I am a storytelling librarian who has a thing for snowmen, steampunk and making. Of course, someday they would all merge and Junkie the Funky Snowman came to life.
People had been sending these cute little things on social media because they knew I liked snowmen. I looked at it and said cool, been done how can I change it up a bit.
This is a great project to share with little ones. You can talk about recycling, upcycling, repurposing, life lessons and entertain them in the process of explaining that although things have lived one life doesn't mean they can't be made into something new and beautiful.
Step 1: What You're Gonna Need
Not a lot of technical here but a lot of fun. You could actually do this build while kids are there. Just make sure you put safety first.
E-6000 glue, a must in every makers tool kit
2 AAA batteries
Step 2: Turning a Water Jug Into Snowman
You will need to CAREFULLY start cutting with the utility knife. Cut the neck out of the bottle. I start with utility knife and once it is started I use scissors. This plastic is thin to reduce risk of injury, I finished with scissors.
Step 3: Add Some Lights
You want him to light up at the end of the story, that is when the magic happens. So put the lights (I had purchased these at a local dollar store for a buck, great investment) down inside the jug. Make sure to leave the battery pack hanging out. You will need to be able to access the power switch easily.
Step 4: He Has to Have a Top Hat, Obviously
Once you get the lights in, it is time for his hat. This hat was a plain black top hat Christmas ornament that I had decorated previously. I like how it looked and it also gives Junkie a little bling. The hat was decorated with hot glue. E-6000 was a little strong for the Styrofoam base used for the hat, I also used hot glue to glue the hat to the milk jug.
Step 5: Adding the Eyes
The parts I used for the eyes were taken from a camera that was disassembled at one of our maker meeting. Also being a photographer, I took that opportunity to talk about how photographers see the world through their lenses. So parts from a camera were great for this. It is a chance to teach them that just because something doesn't work, doesn't mean it can't be used for something else.
Step 6: I Put a Little Spring in His Nose
I wanted something that the kids could touch, they are kids, they wanna touch things. Well, a spring worked perfectly. They could pull the spring (insert me saying "Easy" here, after all we don't want the spring sprung).
So instead of a carrot for a nose, he got a spring, glued on with E-6000.
Step 7: His Mouth
Using gears for his mouth gave him a nice smile and also allowed me to talk about how so many things are run by gears. E-6000 was used again.
Step 8: Finally Junkie Has His Story
I worked out the story about a little boy (in this case) liked to collect stuff. He just loved stuff that other people didn't love anymore. He would take the stuff apart and sort out the parts in his bedroom knowing that one day he would use them for something.
One day he happens upon a snowman that someone had started but never finished. He didn't have coal for the eyes and the mouth nor did he have a carrot for a nose but he knew that in his stuff he could find something to work.
He runs home and gathers parts from cameras and springs and gears and runs back to the snowman, hoping he is not too late. As he runs past the Christmas tree he grabs an ornament that his special friend had made for him, special just for him. He just knew in his heart that this hat was special.
He runs back to the snowman and begins to work. He places each piece of his stuff on the snowman it gets more and more alive until when he put the ornament on the snowman's head. That was when the snowman glowed with a warmth that he had never felt before (at this point you turn on the lights). The little boy had used stuff other people didn't want or need anymore and made something new which was very beautiful.
Once again, it talks of the power of making and how what we do makes a difference to others, even though we may never know how much.
Hope you enjoyed Junkie's story. If you did, share him with someone else.