How to make a toy TV tray using only eight (8) foil gum wrappers.
Materials needed: 8 gum wrappers
Time and a little patience
Optional equipment: ruler, protractor.
Complexity - Low
This is a cheap and easy way to make a toy TV tray. This is suitable for a doll house or a knick-knack shelf. It's fun to make, keeps your hands busy and your mind engaged. The cost is nothing because you just use old gum wrappers. Plus, you're recycling materials that would otherwise be adding to the mountain of trash overflowing our landfills. (I'm still stretching for real reasons for creating these things. My whole family thinks I'm nuts).
This is similar in construction to the footstool instructable I published. This is a variation of that design on a bigger scale.
Let the fun begin!
Step 1: Make Seven Sticks
You will need seven (7) sticks to start this project. Six (6) of them will be part of the finished TV tray. The other one is just for use in shaping the other sticks.
Get busy - you have seven (7) sticks to roll and you'll need one flat wrapper for the tray top. This step took me about 20 minutes to complete. Here's a video me making a stick.
Here are more instructables that have detailed steps on creating a stick.
Step 2: Bend the Legs
You need to make a 90 degree bend one inch from one of the ends of each stick (4 total). This will make an "L" shape with a long part of 2 1/2 inches and a short part of 1 inch. The long part will be a leg of the TV tray stand. The short part will be one of the connectors for the tray top. You will need to make four (4) of these "L" shaped sticks. They need to be uniform in size.
The bends needs to be at a 90 degree angle. An optional protractor would help, but that's overkill for this project. Just eyeball it - this isn't rocket science!
If you're familiar with the footstool instructable, the short portion of the stick formed the legs and the long portion was used for the attachment. Here we are reversing that and using more sticks for a larger, taller TV stand.
Step 3: Make Two Braces
Make two "V" braces, just like the ones made in the footstool instructable.
Bend a stick in half at a 90 degree angle. Next, hold a straight stick along one side and wrap one half around the straight stick in a tight spiral until all of that half is used. Gently pull the straight stick out.
Repeat the process for the second half. Place the straight stick so that is forms a "V" shape with the brace. Take the straight half of the brace and make another spiral wrap around the straight stick using all the length possible. Remove the straight stick again. You should then have a "V" shape with spiral connectors on each side of equal length.
Repeat that process for the second brace. You need two braces for this TV tray stand.
Step 4: Create the Tray Top
Measure the top:
The tray top needs to be slightly wider than 2 inches. The reason is that the connectors on the end of each leg are 1 inch long. There will be two connectors per side of the tray top and they need to go all the way inside the tray top.
I laid out two legs with the connectors end to end. This shows the minimum length of the table top of 2 inches. Lay out a flat gum wrapper next to that, center it, then fold up the sides into the middle to make the flat wrapper slightly longer than 2 inches.
Keep the shiny side down when initially laying out the wrapper.
Next, you will need to fold the tray for width. Turn the flat wrapper 90 degrees and fold the sides toward the middle so that you have about one inch centered in that direction. You should now have a "U" shaped piece which is 2 inches long, 1 inch wide and has two upright legs of equal length.
Roll the tray top connectors:
Take a straight stick and roll each leg of the U toward the middle until you get to the crease. Keep the completely shiny side down.
Keep the roll as tight as possible. You may have to roll it a numbers to get a nice tight roll. Pull the stick out of the roll when finished.
Step 5: Assemble the TV Tray
If you got this far, you will have everything you need to assemble the TV tray - 4 legs w/ connectors, 2 "V" braces, and a tray top with connectors.
Similar to the footstool project, the legs (long parts) need to be threaded through the bottom of each V brace. Each brace will hold 2 legs in what looks like an "X". Slide both legs through the same distance until the bottom of the V is at the halfway point of both legs (about 1 1/4 inch from each end). The connectors (the 1 inch bent parts) need to be at the same end of the "X". They also need to be pointing in the same direction and be approximately an inch apart.
You will need two sets of these "X" figures. The tray top will fit between them.
Connect the tray top:
Take the tray top and place it in between the two "X" figures. The short connectors will slide into the long rolls of the tray top. Make sure the completely shiny side is facing the top of the tray. You will have two 1 inch sticks to slide in on each side. Try to start the two on one side as evenly as possible - don't slide any one stick in too far before getting the other stick on that side started. Repeat on the other side and you are done!
As you can see, you have created a most handsome addition to your home furnishing with this stylish TV tray. Congratulations!
Bonus picture - toy slide. What can you make?