Introduction: Skell-Dogery Weather Toy

Our Skell-Dogery figure relishes a dark stormy night and signals such a night by raising it's hind leg in salute. It works by the action of a wisteria pod (actually half of a pod) that curls up in dry weather and relaxes in damp weather (high humidity). These figures last for years never needing a battery. I normally cover them with wool felting and make gnomes or animals that turn with the weather, but this skeleton idea also lets people see how it works. To get some idea how a dog skeleton should look, I went to the internet and got a suitable picture. Two examples of wool felted animals are here a donkey and my Naughty Pup with fire hydrant.


Supplies needed are small Wisteria Pods, mine are from: of course.

Plastic coated florist wire (mine is 2mm)

Gray or white bead wire (0.8mm coated solid wire).

White dimensional fabric paint.

White Paper Clay or play dough to form the skull.

Hot Melt glue and gun.

A 0.1 inch drill or close to that.

A driftwood slab for the base or any other wood base.

Other than the pods, the other things can be found at dollar or craft stores.

Step 1: Drilling Holes for Legs, Neck and Tail.

Begin by drilling 0.1 inch holes at each end of your pod. This is for the hind leg and the neck to be mounted.

Step 2: Painting the Bones on the Pod.

Using the dimensional (puff) paint draw the back bone and ribs and set aside to dry.

Step 3: Bending Front Legs

Bend the two front legs as one piece following the form of our dog skeleton.

Step 4: Mounting the Formed Legs, Head and Tail.

One hind leg is hinged as shown while the other goes through the hole in the back of the pod to form the dog's tail also. This is the leg that rises with the humidity. I used about 3 laps of the small bead wire to form all the joints and the claws on the feet. Use hot melt glue to hold the neck bone in place through the hole in the front of the pod. The hind legs are wire wrapped in place so they can move. A small loop of the thin white wire was fed through holes in the base and glued down to mount the front legs and the hinged back leg. All the legs are coated with the white paint so they look like bones, let the paint dry. The skull was formed of paper clay and the features were put in with a small stick and then the skull was pushed onto the wire loop. I used the thin wire to wrap the neck to look like bones. The wrap that holds his back legs in place also wraps his tail which is coated with white paint. I used a fine felt marker to darken the eyes and nose area on the skull. An optional fire hydrant or better yet a tomb stone can be added for his target when he lifts his leg.

Step 5: Assembly and Testing Final Adjustments.

You need to keep him where he can get some outside air and watch how he moves in dry weather and the end of the day mostly here, the wire can be easily adjusted on his back legs so he doesn't bring his legs too close together. His leg should be down when the pod twists to maximum. (about 40% or lower humidity), and go quite far up at 100% humidity. The fire hydrant on the other dog is held in place with a piece of bamboo skewer molded in place and stuck in a drilled hole in the base. Optional tomb stone can be hot melted in place if you don't want to try the skewer idea. His head was turned in after the paper clay dried to give a better pose.

Halloween Contest 2019

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2019