This instructable shows how to make a set of flower sticks from common household items. A great way for anyone who wants to pick up this form of juggling quickly and cheaply.
With all the materials and tools at hand, this set of flower sticks would take only half an hour or so to make.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- 1 roll of PVC anti slip mat
Available from hardware stores, or household goods stores. These are the thin, flexible sort sold in rolls (about 30 cm wide and 1-1.5 m long), and can be cut with scissors.
- 3 wooden sticks
At least 60 cm long. Diameter can be anywhere between 8 mm and 10 mm. Here, bamboo gardening support sticks are used, but any kind of wooden dowel can be used instead.
- handful of nuts and washers
The inner diameter must be large enough for it to fit snugly onto the ends of the wooden sticks.
Total material cost is less than USD$10.
- wood saw
- glue gun
- steel ruler
- utility knife
Step 2: Cut Sticks to Length
How easy it is to control the flower stick depends on its moment of inertia. A lower moment of inertia means that only a light hit is enough to get it spinning fast, but this also means that the stick is harder to control. Conversely, a larger moment of inertia means that the same torque will get the stick spinning slower, making it easier to control. Thus, when starting out, it's a good idea to make the stick longer.
Cut one stick to a length of 50 cm (or 60 cm). This forms the flower stick.
Cut each of the other two sticks to a length 5 cm less than the flower stick. These form the handsticks.
Step 3: Add a Stop for the Nuts
We first need to add some mass to each end of the flower stick. These will be provided by the nuts and washers.
At a distance of 3 cm from each end of the flower stick, add some glue to form a ring around the stick. Let the glue dry.
Step 4: Add the Nuts
Slip on three nuts onto each end of the flower stick. Add a large blob of glue at the end, making sure the nuts are snug between the two glue stops. You can also dribble glue down the centre of the nuts to doubly secure them.
Check the balance of the flower stick; its centre of gravity should be right at the midpoint of the stick. If not, glue on washers on the lighter end until the stick is balanced.
Step 5: Cut Some Anti-slip Strips
Unroll the anti-slip mat, and cut out a long strip about 3 cm wide.
Step 6: Wrapping the Anti-slip Strip Around the Stick
Glue one end of the anti-slip strip onto one end of the flower stick, covering the nuts. Then, start wrapping the strip around the stick at an angle, so it ends up covering the entire stick. When the strip reaches the other end of the flower stick, wrap it around the nuts at that end, gluing it in place.
A warning: Hot glue will ooze out between the holes in the anti-slip material. It's very easy to burn your fingers if you're not careful.
Step 7: Wrap Around Another Strip
Cut another 3 cm wide strip, and repeat the previous wrapping step, but now starting at the opposite end of the flower stick.
Once that's done, put it aside while we make the tassels.
Step 8: Make the Tassels
Cut out two pieces of anti-slip mat, about 12 cm x 15 cm in size. Make a series of slices in it, to form fringes. This completes the tassels.
Here, a different coloured anti-slip mat is used, and the fringes are cut to a width of 1 cm.
Step 9: Attach the Tassel
Wrap one tassel around each end of the flower stick, using glue to keep it in place.
Step 10: Completed Flower Stick
And here's the completed flower stick!
Now we just need to make some handsticks.
Step 11: Wrap the Ends
Cut four small strips of anti-slip mat, about 5 cm long by 3 cm wide. Fold a strip around each end of the other two sticks, and glue them in place.
Step 12: Wrap the Handsticks
Cut another 3 cm wide strip from the anti-slip mat and wrap it around one handstick until it reaches the other end, then glue it in place. Wrap another strip around the handstick one more time, starting from the opposite end.
Repeat this for the other handstick.
Step 13: Completed Flower Stick Set
And you're done!
There are quite a few sites out there that show how to juggle the flower sticks. Here are some great ones:
www.devilstick.de: Video animations
www.devilstick.org: Lots of tricks to learn
If you've never done it before, getting started can be quite intimidating and frustrating. After two weeks of half-hour practice sessions though, you'll be spinning some propellers... :)
Step 14: Alternative Construction Methods
You can also make the flower sticks with tape instead of glue. This is a much less messier method.
Play around with various stick lengths and weights until you find something that's comfortable for you.