Instructables is truly one of the best places on earth: a community of people (and bots) so ingenious, curious, courageous, fun-loving, and adventurous.
One of the Instructables that embodies such spirits and made me feel utterly inspired is this one by fellow member Seamster / Sam: a wooden Pooping Reindeer Candy Dispenser.
As a total newbie, I did not even think about trying to recreate it: who has Sam's crazy woodworking skills?
A couple of years went by, after tinkering with some paper crafts and kinetic mechanisms, I thought about making one using paper. When our dear friends announced they are coming to visit us with their two sons ( age 5 and 8) before the holidays, I finally got enough motivation to design and make one.
It worked! Check out the video above to see it in action!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
The first half of the tutorial is fool-proof: we will make a reindeer from a Pringles Potato Crisps can or any paper tubes.
You will also need:
- some sturdy card stock
- a big red pom pom
- popsickle sticks
- a craft saw to cut the paper tubes and popsickle sticks
- hot glue sticks and a glue gun
In the second half we will turn it into a magical reindeer candy dispenser, with simple materials such as rubber bands, a few small pebbles and pop-sickle sticks!
Step 2: Make the Reindeer Body
To make the Reindeer, first cut the Pringles can into 2 parts, 4" long for the head, and 6" long for the body using a craft saw or box cutter.
Cut small openings for the neck and legs made of pop-sickle sticks. The size of these openings should be just big enough for the sticks to slide through.One opening each on the head and body for the neck, four openings on the body for the leg. The neck is made of 2 pieces of craft sticks to extend the length, and also to stop the head from sliding down. The piece on the head will be glued behind the piece coming from the body.
Test the Reindeer fitted together with pop-sickle sticks, mark where to trim off, and cut the pop-sickle sticks with a craft saw.
Note: the additional opening you see is where you will deposit candies.
Step 3: Make the Candy Pooping Mechanism
Print out the candy-pooping mechanism, cut, score and glue the pieces as shown. All the letters correspond to the numbers in pdf. ( Downloads at Step 5)
Here's how it works: we put candies (sized for M&Ms) through the cut slot into the candy funnel (A) which holds about 30 M&Ms. The push stick (C) is glued to the neck (and head) and slide inside the candy chute (B) so
when we press on the Reindeer's nose, it pushes 2-3 pieces of candies out. When we release the nose, the head bounces back (rubber band magic) and 2-3 pieces of candies comes down again from the funnel to the chute. The base (D) is to raise everything to the correct level.
Test and make sure the pieces fit and works before gluing everything permanently.
Step 4: Glue and Assemble
We are almost done! Just need to make the head bounce back by adding rubber bands, attach them to a piece of craft stick glued to the front legs, and weave them behind the neck piece like shown.
To stabilize it, glue some pebbles to the interior, and cover with the finishing pieces (printable at the end) to keep the clean look and the mystery within!
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Who does not love Rudolph?
Piece #4 fits inside the lid that the can came with. Cut an opening to match where the candies come out, and we are done! Just add M&Ms! The funnel will hold about 20 to 30 pieces of candy.
Here are the downloads including the reindeer antlers, eyes, tail etc, and the candy pooping mechanism parts.
Step 6: Sweet Success
Our friends told us that their sons love Skittles. Luckily this reindeer works beautifully with Skittles too.
We surprised the two children by asking them to touch the nose of this innocent looking reindeer, and out comes their favorite candy!
The reindeer took some work and some luck. The kids' endless giggles and squeals as they walked away with their gift made it so worth it!