Customizeable Wooly Willy

Introduction: Customizeable Wooly Willy

About: I'm a designer - I started off working with commercial Architecture/Interior design and transitioned through to Graphic, Product, and Industrial Design. I love making things, especially trying new techniques.

I loved Wooly Willy as a kid and always wanted to make a large, customizeable version.

This version is A4 size and you can change the picture to whatever you want.

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Step 1: Materials

Items needed:

  • Iron powder
  • 2 or 3 mm clear acrylic
  • 8 mm acrylic (or other similarly thick material)
  • Superglue or acrylic solvent
  • Elastic string
  • 2 magnets (one small and one large
  • Electrical shrink tubing of various sizes
  • String

Note 1: I bought some iron powder and found the grains somewhat small. If I had known, I might have tried to find a way to sift out the small iron dust as those pieces tended to cling to the acrylic for some reason (static cling - is that possible with metal?). It looks a bit dirty, but you can use the stylus to clean it.

Also, it is a bit grey instead of pure black. I kind of had to buy it sight unseen.

Note 2: You don't necessarily need a lasercutter, but I have access to one so I used it. If you have a makerspace in your area, this is a quick project that you can do there and I encourage you to go visit to see what it has to offer.

Step 2: Gluing the Acrylic.

Dry fit the pieces and them note the placement and orientation. Mark them if you have to. Once you glue it in place, you can't undo it. I got confused and glued it wrong, but luckily the first glue I used wasn't permanent.

Step 3: Make Tape Hinges

To make tape hinges, lay the spacer down onto the bottom plate in the correct position. Then take small pieces of tape to hold it in place, but leaving it to still swing out like a door.

When you flip out the piece, you can apply superglue/solvent. When you flip it back in, it will be in the exact same position as before. (This is how you put on tempered glass screen protectors, for instance.)

Step 4: Glue Everything Together Leaving the Plug Hole

Glue all the spacers except for the small plug wedge. Then glue on the top plate.

This is so you can fill it with iron powder in afterwards. I figured that it would be easier to do afterwards.

Step 5: Fill With Iron Powder

Make a paper funnel and fill in about 3 generous teaspoons of iron powder. However much you want to use is up to you. I kind of just guessed.

You can always test it out before sealing it.

Step 6: Seal the Plug

I attached the plug wedge to a piece of tape so that it wouldn't fall down accidentally. Then I coated it with glue and pushed it in gently.

I used some hot glue to seal any gaps where iron powder might leak out. I put a glob of glue on the spot and when it was cool enough, I pushed it in and wiped away the excess.

Step 7: Add an Elastic Band

I decided to use elastic bands to hold the photo in place. You could use clips or even magnets if you wanted to change the design.

Step 8: Make the Stylus

I cut a chopstick to a bit shorter than the shrink tube.

I then cut a hole in the middle of the shrink tube and inserted a piece of string. I wanted to make a double-ended stylus with a big magnet on one end and a smaller one on the other.

I inserted the chopstick and then heated and shrunk the middle of the tube to hold it in place.

Step 9: Attach the Magnets

I inserted the small magnet into one end and heat shrunk it. I cut off the excess tubing.

I then cut a larger piece of shrink tubing for the larger magnet. I shrunk it to the other end and put the larger magnet in place, heating and cutting off the excess.

I used shrink tubing because I wanted to hold the magnet in place as well as protect it from scratching the acrylic.

Step 10: Tether and Tie the Stylus.

Tie it to the frame. :D

Step 11: Add Your Picture and Draw to Your Heart's Content.

I will eventually glue two photos - one to each side - onto a piece of cardboard and use it draw. In the meantime...

I hope you have fun making it.

Credit: I found the image using Google image. Can be found here.

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    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    This is hilarious!