Need I say more? The Dad in our house is here to share. He’s all imagination, goofiness, a love of recess and the reality that Star Wars will never die.
Have fun with our first project…
…and take the Craftizmos ROBOT CHALLENGE! Make your own version of this creature from the Planet Recycle and win the Clone Wars animated movie and Vol. 1 on the Clone Wars animated TV series.
Deadline for entries is March 31 and it doesn’t matter if you live in Courtenay or New Zealand, you can jump in. In order to enter, just load the finished images of your robot costumes into our Craftizmos Robot Challenge thread over on the FORUM with your name and contact e-mail. All entries will be judged by a panel of Dads and winners will be announced April 1.
There are a pair of old tennis shoes somewhere spray painted gold.
Never mind that I had to wear them for a darn long while after pulling out the can to finish off my C3PO costume. They were PERFECT…and my creature making career began somewhere around eighth grade with an obsession with George Lucas.
You think people grow out of that robot loving, space alien imagining phase, right?
The gold shoes – they were like wings with lots of imagination attached to them. It’s been a lot of life since then, and I still see a piece of cardboard or a can of paint and think “robot” or “alien.”
We’re moving into a space around our house where imagination and make believe rules.
So, getting into interactive craft projects means I’m right in there. Everything in my universe moves, has a proper use, no inch is wasted on decoration.
These are all boy, all the time (don’t tell our daughter, though. “Girl World” as she’s deemed it, would be so much less cool robot-free:))
Anyway, this is a fairly long tutorial. But, the results are awesome and long lasting.
So, pony up to the recycle bin (you are entering the world of Planet Recycle) and get started. You may want to leave the gold shoes for another day:
A – Gather your material (look through your recycle bin)
- Pop caps, small lids
- Duct Tape, Black electricians tape, Blue painters tape
- Hot glue gun
- toilet paper role
- Piece of cardboard large enough to cover you kiddos chest (shoulders -> mid belly around)
- Thin cardboard (cheese and macaroni box / cereal box)
- Juice / Soy Milk / Rice Milk lid
- X-acto knife, scissors
- Ruler, cutting board
- Clear multi coloured beads
- Coloured markers
- Permanent marker
B – Find your main piece of cardboard that’s the right size. Plan out your control panel / chest plate (you can do anything you want really). Hold the cardboard up to your kiddos chest and make sure you get the right distance for a neck hole / shoulder “straps” etc. Mark those areas out and then design the panel area.
C – Pick your bottle caps, place them in the configuration you want and trace them. Make sure to mark which cap goes in which hole.
D – Test to see if your chest plate will fit, make adjustments if needed.
E – Cutting the arm areas while leaving a bit of a flap to “curve” around torso and two shoulder “straps”. Cut one side first…
F – Flip the piece from E above and put it on the other side of the chest plate and trace it. That should give you the exact mirror of E’s cut. Then cut that out. You base chest plate should be ready.
G – Take shoulder “straps” and bend them so that they curve over the shoulders.
A – Start cutting out your control panel elements using X-acto knife / ruler and cutting board.
B – Finished “equalizer” or “level” controls
- **keep the pieces of cardboard that you cutout… you’ll need them for STEP4a
C – Start cutting out your dial holes:
- draw a cross in your circle
- cut those lines creating 4 “flaps” in that dial hole
- along the outer circle line of that hole cut a small line in each “flap” (will help you bend these sections and keep that hole size)
D – Bend those sections inwards
E – Along those bend lines that you’ve created, cut the 4 “flaps”
A – Place correct lid / dial in hole and make sure it fits… it should be snug
B – Take “dial” out of hole. Cut out a rectangular piece of cardboard the width of which is a bit narrower than the width of the “dial
- fold it in half
- flip the “dial” over and place the cardboard in it
C – Fold the cardboard two more times at the DEPTH of the dial (see D)
D – Cardboard should fit into the dial like this. The B fold should touch the inner top of the “dial” and the outer portion of the lip of the “dial” should rest on the outer “flaps” of the cardboard
- take the cardboard out
- fill inner top with hot glue
- press cardboard in (as in image)
- glue lip of “dial” to cardboard “flaps”
- let dry… test to make sure cardboard is secure in the “dial”
- repeat with each “dial”
E – When all glue is dry trim “flaps” so that they stick out about a finger width from the “dial” on each side (see image)
F – Place “dial” back in hole. You should be able to turn it now AND the flaps will keep it from being pulled out through the hole
G – Trace each “dial” on a separate piece of cardboard and let your kiddo design the detail for that dial.
- do a selection of them
- pick the ones you like
- cut them out and keep them for STEP5b
A – Take the cardboard you cut out from STEP2b
- cutout a thin strip of cardboard (from a macaroni and cheese / cereal box) that is about a pencil width wider than the cardboard strip from STEP2b
- make it twice as long as the piece of cardboard from STEP2b
- fold that thin strip in half
B – Unfold thin cardboard and place flat
- take two pieces of Blue painters tape and put one on either side of the crease in the center of the cardboard that was made when it was folded in half
- this Blue tape section is the tab handle for the “level” control
- take piece of cardboard from STEP2b and cut out that blue section to it’s width (should look like image B when complete)
C - Fold thin cardboard / tab in half again
- fold each “flap” at the edge of the Blue tape handle area (should look like image C when complete)
- place another piece of Blue painters tape around the “level” handle to hold both sides together
- this should give you a pretty sturdy handle
- repeat for each “level” strip you need
D – Cover one side of the strip with Black electricians tape – this is the bottom of the “level” strip
- get your kiddo to colour the other side – this is the top of the “level” strip
- repeat for each “level” strip you need
E – Place completed “level” strips in the spaces you cut-out in the control panel / chest plate
- move them up and down and trim the length of each edge IF it protrudes out of the top or the bottom of the chestplate.
A – Take all “dials” and “level” strips out
- cover front of chest plate / control panel with Duct tape
- flip chest plate / control panel over when finished
- in each “level” hole use your X-acto knife and cut a V at the top that points down and V at the bottom that points up
- cut a line down the middle of each “level” hole that connects the V’s
- in each “dial” hole cut a line across the middle horizontally and vertically (make a cross)
- flip the chest plate / control panel back over again
- push all of the newly created “flaps” of tape into the holes
- fold them so that the tape sticks to the BACK of the chest plate / control panel
- you can cover the rest of the chest plate / control panel with Duct tape now
B – Put all “dials” and “level” strips back in
- take the “dial” designs that you made in STEP3g
- find the ones you like
- glue the appropriate sized design on top of each “dial” (make sure to let them dry before trying to turn them)
- when that glue is dry find a piece of cardboard that is the same size as the control panel section of the chest plate (width / height)
- trim it to fit the shape of the chest plate (neck and arm holes etc)
- this is going to be the BACK plate that will hold all of your “dials” and “level” strips in place (you’ll glue it on)
- BEFORE GLUING place it on the back or the chest plate and lay the chest plate flat
- test your “dials” and “levels”, you may need to trim your levels if they’re sticking out the bottom or top when moved
- Once you’re happy with everything flip the chest plate / control panel over
- glue the BACK plate onto the back of the chest plate / control panel making sure that the glue is only on the edge / boarder of the chest plate and that you’re not gluing any “dials” or “level” strips
- once the BACK plate is secure flip the chest plate / control panel over and let it dry
- once dry test all your “dials” or “level” strips (they should move pretty freely)
C – With your permanent marker draw details on the chest plate / control panel
- add a trim
- add screws / bolts / vents
- add numbers / dashes around the “dials”
D – Once you’re done with the marker details break out the clear multi coloured beads
- get your kiddo to choose the beads and place they want them
- use your glue gun to secure them
A – Cut holes in each shoulder “strap”
- cut holes in side of chest plate / control panel (see image STEP5c for where I put them)
- reinforce holes with extra Duct tape
- cut two lengths of twine (make sure they’re long enough to go from shoulder across to the waist of your Kiddo)
- tie one length of twine to each hole
- make a good knot and then wrap in Duct tape to secure it
B – This is how you should secure the chest plate / control panel (going across will hold it tighter)
- tie each loose end into the side holes you created
- VIOLA!!! Chest plate / control panel done…
A – Get a toilet paper roll
- cut it in half vertically so that you can unfold it
- cut a groove in either side (see image)
- lay it unfolded and flat
- cover entire “top” with Duct tape
- trim Duct tape to within a fingers width of roll edge
- fold Duct tape over the edge of roll… the “top” should now be fully covered in Duct tape with a nice smooth edge
- you have the beginnings of your wrist blaster / communicator / teleporter etc.
B – Create some bands of Duct tape by pulling of a strip about as long as the toilet paper roll
- fold it over onto itself length wise so that the sticky side is being folded onto
- when you’re done you should have a Duct tape strap… make two of them
- take the wrist blaster / communicator / teleporter and place it over your Kiddo’s wrist
- measure each strap so that they fit the wrist and forearm areas of your Kiddo
- cut straps to appropriate length and tape them onto the wrist blaster / communicator / teleporter
- final straps should look like image B with one on each end
C – Place a piece of Blue painters tape on the top front portion (may need to trim it to fit Juice / Soy Milk / Rice Milk lid width)
D – Place Juice / Soy Milk / Rice Milk lid overtop of the tape to give you the illusion of a “button”
- use Glue gun to secure Juice / Soy Milk / Rice Milk lid on wrist blaster / communicator / teleporter
E – Once glue is dry grab your clear multi coloured beads and permanent marker and decorate it
- VIOLA!!!! You’ve just completed your wrist blaster / communicator / teleporter AND your ROBOT SUIT!!!! (OK… it’s your Kiddo’s)
I hope you had fun with this… go crazy with it, write cool gizmo names on it, version numbers etc. The more fun you have with it the more fun your Kiddo’s will have with it.
Look for additions to the suit in future CRAFTizmo posts… rocket boots, goggles, space helmet etc. and any suggestions that you may have. Of course we’ll make a rocket pack as well!
About the Author (Author Profile)Robin Rivers is Our Big Earth’s Publisher and Sr. Partner. Able to survive on coffee alone. Often can be found leaping tall buildings with the help of great friends. Predisposed to odd hats and the color orange. In love with imagination, her kids and that crazy guy who married her.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Hottest Nature Crafts of 2009 | Our Big Earth | December 22, 2009
- Spring Break Crafts for Kids | Our Big Earth | March 9, 2010
- Kids Crafts - Recycling Roundup | Our Big Earth | April 20, 2010
- Halloween: Disfraz casero de robot | Manualidades y Artesanía | October 26, 2011
- Aprendiendo a reciclar con un increíble disfraz de robot. - Fiestas Infantiles Paraguay, Directorio de fiestas infantiles, Fiestecitas infantiles | July 24, 2012