Introduction: LED Throwie Rat (or Mouse)

Picture of LED Throwie Rat (or Mouse)

How to make a Rat LED Throwie. Or, what happened when LED Throwies met Mouse Taxidermy.

Be warned, this is another extremely graphic tutorial featuring guts, dismemberment, and soldering. Also see Conjoined Twin Mice and Duck Mouse for more advanced mouse techniques.

Step 1: Learn Mouse Taxidermy

Picture of Learn Mouse Taxidermy

First, check out my Mouse Taxidermy Instructable. It covers all of the basic skills and tools you'll need to prepare your rat for its LED Throwiedom. Mice are smaller and easier to work with than rats, so I'd definitely recommend trying this with a mouse first.

There's no reason you can't make a Mouse LED Throwie; I just happened to have both a frozen rat and red LEDs of the proper size for rat eyes. I'll make some mouse LED throwies next, but it's really all the same thing. I'll put up pictures when I make the mice.

The rodents below are quick-thawing in lukewarm water; this is suboptimal and can be avoided through proper planning.

An aside:
If you're ethically opposed to the concept of creative and/or decorative taxidermy (and have chosen to look anyway) I have two questions for you: do you wear leather, and do you eat meat? If you answered yes to either, can you/would you kill and prepare the animals necessary to procure this meat and leather? Willfully ignoring the source of your food and clothing hypocritically outsources the ethical questions and is ultimately disrespectful to the animals involved. If you're an ethical vegan and eschew leather, I respect your opinion and your desire to avoid viewing discomfiting images. Thus I carefully label the Intro page of these Instructables, hide the more graphic pictures on the later pages, and promise not to send you any taxidermy for Christmas.
Now back to your regularly scheduled Instructable.

Step 2: Make Voodoo Doll

Picture of Make Voodoo Doll

Make a voodoo doll the same general size as your rodent.

Step 3: Wire Up Your LEDs

Picture of Wire Up Your LEDs


2 LEDs
1 switch
1 battery
soldering gun
electrical tape

Solder the LEDs, switch, and battery together as shown below. Make sure to leave the wires long enough to traverse your rodent's body, and to cover any exposed metal bits (wire, battery, etc) with tape to avoid contact problems with your armature wires. I didn't remember to do this until a bit late, so it doesn't show up in the nicely staged pictures below.

Thanks to Eric for soldering these for me while I had my hands full of rat guts. Eric points out that you shouldn't solder directly to a battery, as it may explode and make a terrible mess. Instead you should really use a battery holder. We didn't want to waste the space and he was sure of his infallibility.

Step 4: Attach LED Assembly to Voodoo Doll

Picture of Attach LED Assembly to Voodoo Doll

Exactly what you think it means.

I put the battery on the tail end, the switch over the heart, and the LEDs in rough position on the head then stitched the whole thing into place. That was fast and easy; just a few loose loops were enough to hold everything in place. You could wrap it in thread like you did the voodoo doll if that works well for you, though there's probably a loss of precision in placement.

Double-check that your LEDs work and that all metal parts are covered with electrical tape before moving on.

Step 5: Skin and Wire Your Rodent

Picture of Skin and Wire Your Rodent

Skin your rodent as described in the Mouse Taxidermy Instructable, leaving the arm and leg bones attached. Clean, wrap, and wire these bones in the same fashion; you may use the thicker wire if you're working with a big rat.

Note that rat connective tissue is stronger than that of a mouse, and their bones are bigger and heavier. It will probably take you a good bit longer to prepare your rat until you get used to these differences.

Step 6: Stuffing

Picture of Stuffing

After you've given the pelt a final clean-up, you're ready to go.

Insert the voodoo doll carefully; you've got lots of weird bits poking out all over, and you don't want them to catch. Work the LEDs out of the eye sockets, and wiggle them into proper position. I added a bit of cotton around the switch to soften its sharp corners, but it probably wasn't necessary.

Wire the arms, tail, and legs into place, but don't stitch up the back just yet.

Step 7: Add Magnets, Stitch, and Dry

Picture of Add Magnets, Stitch, and Dry

Now we're going to add the magnets.

I put one magnet on either side of the ribcage, held on by electrical tape. My rat isn't likely to be thrown; instead she'll live on the front of my refrigerator, so I only need enough to keep her in place.

The weight of your rodent will determine the size/strength of magnet you need. TEST your magnets to make sure they'll hold tight enough; keep in mind that the magnet will be working thorugh a layer of electrical tape and rodent skin. Rats have much thicker skin than mice.

If you want to actually be able to throw your rodent and have it stick reliably, I'd advise more and stronger magnets in a variety of locations; just spread them around for maximum coverage. You could also make a magnet-laden outfit for your rodent, which would increase the effective power by omitting the insulating skin. Play around with it- this is the fun part!

My photographer wandered off, so I don't have any pictures of the magnet placement. I trust that you can determine this empirically.

Stitch your rat up, then sew or pin its mouth and feet and let it dry.

Step 8: Throw!

Picture of Throw!

Throw, toss, or carefully stick your Throwie to a nice metal surface.

Since these critters require a fair amount of work, you'll probably want to retrieve your Mouse or Rat LED Throwie after use. Choose your site wisely and you can have nearly endless fun.

Let me know if you have any particularly good suggestions for Rodent Throwie deployment locations- pictures or video are even better!

Thanks to Eric for soldering; to Leslie, Eric, and Cloude for pictures; and to Ningo for the inspiration.


bionerd (author)2007-12-20

hey there! i just did my first ever taxidermy, thanks to your MOUSE TAXIDERMY instructable! thanks so much for that! :-) my rat looks sort of like a ferret, as i didnt quite manage to get the "hunchback"... oh well... anyway, my suggestion is to sink the LEDs deeper into the "skull", so they look like real rat's eyes and dont stick out all that much... except for the weird color. ;-) a few questions though... my rat smells somewhat. not worse than the smell when it was fresh, and it doesnt smell rotten... but it still has a scent now. my rat was a roadkill, and thus, very bruised (see pictures)... could it rot away? yes, i used plenlty of borax and cornmeal, as you suggested in your tutorial. also, how do i best get a "hunchback", ie "natural" pose for a sitting rat, next time? thanks so much and keep up the great work!

blackbeardlion (author)bionerd2009-03-19

@slackerluddite. if you die can i turn you into a taxidermy led throwie?

Sure, a body is just a puppet. The real me is my conciousness.

I also wish to add that I like the idea of a mouse throwie more than that of a rat throwie. Mouse smallnesss seems better in synch with the throwie spirit.

TruusB (author)2016-06-12

You got crazy!!! Poor little rats. If you would have done this to humans, you would have been in jail right now

ejferguson (author)2015-11-07

i will kill you

ejferguson (author)2015-11-07

i hate you

Claw99 (author)2015-11-02


YoungWolfRider (author)2015-04-04

:'( poor rats.

there52000 (author)2011-06-08

I appreciate taxidermy, but I don't appreciate those leds >.<

Some what agree

ilpug (author)2012-03-28

Rats are wonderful pets when alive. When dead, they are wonderful throwies.

YoungWolfRider (author)ilpug2015-04-04

I got to agree with the pet part but not with the other part.

gileadroland (author)2012-05-06

If that is not a lack of respect for life, I do not know what is.

I agree with you gileadroland. I have to pet rats and they are nothing like. they are thought of they are the sweetest little babys.

Luziviech (author)gileadroland2015-03-25

...and i thought "recycling" was a well-known word all over the world...

help_us_lisa (author)2012-02-02

sorry, but what exactly is a "throwie"? are we throwing the rat at our enemies, or for a dog perhaps?

Luziviech (author)help_us_lisa2015-03-25

comes from led-throwie, an led connected to a battery-cell by wrapping around double-faced adhesive tape. These are thrown to any surface to stick and glow. Simple art hack.

cablemonkey (author)2014-11-06

I had a bad experience soldering to small coin cells once. You may get away with it on larger cells like these, but be very careful. When they go, consider that they will be spraying hot solder as well as battery electrolyte and case pieces around. Glasses or a face shield are very important if you like your eyes.

canida (author)cablemonkey2014-11-18

Yes, he was wearing glasses. Agreed it's still an awful idea. :)

revelation (author)2014-04-30

I wonder if someone would be able to mechanize it ? like on of those old Marx wind up tin toys .

Vaska (author)2013-09-30

Thanks for sharing! Really love the LED touch! Perfect for coming Halloween's Night :D

redfoxtrystman (author)2013-07-30

Wow people your stupid. Yes they are animals but taxidermy would be such a waist without animals. Lol. I don't care for this use but it is creative at the least. And as for you people saying what he did was illegal on how he got them you should know what your talking about. He probably bought them from a pet store. They sell dead frozen rats and mice as snake food. So get off your high horse and ask how before you start squealing for the cops

pokemech (author)2013-03-23

This is quite disturbing... but cool :)

ratarebelde (author)2012-10-10

horrible, I hope you finish same.

Luziviech (author)2012-08-06

I AM vegetarian and i look anyway. This is a really, really great ible. I just posted it on FB, it's so kewl!
(but the question is not "do you wear leather" - there's even a kinda development in between those vegan/vegetarian hardcores to avoid leather. They obviously choose plastic instead, not noticing that plastic does not rot, therefore plastic can even been found in fish. Anyways: what you do and don't do depends on your will, meanwhile DIY depends on Do-What-You-Will, the only way to forbid the use of specific materials is to create a totalitarian conformity of law, even concerning mind - and i really wonder which vegan stands up for the New World Order)

ladieslilman98 (author)2012-05-05

thats cruel......i like it XD

bravokh623 (author)2009-08-31

This has to be the boldest Instructable I have ever seen! I especially like the picture of the rat/throwie that is connected to the car! Not only am I going to make one for a hood ornament but I am giving them out as Christmas gifts (if only I can find some small antlers…). Thanks for sharing this, it is great!

ilpug (author)bravokh6232012-03-28

Look around, there are bolder ones... :P

rcopley1 (author)2011-08-30

this is useless and disgusting. popular with the mature ones, i see.

help_us_lisa (author)rcopley12012-02-02

yup, too bad you're to immature to enjoy the art. :)

fckundo (author)help_us_lisa2012-02-15

As in, "you're too bad at spelling."

tannerb924 (author)2008-01-27

your a strange cookie

help_us_lisa (author)tannerb9242012-02-02

as in, "you're bad at spelling"

MillenniumMan (author)2009-06-06

Only one thing came to mind when I saw those eyes: Termerator 2 - Guttment Day

LMFAO!! best. comment. ever.

Jagbassjosh (author)2011-10-06

This is so wrong, how could you do this. you are sick...AND I LOVE IT!!! This instructable is so delightfully demented, I can't even begin to describe how giddy I am. My college professors are getting their cars Rat throwied for sure.

NOODLE! (author)2011-06-01

this is a very creepy instructable and i think there should be a warning as the intro.

Grazelda (author)2011-04-11

you can purchase frozen rats and mice to feed your snakes and such... they're already dead...

kibukun (author)2011-01-15

you should have the ends of the leds behind the eyelids so they look like real eyes. That would look even creepier!

chirpilittle (author)2011-01-08

I find this disturbing.... and not cause you're stuffing a mouse, but because the thing looks possessed with those LED's! It would give kids nightmares (which isn't necessarily a bad thing :P )

famerebel (author)2010-12-09

I guess I just dont really see the point of this, is it like a dog toy? Its kind of interesting you have the stomach for it so you go there I guess! Haha.

compaqxp123 (author)2010-11-28

I LOL'd when I clicked on this link and saw the rat with glowing red led's. Good job on the project, mabye someday I'll skip lunch and try it.

dream of dmt (author)2010-11-10

i love this :)

lesh_dude (author)2010-07-08

:P YUCK! This tutorial is not for the faint of heart.

zascecs (author)2010-03-10

I actually Laughed Out Loud when I saw the picture of the mouse, just the look of it with those LED's sticking out of its head. No offence, of course, I think it's a great idea, I think I'll make one of these myself...! 

leolodreamland (author)2010-01-23

Here's a positive and constructive comment: grow up FFS...

revtkatt (author)2009-12-18

Sport death, sir.


Cielmerlion (author)2009-11-01

 Oh god people, get off your high horse already. This is not different than stuffed heads or stuffed animals at the museum. So he put LED's in its eyes, so what? if not led they put glass eyes in stuffed animals  same difference. To the "Insanity and Sickness" poster: Get over yourself already.

All that off my chest, i have to say that while i wouldnt do it myself since i think skinning the animal is gross, if i ever got this as a present or found one i would think it was hilarious!

Roadfighter (author)2009-01-20

Oké this is really sick. Can people really do this for fun ?


About This Instructable




Bio: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!
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