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You might be a REDNECK if you have CASTRATION TOOLS in your crafting supplies!

An Elastrator is a tool most commonly used to castrate livestock, however if you are a Redneck Crafter looking to make some inexpensive toys for the children this Christmas this tool may take up new residence in your crafting supply box. 

These fun foam Alligators are simple, inexpensive, and make good use of some of your barn yard clutter.



Step 1: Supplies

Go out to your barn and round up:

`An Elastrator
`A couple Castration bands
`A pair of needle nose pliers
`A brazing rod (from welding supplies) I used a brass 1/8" x 36"
`An old foam cushion (about a 15" square 2" deep will make 2 gators )
`A pair of Sharp scissors
`Scrap fencing wire (about a yard) 
`A can of green spray paint
`Pinking shears
`A pair of craft eyes
`Some green Rick Rack 


Note: If you have to BUY an Elastrator & all these supplies then this project can be rather expensive. However if you are already well rehearsed at Elastration (castrating animals with an elastrator), have scrap fencing wire, and brazing rods already laying around, well then, these little critter would be ideal!

Step 2: Cutting

First you will need to cut your foam into alligator bits. 

Cut:

`1 body about 3" X 15" 
`2 leg pieces 1.5" X 15" 
`2 pieces of fencing wire 18" 

Then cut the body piece into an "icicle" shape

Step 3: Prepping

To prepare the gator for assembly you will need to:

`Thread the two wire pieces through the center of the foam legs. Use your fingers to guide the wire. Make sure to keep the wire straight & work slowly. Then fold the ends over with the pliers to secure them. 

`Once the legs are threaded lay the body & legs out and give them a nice green coat of paint. 

Step 4: Assembly

Once the paint is dried you can put your Castration skills to use. 

` Using the Elastrator and bands divide the alligators body piece into 3 segments. 
              HEAD - Stretch one band over the wide end of the body and release it when their is approximately 4" left for a head.
              TAIL - Stretch a second band over the narrow end of the body and release it when the tail measures approximately 7"

` Next you can add the brazing rod as a "leash" for the pet alligator. Slip the end of the rod under the band nearest the head. Then use the pliers to loop the end of the rod over. 

` Finally you can assemble the legs. Find the center of each leg piece and place it over the top of a band. Then fold it under & cross it over to secure it on the under side of the gator. Cover both bands with the legs in this manner. Then bend them into the shape you like best. 

Step 5: Details

Take your assembled critter and give him a little more character.

` Using pinking shears cut a mouth down the center of the head horizontally. This will expose his pearly whites!

` Hot glue some craft eyes on

` Hot glue some green Rick Rack down his back

Now you got yourself a fine looking gator! To bring the gator to life simply hold him by the end of the "leash" so that his legs gently rest on the floor then wiggle the leash back and forth. This will make your gator wiggle & appear to be running. 
Hahaha! Excellent work my friend!
This is great! Looks amazing, and I'm sure is a lot of fun!!!!
This is really solid balloon animals. Clever.
Yes! I love these things. They were one of my favorite parts of Tater Day in my hometown :D
They used to sell them at the county fair when I was growing up. Of course we couldn't afford them so this is how my mom made them for us, from scraps around the barn. I thought I might share our redneck version!

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