12 Feb 2014

Craft-A-Robot

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.

Robot assembled
Here is a list of things we used to make our robot. Some were things that were lying around the house, having lived their lives as something else. Others came out of our recently assembled craft box. We used-
  • 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
  • cellotape
  • scissors
Disassembled Robot
This is how we made our robot -
  1. 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.
  2. Stick some buttons on the box of tissues all around the punched-out opening. These will serve as buttons and switches.
  3. 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.
  4. Glue on the googly eyes, pompoms for the nose and ears and the wooden stick for a mouth.
  5. Bend the pipe cleaner and attach it to the top of the head. You have the antennae.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Stick on the robot's head.
Robot needs big hug
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.


47 comments:

  1. Just in time for half-term. Brilliant! My little ones will love this.

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    1. Glad to be of help. I hope you have lots of fun making it x

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  2. It looks great! Mine love making this kind of thing too

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    1. Thanks Anna. I hope you give the robot a go too :)

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  3. That is brilliant, well done! If we can do a snowman, we can do a robot!

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  4. Very cool! I haven't made crafty robot for years - must do this with Ozzy at the weekend!

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  5. I love the buttons as buttons! It is fantastic and I think there is so much value in children learning to use their imagination to turn every day objects into play. Great post

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    1. Thank you Damson. I think so too. All the toys at Christmas seem to be just lying around, while a simple box and balloon work their magic!

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  6. That looks fab! We made a junk robot a while ago and my son loved playing with it!

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    1. They seem to like this sort of thing compared to expensive structured playthings.

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  7. Great robot - I bet your J had hours of fun. Is the robot still in one piece?!
    model mummy x

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    1. Hmm, it is a little bit bashed up, I am afraid. Lost its ears and an arm already ;-)

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  8. Apparently we are making this at the weekend - says my 7 year old son who came in and saw this post earlier!

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    1. All I can say is that your son has very good taste :-D

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  9. Thanks for a lovely tutorial. My daughter took some boxes to school yesterday to make robots, I hope they turn out as well.

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    1. I hope they do. Let me know how she got on making her robot. x

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  10. This is sooooo creative! Very clever Vaidehi. Hope all your hardwork sustains all the bashing and flying around by your tots lil hands. :)

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    1. Thank you Soumita. It has survived thus far, albeit is missing a limb or two :-D

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  11. It won't be long before he's making it himself!

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    1. He would have made this one if I had let him :-)

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  12. I love junk modeling, what a great robot

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  13. He is so cute! I love that you used pom poms. I always find with my boys when we are crafting and there is pom poms available that is what they will go for first! :D x

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    1. Must be the look and feel of them. To be fair, J also wanted to stick on a few shiny stars and flowers, but I convinced him buttons were good enough :-)

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  14. What a great robot! I'd love to try this with the kids. Pinned.

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    1. Thanks for the pin Emily. Much appreciated. x

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  15. Now that is one great robot! Crafting is so much fun! x

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  16. WE made robots last week but they're not as good as this one

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    1. There is no such thing as bad home-crafted robots Kara :)

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  17. Love this, great idea to make one together. My son is looking at it now and asking to see the +pi+cture again!

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    1. Your son has awfully good taste, I approve :-D

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  18. What fun! We really need to go back to the simpler things in life!

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    1. Saves lots of money too. So pretty much a win-win situation, really.

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  19. That is a very cool idea! Must do it some time x

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  20. That's a very cool robot! Baby needs to be a bit older to try this but sure it will be great fun for many x

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  21. this looks so cool! Wilf is probably still a bit little for this but can't wait to try it when he's old enough! x

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  22. Wow, this is one awesome looking robot!
    Well done!

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  23. How cute is that?! I know a boy who would love to make this.

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  24. This is brilliant, love it! I'm adding this to my 'inspiration' list :) #Pintorials

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  25. Ah, this is so cute! My son would love to make this! Thankd for linking with Tuesday Tutorials #pintorials

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  26. This is fab do come and link it up with Fabulously Frugal http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/2015/02/08/recycled-art-projects-fabulously-frugal/

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