Animal acrobatics: build your own wooden bat, bird or butterfly
- Cost< 50 £
- Duration1-3 h
Looking to change up your children’s rooms? Then build your own wooden bat, bird or butterfly and hang them up. You can make your wooden animal any colour you want. Building your own wooden animal is even more fun with friends or family. You can easily print out any of the three patterns on a single sheet of A4 paper. Which animal are you going to pick?
- safety glasses
- tape measure
- 3 plywood boards, approximately 30 x 21 cm (LxW)
- Small wooden slat: (280 x 10 x 10 mm) (LxWxH)
- A4 Paper
- Rope/string (3500 mm)
- Large wooden beads
- Optional: paint
- Optional: googly eyes
Let's go - step by step
Preparing materials and printing out the pattern for the wooden animal
You need: A4 Paper
To make your own flying wooden animal, simply print out one of our patterns. Follow these step-by-step instructions to build your own model bat. Of course, you can always choose one of the other patterns.
Cutting out the pattern and tracing the contours.
You need: pencil, Plywood board
Once you have decided on a wooden animal and have printed out the pattern, all the pieces have to be neatly cut out. Lay out all three cut-outs on a plywood board and trace the contours.
Sawing the large and small pieces of the wooden animal
You need: Jigsaws, Fretsaw, safety glasses, work gloves
Saw off the large pieces from the plywood, so that only the fine cuts are left to be sawed with the precision saw. Wear protective clothing while doing so.
Now, it’s time to cut out the small pieces of the wooden animal. A jigsaw is too big for these sorts of small edges. Instead, use a fretsaw. Be careful not to saw into the table.
Lightly sanding the individual pieces of your wooden animal
You need: Hand sanding paper, sanding roller, sanding sponge, etc., face mask
Sand the different pieces with fine-grain sanding paper, making sure to do so in long, fluid movements. Are you going to be painting your wooden animal? Then don’t just sand the edges, but also lightly sand the surfaces. Throw out whatever debris is produced by sanding.
Drilling the holes
It’s now time to drill holes so that the various pieces can be secured to each other with string. Make sure to make them big enough. Place the two wings on top of one another and then place the pattern with the holes on top of them. That way you guarantee that the holes will be in the same place and fit properly. Drill carefully through the paper.
Now, place one of the wings on approximately the middle of the body and drill a hole in the body through the hole in the wing. Then, place a string through the holes to connect the pieces.
Finally, drill a hole in the middle of the underside of the body. This hole will be used to attach a string for the wooden animal’s pulling device later.
Painting the individual parts and connecting them
You need: needle, Rope/string (3500 mm), Optional: paintbrush, paint, googly eyes
Would you like to give your bat (or your bird or butterfly) a cool colour? Well, then it’s time get painting. You can also decorate your wooden animal with quirky things like googly eyes.
Now it’s time to join the different pieces together. Use a needle to thread the string easily through the wooden pieces. Place all the different pieces on top of each other so that you can work quickly and comfortably. You can start with either the bat’s frontside or the backside. Now, run the string through the next hole. Thread the string through all the holes, following the instructions as you go along. Cut the end of the string and tie a knot.
Attaching the ‘large wooden bead’ pulling device
You need: needle, Rope/string (3500 mm)
Thread the string through the bottom hole of the body. It should be around 30 cm long. Tie a knot on the body and hang a large wooden bead on the end of the string.
Attaching the hanging device
Drill three holes in the wooden slat according to the instructions. Make sure to wear protective googles while drilling. Thread a string through the middle hole. This thread will be used to hang the bat from the ceiling. Now, thread a string through the outermost holes and tie the ends together. This creates two loops, to which the wings can be hung. Do you like having things hang from the ceiling? Are plants more of your thing? Then why not try one of our hanging flowerpots?
Balancing the wings with ‘wing notches’
Now, slide the wings through the loops and adjust the bat so that it hangs in a stable position. Mark where the string touches the wings. Use the precision saw to cut a small notch in the wing so that the string can hang there.