Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Science Craft - Build a Christmas Gnome-Bot


Christmas gnomes seem to be all the rage this year.  With their bushy beards, and hats pulled down over their eyes, they're just too cute to resist.

We had to make one.  But, as soon as we decided to give ours a plastic cup body, we knew we had to add a little surprise (borrowed from our Big Hero6 inspired vi-brot project) under his hat, as well - switching up from a Christmas craft gnome, to a Christmas, science craftgnome-bot.

Now, doesn't that sound like fun?


To make a gnome-bot of your own, you will need:

  • a red plastic cup
  • black, white and red construction, or tissue paper
  • three or four toothpicks 
  • a couple of pompoms (pink for the nose, and white for the hat)
  • two plastic milk caps
  • an offset hobby motor, or a regular hobby motor with a pencil eraser attached to offset it
  • a couple of wires with alligator clips
  • one AA battery (which you can attach to a craft stick and turn into a switch with a tinfoil and clear tape)
  • glue (we used hot glue as well as school glue)
  • clear tape
  • scissors
  • a thumbtack and a couple of nails for making holes in things
  • and possibly a stapler

Use a thumbtack, and then a nail to make a hole in the top of the cup just large enough...


...to fit the hobby motor through, but not so large that it falls through completely.


If you are using a larger motor, you might need to cut slits out from the hole, to push in, to make room for the motor.  The motor below has the pencil eraser stuck on the spiny part to offset it too, by the way.


The wires from the motor should hang down through the inside of the cup...


...to attach to the alligator clip wires.  Or, if there are no wires connected to the motor, you will need to reach up into the cup, with the alligator clips to attach wires to bottom of the motor.


Tape three or four toothpicks into the cup, so they stick out about the same amount from the bottom.  Make sure two are in the front of the cup...


...so you can add milk caps to them (after making a hole in the caps with a thumbtack) for feet.  This would also be a good time to secure the wires to the back of the inside of the cup with tape.


The other end of the wires will attach to either end of a battery.  We used the switches we had made for our vibrots - a battery taped to a craft stick, with each end covered by tinfoil (sticking out enough for the wires to clip on) covered in turn by clear tape (so you can press on it without getting a shock).  You can just hold the metal part of the alligator clips to either side of the battery by hand though, too.


That's all there is for the mechanics.  To complete the craft, cut a thin strip of black paper, and tape it low, around the middle of the cup, as a belt.


Then, freehand cut a beard, long enough to cover the belt, and reach nearly to the bottom of the cup, when taped along the top.


Create a hat, by tracing and cutting out a small dinner plate sized...


...Pac-Man type circle out of red paper...


...and taping, or stapling it into a cone large enough to fit just down over the top...


...of the cup.


Glue a pom-pom to the beard, right below the spot where the hat ends, and one to the top of the hat, if you like.  Wait for the glue to dry (or use hot glue for an instant, and secure, hold)...


...and then tape the hat in place on the cup...


...so it won't fall off when the gnome-bot starts to vibrate its way across the table...


...and into your heart.

9 comments:

Karin Huber said...

Genius! :)

Phyllis Bergenholtz said...

So, so cute!!

Sue Elvis said...

We don't have all the right equipment to make a gnome-bot but I did enjoy looking at photos of yours. You are so clever. You see possibilities everywhere. You and your children must have so much fun creating and experimenting together. Today's post made me smile! (The bot is so cute!)

Ticia said...

Yes it sounds very fun and cute.

raventhreads said...

Rose and I are agreed that this one looks fun!!

Angelic Scalliwags said...

You are so clever! Very cool!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Very, very adorable.

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

Love it! You are amazing at making science fun!

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