Introduction: Dog Drinking Tea Automata

Here is my step by step guide on how to make an automata of this funny dog I designed.


  • 1 small cardboard box
  • Cutting instrument
  • Skewers
  • Glue
  • Printable Sheet
  • Drill bit slightly larger than the skewers
  • Counterweight (binderclip)

Step 1: Get Your Stuff

Start off by acquiring all of the supplies. Print the sheet and glue each part to a piece of cardboard. Now cut out each individual part.

Step 2: Set Up the Dog to Stand

Now that you have each part cut out, cut out 2 small rectangles smaller than the dog's head. Glue these pieces on top of each other, then glue them to the dog's face. Now glue the dog head with the top hat on top of the stack of cardboard you just made. Next. cut out a small rectangle about the width of the dog. Put a horizontal line of glue in the middle and paste the dog on standing upright. You will now be able to look at this funny guy for the rest of the build.

Step 3: Make the Moving Parts

Cut out 6 small circles of cardboard about 1.5 cm in diameter

Glue the circles together in pairs, then poke a hole towards the side of each of these 3 new circles using the drill bit

Cut out 2 strips of cardboard 1 cm by 5 cm, and a third strip 1 cm by 15 cm.

Step 4: Setting Up the Base

Use a large square of cardboard as the base for your automata. Cut out 2 large rectangles of cardboard about 8 cm by 10+ cm. Poke a hole in each at least 8 cm from the top and 2cm from the bottom, and in the horizontal middle. Poke another hole in each about 1 cm up and 2 cm over. Glue each of these pieces parallel to each other about 8 cm apart and perpendicular to the base.

Cut out another piece of cardboard that will fit inside the parallel sides about 8 cm by 5 cm. Glue this piece to the inside of the parallel sides about 3 cm from the top, and at least 2 cm from the back.

Cut out another piece of cardboard that will fit on top of the parallel sides, and glue it on.

Step 5: Attaching Some of the Parts

Glue your dog onto the exact middle of the top. Using the drill bit, widdle a hole in line with the middle of the dog right down through both the top cardboard and the one lower down. Do this again in line with the right side of the dog (the side with no front leg).

Step 6: Attaching the Tail

Cut a small square with sides of about 1.5 cm length from the edge of the top cardboard behind the dog.

Take the 2 strips of equal length and glue them together at a 90 degree angle, with the left side over the right.

Cut out another piece of cardboard that can be attached to the back of the pillars. Widdle a hole with the drill bit right in the middle of this piece of cardboard, and glue it to the back of the pillars where the hole is about 6 cm from the top.

Put a skewer through the side of the longest strip of cardboard about 2 cm from one end. Put the skewer through the hole in the piece of cardboard you just attached to the backside and line it up so that the top of the long strip goes through the hole you just cut in the top. Glue the cardboard strip to the skewer.

Glue the tail pieces on top of each other, and glue that to the cardboard sticking out of the top so that the dog looks like its wagging its tail from side to side.

Take the two strips you glued together and put, through the side of the right one, the skewer that already has the large strip on it. Line it up so that the small and large strips are perpendicular and the smaller strip is pushed all the way back. Now glue the small strip to the skewer. Cut the skewer so that it doesn't go past the edge of the small strip.

Lastly, stick a skewer through the non-centered premade hole in the sides that also goes through the small strip that has no skewer in it already.

Step 7: Other Moving Parts

Stick a skewer through one of the parallel sides, then put those 3 pre-cut circles on this new skewer, and put the skewer through the other parallel side. Adjust the circles to line up under: 1. the small strip, 2. the hole in-line with the middle of the dog, and 3. the hole in-line with the right side of the dog. Glue the 3 circles down to the skewer.

Stick 2 more skewers into the tongue part and the arm part, then glue them together (cut off any excess). Put those skewers through the holes in the top and lower them to find the point where they should be at their minimum low point. Cut off any excess skewer below the top of the circle at the lowest point the circle can get to. Cut out 2 small rectangles of cardboard and glue them on to the bottom of these skewers.

Step 8: Finishing Up

Find an extra piece of cardboard and widdle 4 holes into it about 2 cm apart using the drill bit. Now cut out a small circle (no more than 1.5 cm diameter) around each of these holes so that the hole is in the middle. Put these circles on the ends of skewers sticking out the sides and move them so that they are right up against the side. Glue these circles to the skewers.

Next make a handle. It does not matter what it looks like, just make sure you can use it to spin the skewer. Widdle a hole through your handle using the drill bit, and attach it to one side of the skewer with the circles on it. It should not be right up against the side, but rather slightly offset from it. Glue the handle to the skewer, and cut off any excess of skewer from the sides.

Find a counterweight to put on the small strip. In this case, I have used a binder clip.

Step 9: All Done!

Lastly, turn the handle because you're all done!