I developed this kit as a way for kids to learn the basic mechanics of strobing images and get excited about animation. My first workshop was with our local science discovery centre's school holiday program. (Scitech!)
The kit had to be exceedingly simple and quick to make because I had to make at least 30 of them and, when my lasercutting deal fell through, I had to make them in a day.
There are so many variations out there you can really take your pick. This one is really easy to put together.
I had purchased bearings and bolts and all kinds of things that I didn't end up using. Hanging it with thread was someone's stroke of panicked genius that day. It's easy, hands free, and spins for much longer.
For the main barrel:
A1 sheet of black cardboard (you can use a smaller one and tape bits together)
Plastic plates (a little more than diameter of zoetrope barrel.. plates normally make for a good grip around the edge)
Something to punch holes (punch+hammer, drill press, hot wire.. whatever!)
White paper for your animation (can use A1 or smaller strips stuck together)
For the stand:
Sturdy cardboard (2 x A4)
Step 1: Measure and cut slits
My first kit had 3mm slits; that was too much and the animation was blurry.
This is the most time-consuming part, but if you're only making one it shouldn't take very long.
I had to use slave-labour and/or bribery.
13 frames is a traditional format.. The number of frames is usually odd. I speculate that this is so that you look through a slit between frames – directly at the opposite frame. In reality, with this kind of kit, you will not notice any difference and can make it as many frames as you want.
13 frames is small enough that kids have to keep their design very simple and can therefore actually complete a loop in the given time.