Scissor Lift (by Craft Sticks!)




About: I made a book with some new projects in it! It's called Marvelous Makeable Monsters. Check it out here: The Oakland Toy Lab is a community-based wonder lab for students to build, ti...

Scissor lifts were first built to do an incredible amount of lifting work of large machines and workers. However, they can also be used to poke your friends, so that's great, too!

This scissor lift is highly mod-able in that you make your scissor lift as short or long as you want, and make it do strange behaviors depending on your connectors. Have fun! We'd like to give a huge shout out to the Community Science Workshop Network for the design!

The details:

  • What: Scissor Lift!
  • Time: About 5 minutes
  • Cost: 25 cents
  • Materials:
    • Craft Sticks
    • Push Pins
    • Glue Sticks
  • Tools:
    • Drill
    • Scissors
  • Concepts: Simple Machines, Mechanical Engineering

Step 1: Drill 3 Holes in Craft Sticks

Make a stack of all your craft sticks, and drill three holes. You'll want them close to either end, and one right in the middle. The holes need to be big enough for the tip of a push pin to get through, so not too big. We used a 1/8" drill bit for the job.

Step 2: Cut Up Glue Sticks

Make your glue sticks in to small chunks that the push pins will go in to. These can be about half an inch long. We used 1.5 glue sticks for the whole project.

Step 3: Connect Your Craft Sticks Together

Time to connect them all together! Line up your craft sticks as so, and push the pin through and in to the glue stick on the other side. Some like to do this with metal brads, but this method is great for full range of motion with no catches.

Once you get the system of connecting middles and ends, you repeat all the way up! You can also add in some other connections to make some strange mechanical behaviors.

Step 4: Go Out and Grab Things!

Here are my futile attempts to get some coffee, but have fun with it! You can put all sorts of things on the end to add some humor to it. Signs, boxing gloves, pom-poms all make great starts!

Happy lifting!



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16 Discussions


2 years ago

Do you happen to know any alternative for the push pins?


4 years ago

Forgive me if I missed it in your instructions, but what are the short pieces for? Do they go between the whole craft sticks at each intersection? Gotta make one of these with my grand daughter!

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

I think it's for safety. So that the other end of the pin doesn't hurt you.


3 years ago on Step 2

How did you get the glue out of the glue sticks? And are there any alternatives to pieces of glue stick?

1 reply

Ahoy! For hot glue sticks, they come as they are from the store without the plastic shell that "cold gluesticks" have. Also, if you want an alternative to this, you can use brads that you can find at an office supply store. Get the smallest possible, so you can drill small holes. Good luck!


I was just looking for one of those punching fists on eBay. I could not decide if to get one or make one. I was not sure how to make one, now I know. Cheers

2 replies

4 years ago

Very nice


4 years ago

Very nice. Clean, concise, kid friendly. A+ :)


4 years ago



4 years ago