circle until the end of the toothpick is flush with the circle. Add a tiny drop of glue to keep in place. Let dry.
  7. Push toothpick through the spinner. Push the toothpick through the second circle. Cut off extra toothpick and add a tiny drop of glue to keep in place. Let dry.

Note: Allow at least 2 minutes to make sure it’s COMPLETELY dry.  This will prevent things from sliding or moving.

Hot glue and buttons worked for us! We just had to make sure that the holes for the toothpick were wide enough in the spinning piece to allow the cardboard to turn. We also used heavy cardboard from a box, so we recommend being very careful when you cut through the thick cardboard.fidget spinner

Pinterest vs Reality: String Ornament


This week on Pinterest vs Reality: Those string ornaments made from string wrapped around a balloon and held together with glue.  That description alone makes this DIY sound so easy.  The more I saw these on Pinterest, the more I had wanted to make one!

Here’s how to make one for yourself!  My own notes will be in blue.

  1.  Blow up a balloon to the size you want your ornament to be.  The shape of your balloon is very important!  When the glue dries, your string will look like your balloon.  I used old water balloons, so they turned out egg shaped.
  2. Fill a dish or bowl with equal parts glue and water.  Place the string in the glue mixture.  A lot of tutorials would include corn starch, but I didn’t have corn starch, so I found a tutorial that didn’t need it.  Also, a bowl works better than a dish.  What I used was small and shallow so I made a mess.  A bowl would also help keep the string in the glue.imgp3712
  3. Wrap the string around the balloon, making sure the string always has glue on it.    Don’t be afraid to use a lot of string and to wrap it randomly. The more the better.  Also make sure ALL the string has glue on it, or the pieces that aren’t gluey won’t stay well.
  4. Hang your ornament to dry.  It’s best to leave it overnight.
  5. When your string has dried, carefully poke the balloon away from the string, without popping it.  This helps to make sure the string and glue separate from the balloon.
  6.  Pop and remove balloon.  This part is kind of tricky.  Be careful not to disturb your ornament. It’s best to use a pair of scissors to pull it out.

I made some ornaments with yarn and some with twine.  The twine was definitely easier to use and if you dye the glue with a few drops of food coloring, it will dye your string too!  I’d say this is a “Pin” that works!  What do you think?

To find on Pinterest, try searching “DIY string ornament.” Or watch the pinned video here.