Introduction: Introducing: Bark

About: I'm all about Making and Mental Health. Reach out if you need a chat .

I've been dabbling in stop motion animation recently*, and thought I'd share how I made my latest character, "Bark", with a few generalisations that you could use for your own creations.

*See and

Step 1: Materials

For a simple character like this, all you need is a body, arms and some kind of face.

For the body, I started with a seasoned hazel branch, about an inch thick, but you could use almost anything - a lump of modelling clay, a pebble, or an interesting bottle. Just go with what shouts "character" at you.

For the arms, I used pipe cleaners.

You can use anything that you can pose - paperclips, sausages of modelling clay, maybe limbs transplanted from broken toys.

Bark's face is also his body (a common cheat), with added googly eyes. You could sculpt a face in a clay body, cut shapes out of paper, or use clay to make a face on a smooth surface.

(To make Bark, the tools I used were a tenon saw, drill with a 2mm bit, and sandpaper.)

Step 2: Cutting & Sanding

I chopped a chunk of branch off, sliced off one side at an angle, then smoothed off the faces with sandpaper.

See how the grain forms a natural "smile" when cut and smoothed at an angle? I will only be adding a mouth to express emotions or speak.

Step 3: Drill

Using a 2mm bit, I drilled right through the wood.

If you're using something you can't drill, think about adding a blob of modelling clay at the "shoulder", or possibly gluing on a small piece of wood with the hole drilled into that.

Step 4: Add Arms

For Bark, I just needed to thread the pipe-cleaner though the hole in the body, and shape the ends into fingers.

If you aren't using pipe-cleaners, I'll have to leave it to your own creativity on how you fix them, but feel free to ask questions in the comments.

Step 5: The Face

As I already mentioned, the grain of the wood makes a natural smile when it's cut at an angle and sanded off.

For eyes, I dipped into my stock of googly eyes. Yes, they're odd-sized, but I like the slight touch of mania that adds. They're only held on with blu-tack, so I can swap them in size and position if I need to.

Step 6: Make a Movie!

Making a stop-motion animation is a whole different Instructable, but I thought you'd appreciate seeing Bark in action, and having a glimpse of my oh-so-sophisticated studio...

I usually just take the photos with my phone, propped up on something handy, and then use a free app, such as PicPac, to stitch the photos together & add music.

Step 7: Friends!

Bark needed a friend to complete the pun - with the back of the head cut off, a strip of double-sided tape and some trimmed pipe-cleaners, and Bark's new friend Hair is born.

Woodworking Contest

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest