22_The Story Maker

5 Jun

Big fan of bedtime stories? What if you could make your own? The Story Maker will give you tons of ideas for you to make tons of new stories.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

Before I go to the details let me explain a bit more: The Story Maker is tool that will give you hints to start new stories. It is a collection of words divided into 5 categories:

the good guys, the bad guys, the kind of story, setting and random words.

Each group of words is written onto a dial. As you turn the dials you get a combination of 5 words -one word from each category- giving you the characters, setting and kind of story to come up with plus a random word to fit into the story.

With this Story Maker you can get 60 different combinations, but how many stories come out of those depends on your wild imagination.

So lets get started!

It will take you about 2 hours to make. (you can take longer if you get really creative when it comes to decorations)

You`ll need:

_3x A4 pieces of card, as usual, you can recycle a box of cereal or maybe the back of a paper block.

_1 A4 piece of thicker card, about 2mm thick.

_Circle cutter or compass

_Cutter or Exacto knife

_Cutting mat or surface to cut on

_5 small brads (the ones for scrap booking are great cause they come in all colours and sizes).

_1 sheet of coloured paper (I chose black but you can use the colour you want)

_Pencil or pen

_UHU glue

_Coloured pencils, markers or crayons

How to make your Story Maker:

1. Using your circle cutter, cut 5 circles of different sizes off the thicker piece of card. (If you don´t have one, trace the circles and cut them using a cutter or your scissors). Cut the circles no smaller than 3cm in radius.

2. Divide one of your circles in 12 pieces, as if you were slicing a cake. To make all the slices the same size, place your circle cutter or compass, opened to the same distance as you used to trace/cut the circle, anywhere on the edge of the circle and make a little mark. Place it again on the mark you just made, make a new mark and so on until you come back to the first point. This will give you 6 marks. To get the other 6, repeat the process starting between 2 of the previous marks. Now trace a line going from the centre of the circle to each mark. You`ll have 12 same-sized slices.

3. Use this circle as a template to slice all the others.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

4. Arrange all your circles on one of the A4 pieces of card so that there’s a fair distance between each other.

5. Using the pointy end of your circle cutter or compass mark the centre of each circle; using your pen or pencil, mark the ends of the 2 lines that make up a slice of each cirlce.

6. Remove the cut circles and trace a circle, on the A4 piece of card, where the cut ones used to be. Trace each circle the same size as the ones you cut.

7. On each of the traced circles draw 2 lines that go from the centre to the marks of the slices (check the image below). You should now have 5 circles with one slice each.

8. Find the middle, between the edges of each slice and cut half a small circle using that middle point as the centre for this circle. (check the image below)

9. Cut over the 2 lines that made up the slice. You should now have a cut out that looks something like an ice cream cone (check the image below to make this clearer. note how I didn´t go all the way to the centre of the circle; the bottom of the cone is flat).

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 for every circle. When you finish, you should have 5 ice-cream-cone like cut outs.

11. Get the cut circles back. We´ll start getting creative and write the 12 words that will make up each category. Remember? the good guys, the bad guys, setting, kind of story and random words.

These are the words I wrote on each circle. You can use these or come up with your own.


A cowboy, a prince, Macapaca, a princess, a pirate, a mermaid, the Easter Bunny, Mum, a cupcake baker, Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, the Pink Panther and a Polar bear.


A dwarf, 3 witches, Rumpelstinskin, an ogre, a bully, a thief, a snake, a king, a monster, a dragon, a wizard and a pirate.


Inside a volcano, on the kitchen table, under the sea, in a faraway land, inside the drawer, up in the sky, in the deep dark wood, in a candy shop, in the Chocolate Factory, in the town centre, in outer space, in an ice castle.


Adventure story, a story about a rescue, a sad story, science fiction, a love story, a story about exploring, a funny story, scaaaaaaarry story, a story where someone learns something, a story about helping someone, a story about magic, a story where someone makes a discovery.


Jelly Beans, colourful bricks, salt and pepper, ice skates, chocolate covered raisins, a plug, a pair of snickers, swings, chicken pox, a mug of soup, a crazy cow, poo.

Now that all 5 circles have the words written on them, it is time to pin them to the card with the cut outs. I`ll call the circles with words written on them dials.

12. Push a brad through the centre of each circle on the card and its corresponding dial. Bend both ends out to fix the dial and card together, loose enough to allow the dials to turn.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

13. Once all 5 dials are in place, get another piece of card and stick it to the back of the one with the cut outs. Put glue only on the edges so that the dials can still turn freely.

You should now have 5 “windows” through which you can  turn the dials and read the words of each category.

You have the basics of your Story Maker now… the rest is making it look nicer.

14. Use your coloured pencils, markers and crayons to decorate your Story Maker. I decided to paint each circle in a different colour and write the category it shows so that I know if I´m looking at settings or good guys…

To make your Story Maker look a bit like a book we’ll attach a cover to it:

15. Cut a strip of coloured card, about 3cm wide.

16. Pass the cutter along the middle once or twice without cutting all the way through. This will allow you to fold the strip in half.

17. Put some UHU glue on one half of the stripe (on the inside) and stick it to the back of your Story Maker.

If you turn it around, you should have a loose flap on the front.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

18. Put some glue on this flap and stick the remaining piece of A4 card to it.

You should now have a cover to your Story Maker and be able to open and close it.

19. Add some details and colour to the cover and any others you like.

Ready to start making stories?

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

Turn each dial until you see a word you like through the window. Or turn the dials to get random words.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

Put all the words together and you have the basics of your new story:

How about a story about a polar bear on a quest to discover the hiding place of a pirate and his crazy cow in outer space?

or one about a cowboy that defeated a very scaryogre that lived inside the volcano with the terrible smell of his poo?

See? all sorts of stories can happen!! Just turn the dials and use your imagination.


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