Archive | August, 2011

31_Cork bender

22 Aug

If you´ve broken a few toys trying to arrange them in strange postures, then this one is definitely for you.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

It will take you between 20 and 30 minutes. Easy, quick and really cool.

What you`ll need to make a cork bender:

_A few bottle corks. (Strictly speaking you need 3 but there are pieces of cork that are too hard to pass the wire through so it´s better to be prepared)

WARNING TO PARENTS: This toy might appear appealing because it encourages adults to drink a few bottles of wine. Please drink responsibly (or wait until the effects of the wine have disappeared before you decide to make the Cork Bender with your children)

_Steel wire

_Knife of cutter


_2 pins with a black top or 2 small brads to make the eyes.

How to make your Cork bender:

1. Using your knife or cutter, cut a piece of cork by half. The two halves will make the feet.

2. Cut 2 slices, about 6mm thick from another one. These are the hands.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

3. With the pliers, cut 3 pieces of wire, about 12cm, 15cm and 3cm long.

4.Get another cork to make the body of the Cork Bender; use the short piece of wire to pierce a hole all the way through the middle of the cork. This will allow you to pass a wire to make the arms.

5. Do the same, closer to the bottom of the cork, to make a hole for the wire that will make the legs.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

6. Pass the 12 cm long wire through the hole in the middle of the cork.

7. Pass the 15 cm long wire through the hole closer to the bottom.

8. Insert the 2 slices of cork at the end of both ends of the top wire.

9. Insert the 2 halves of the first cork you cut into the ends of the longer wire.

10. Bend both ends of the bottom wire -the legs- down to make the Cork Bender stand. Arrange the arms any way you like.

11. Get the 2 pins or brads and push them into the body of the cork to make the eyes of your character.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte


Now you can make your Cork Bender sit down….

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

… or make a head stand

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

… all bend back

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

… lie down

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

…or whatever you like ….

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

You can still get creative: what would a dog bender look like? or a giraffe?

Happy bending!



30_Mr. Flowerpond (o Sr. Floripondio)

22 Aug

Take him out for a dance and you won´t be disappointed.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

It is not very hard to make this puppet; be patient though, when it comes to piercing holes in the wood sticks and tying up the stings. It could take you up to 2 hours to make.

You`ll need:

_A piece of cardboard. It could be a recycled cereal box or back of a paper block or even a piece of corrugated cardboard from packaging.

_Pen and pencil

_Coloured pencils, markers, crayons…

_6 wooden sticks.

_6 small brads

_A piece of paper to draw extra details.

_3-4 m. of thick cotton thread.

_The point of a compass, circle cutter or something similar to pierce little holes in the cardboard and sticks.

_Glue stick

_ UHU or hot glue.

How to make Mr. Flowerpond

1. Cut 2 of the wood sticks by the middle.

2. Use the point of a compass/circle cutter to pierce a tiny hole on each end of the 4 half-wood sticks you were left with and at both ends of 2 complete ones.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

3. Cut a rectangle off the piece of cardboard, about 10×12 cm.

4. Place 4 sticks over the cardboard rectangle as if they where the arms and legs.

5. Use the point of the compass/circle cutter to pierce through the cardboard, using the holes previously pierced through the sticks as guides. Punch an extra hole at the top, right in the middle.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

6. Use a pencil to draw the face of your character/body of your character. Mine has a hat and some room for a bow tie.

7. When you`re sure about it, draw over it with a black pen to make it stronger.

8. Cut away the extra bits to make the shape of the hat.

9. Use your extra piece of paper to make details, like a bow tie or a flower for the hat.

10. Add some colour and stick the extras.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

11. Get 2 of the short sticks and colour the tips to make the hands.

12. Get the 2 long ones and colour one tip of each to make the feet/shoes.

13. Get one a foot (a long stick) and a short stick (not a hand) and join them with a brad.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

14. Now get 4 brads and join the arms and legs to the cardboard body by the holes you pierced earlier.

You should now have the body with moving arms and legs.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

15. Cut 5 pieces of string about 60cm. long

16. Get the 2 remaining wood sticks and pierce a hole though both ends of both sticks.

17.  Pierce an extra hole right in the middle of one of the sticks.

18. Get a piece of string and pass it through the hole at the end of one of the legs. Tie a knot behind it.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

19. Do the same for the other leg, both arms and the hole in the middle of the hat.

20. Use the same colour marker you used to colour the hands, etc. to colour the string that goes to each particular hole.

21. Tie the loose ends of each string to the sticks in the following way:

– Start by tying the strings that come out of the legs, one to each side of the same stick.

– Get the string that is tied to the top of the hat and tie it to the middle hole of the other stick. Before you tie the knot, make sure that both sticks are at the same distance form the puppet. You´ll have some spare string.

– Tie the strings that come out of the hands to the remaining holes; once again, make sure that the sting is the right length to get the stick at the right distance.

22. If the knots feel a bit “slippery” put a drop of glue on top of each so that they stay in place.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

That´s it…Mr. Flowerpond is ready to go dancing.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte


29_Shadow Theatre

22 Aug

Bed time stories in the dark were never this fun.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

It will take you about 45 minutes to make; a bit more if you decide to make more characters.

You`ll need:

_To choose a story to make the characters for. I decided to make Goldilocks and the 3 Bears.

_An A4 piece of cardboard, or as many as you need to make enough characters for your story. (You could recycle a cereal box or the back of a paper block)


_Cutter/Exacto knife, Scissors.

_Cutting mat or a surface to cut on.

_ As many wooden sticks as characters you´re making (I made 4 characters so I used 4 sticks) They could be skewers, just be careful with the pointy ends and make sure you cut them off before you start palying.

_Sticky tape.

_Something to pierce the eyes of the characters, like the point of a compass or a circle cutter.

_A flashlight.

How to make your Shadow Theatre:

1. Draw the silhouette of the characters on your story on the piece of cardboard. Don´t worry about the details inside, like clothes and face;  all you need is the silhouette as that is the only thing you´ll recognize in the shadows.

2. Cut all your drawings out.

3. Use the point of a compass or something similar to pierce the eyes.

4. Use something thicker, like a skewer, to make the eyes bigger.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

5. Grab a skewer or stick and stick it in the back of one of the characters with sticky tape.

6. Do the same for the rest of the characters.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

7. Now turn the lights off, turn the flashlight on and point it towards the characters.

8. Tell/represent the story as you move the characters and see their shadows projected on the wall.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

What other stories can you shadow-tell? how about Hansel and Gretel… or Snow White and the 7 dwarfs?

Lots of cutting but might be fun.

Good night!


28_Flying Saucer (with aliens included)

22 Aug

Look closely through the windows…there´s a bunch of tiny aliens looking back at you.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

This one is super quick and super easy. How much it takes will depend on how much effort and detail you put into your drawings.

You`ll need:

_A plastic (disposable) plate

_A sheet of labels/sticker paper

_Coloured pencils, markers, crayons, etc.



How to make a flying saucer, including the aliens.

1. Eat a yummi piece of cake in a disposable plate.

2. Wash and dry the plate (nice!! recycling instead of throwing away!)

3. Get your labels/sticker paper and draw the details of your Flying Saucer. I decided to make lots of windows with some aliens looking out; also some stars for the top.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

4. Cut all the drawings.

5. Remove the back of the sticker. If you´re finding it a bit hard, cut the paper on the back using a cutter or Exacto knife. Be careful not to press too much so that you only cut the waxed paper and not your drawing.

6. Stick all your drawings on the back of the plate and that´s it!

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

Saucer ready to fly!!!

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

Easy… have fun!!