Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Creepy Crawlie "Plastic" Gelatin Spiders You Can Make At Home

My oldest daughter has been playing mad scientist this week, experimenting with different combinations of gelatin, glue, and water, in an attempt to make her own bouncy, rubbery spiders. What she ended up with is more like plastic, than rubber, and her spiders are a bit mutated, but she had a lot of fun with the overall process.

She started out by dissolving one packet of unflavored gelatin in three tablespoons of boiling water, and then mixing in two tablespoons of Elmer's school glue, and five or six drops of black food coloring.

The resulting mixture was quite thick, and sticky, but with some effort, we managed to glob out a few spider like shapes, onto wax paper. Unfortunately, we tried to move them a little too soon, and broke off most of their legs. We, only ended up with one survivor, and even he is missing a leg or so.

For her next try, we thinned down the mixture, by using four tablespoons of water, and four tablespoons of glue, with the single packet of gelatin. We had some success pouring out spider forms onto the wax paper, using a cleaned mustard bottle. This formula, was a little thin, and it was a difficult to keep the legs from flowing into each other, but it dried quite nicely.

We left the spiders to dry for 12 hours before turning them over, to dry for an additional 12 on the other side. When they were turned over to dry, the legs warped upwards, making them less flat, and easier to stand, later.

For a final touch, she glued on googly eyes, and then presented them to her siblings for inspection. They were judged as being not quite spiders, but passable creepy crawlies, of some sort, and suitable for placing shadowy corners of the house, where I'm sure to find them in the future.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

1 comment: said...

This looks like SO MUCH FUN! And I love that if they don't look like perfect spiders, they're even more appropriate for Halloween. What a great project, I'll be linking.