Upcycling an Empty Box of Tissues
J is at the age when robots and the like are a source of immense intrigue, not to mention curiosity and fascination. That does not mean that the moment he asks for a robot, I drop everything and rush to the shops to buy him one.
Children do not always need plastic and battery-operated toys to keep them entertained, stimulated and happy. Quite the contrary. The new, large, noisy toy soon loses all appeal, and we go back to the much-loved tattered old teddy and hand-me-down train engine that has its paint peeling.
So when J asked for a robot, I decided to put my thrifty and creative hats on and craft him a robot instead of spending lots of money buying him one.
- an empty box of tissues with a punch-out lid
- a cardboard sleeve (covered a memento box that we were given). You could use a small box instead
- a piece of coloured cellophane paper (was the cover of some Christmas sweeties)
- 2 toilet rolls sans toilet paper
- 2 plastic drinking straws
- 2 googly eyes
- 2 bits of coloured paper
- 1 pipe cleaner
- 1 wooden craft stick
- some buttons, glitter glue, pompoms
- craft glue
This is how we made our robot -
- Cover the punched-out lid of the box of tissues with the coloured cellophane paper. Decorate it with glitter glue and buttons. This will be the robot's tummy.
- Stick some buttons on the box of tissues all around the punched-out opening. These will serve as buttons and switches.
- Cut and fold the cardboard sleeve to make a box shape. Might be easier to just use a small box if you have one. We did not, so had to improvise with the sleeve instead. This is the robot's head.
- Glue on the googly eyes, pompoms for the nose and ears and the wooden stick for a mouth.
- Bend the pipe cleaner and attach it to the top of the head. You have the antennae.
- Poke a couple of holes, one on each side of the tissue box and push through the plastic straws to serve as arms. Draw hands on bits of paper, cut them out and stick these to the ends of the straws. We used paper folded in half to get flappy hands.
- Colour the toilet rolls any way you like and stick them on one end of the tissue box. These are the legs. Make sure they are stuck on firmly as they will determine the standing-up prowess of your robot.
- Now re-attach the punched-out lid that you have previously decorated. This is a bit tricky, but can be achieved with perseverance and cellotape.
- Stick on the robot's head.
That is it, really. Your upcycled robot is all ready to play with.
J was quite keen to help with the entire process, but had to be restricted to the colouring and decorating.