The 'Easter Rattle Snake
- Not to be confused with the Eastern Rattle Snake
If you have kids or a large extended family, each year you participate in the yearly easter egg hunt... and unless you're the purist and use real hard-boiled died eggs you end up each year with a lot of emptied plastic easter eggs - and a few stragglers the kids did not find.
So, what exactly are we to do with these plastic discarded shells... you can't chuck them in the compost bin, they don't recycle, you could clean and reuse for Jello molds... If you a foot or two of twine/rope, a drill, a 1/4" drill bit, a scrap piece of wood and a glue gun you make an Easter Rattle Snake.
Step 1: Parts List
A lot of empty plastic Easter Eggs
- used or bought on clearance for dirt cheap, cheap, cheap (pun intended)
- you can by in bulk from wholesale/eBay, but we're recycling/reusing here ok...
2-5 feet of nylon rope or twine, depending on how long you want your snake and how much patience you have.
Scissors, for cutting rope/twine
Your favorite variable-speed drill, I prefer DeWalt or Black+Decker
1/2" drill bit
1/4" drill bit
Scrap 2x4 pine, about 2-3 feet in length
- any thick piece of scrap wood will do...
Glue or Tape
We used hot glue and some masking tape... you can also use super glue or plastic model airplane glue or just plain old clear masking tape.
For the rattler...
Jelly Beans, just need 3 or 4, the rest you can snack on while you put this together. You can also use those heart candies or mike+ikes, they seem to last forever.
For the eyes...
Plastic toy eyeballs, the kind that you buy at Michael's / JoAnne's or other craft store that have a peel off backing and can stick to things, they wiggle when you shake them. If you're feeling real creative make some out of Fimo polymer clay. Even simpler, use a black Sharpie marker or eyeball stickers... your choice.
Step 2: Rope
Eat some Jelly Beans...
Cut about two feet of rope... or more if you want a longer snake - who doesn't want or like a long snake!? I used some old climbers rope, the kind that you can cut and then melt the ends off to form a clean break.
Step 3: Half Shell...
First off, this works better if you have an easter egg that is split along the narrow half... recently the easter egg consortium has produced easter eggs that split along the length of the plastic egg. The don't work too well for this project.
Assemble your eggs... well disassemble your eggs. If you're like me and have a touch of OCD then you'll separate then into three piles: by color, short half and long half... Set aside two whole easter eggs, these will be the tail end and the head end, you only need to drill one hole in the bottom of the egg that you'll use for the tail end.
Step 4: Drill Holes...
Set aside two whole, complete plastic eggs... these are for the Head and Tail/Rattler... they can be the same colors or complimentary color or clear or mixed, your choice.
Insert drill bit into chuck, make sure it's nice and secure...
safety note: use safety goggles if you feel the need, it's highly recommended when using any sort of power-tool that can do bodily harm or fling objects at high speed.
place 2x4 on your concrete garage floor, kitchen counter or floor... hold it down firmly or clamp it if you have the means. Proceed to drill a 1/2" hole part-way through the wood. This will be used as your jig for holding the egg shells.
here comes the mundane part of the project... place an emptied eggshell half onto the 2x4, over the hole and proceed to drlil out a 1/4" hole. Start slowly or use a slow RPM setting on your drill... some eggs drill perfectly fine (ones made with softer plastic) other can crack if you drill too quickly. Use of work gloves might come in handy if you're worried about cutting yourself up with the drill bit if you happen to slip while drilling. We did around a hundred and not a single slippage or scar... please don't drill a hole into your kitchen floor or countertop.
Don't worry about if the hole gets off centered or too large or cracked too much... after you assemble the Easter Snake it will be hidden between each shell.
drill more holes... drill more holes... drill more holes...
The two whole, complete plastic eggs you set aside earlier... take one and drill a hole in the bottom and take the other and drill a hole in the top and bottom.
Step 5: Tail/Rattler
Take one complete eggshell, open it, string the rope through and then tie it off... close the eggshell by securing it with a bit of hot-glue (or plastic / super glue, tape) around the edges.
If you would like to assemble a rattler easter snake, add a few Jelly Beans or dried beans...
safety note: don't put anything that could pop out later and become a choking hazard.
You now have assembled an easter egg shell with a long tail... looks like a mutant tadpole.
Step 6: Stringing the Snake
proceed to string your Easter Snake together...
Here is where your creativity and personal preference part comes in... you can choose to mix the colors of the snake up, use solid colors first, use a mixture of colors and clear shells - it depends on what you want, you can always dissasemlbe if you want to and start over.
You can alternate the shells like we did and do long half, short half, long half... depending on how you do this part of assembling the body and how tightly you tie off the rope at the end it will determine your snakes ability to "slither" and bend.
Step 7: Finishing the Easter Rattle Snake
When you get to your last half easter egg shell, insert the bottom half of the second whole egg, string the rest of the rope through, close it off and glue it shut. You should now have a long plastic snake with a really long tongue...
Make a knot in the rope near the head end of the snake and cut it to the desired length you want for its tongue. If you want to make a forked tongue, cut the end of the rope lengthwise until you reach the knot. If you're using twine, just unwrap the twine and trip off excess twin that you don't need.
Add the eyes and a smile.
Enjoy your Easter Rattle Snake.