Make a small toy footstool made entirely out of foil gum wrappers.
This is a fairly easy construction and only requires 5 gum wrappers. No other materials required.
This might be a good project while taking a short flight somewhere, or when your stuck in the doctor's waiting room, etc. The materials are readily available almost anywhere. All you need is 5 or 6 gum wrappers from stick gum (examples shown is from Wrigley's Extra). It's a good way to pass some time and keeps your fingers busy. Eventually you can build enough of these types of projects to outfit a doll house for your grandchildren. (again, I don't know why I do this - just stretching for a reason).
Okay, let's get rollin'
Step 1: Fold 4 Sticks
If you've read any of my other instructables, you're already familiar with this.
We need to create four (4) gum wrapper sticks for the construction of the footstool.
TIP: Make an extra stick to use in the construction process. Not required, but recommended.
Lay a wrapper out flat with the serrated edges facing up. Make sure the little flaps at the ends are unfolded all the way.
Fold in half lengthwise. Try to make the fold as exact as possible.
Keep folding in half a couple more times lengthwise. When you get to where you can't fold it, crease it down the middle again lengthwise with your thumbnail. Keep in the middle as much as possible.
Fold around the crease as best you can. Then roll the piece between your thumb and fingers to produce a cylindrical stick made of aluminum.
Repeat this process process at least four (4) times. Again, I recommend making extras.
Suggestion: Carry some spare wrappers in your pocket and do this when you are idle somewhere. I collect them in my empty gum packs which protect them fairly well. An old Altoids tin would also work well for this (I prefer the licorice ones, which is completely irrelevant here).
I encourage you to try this project and to make up your own creations (and share on instructables, of course)
Step 2: Measure the Legs, Measure the Braces, Measure the Foot Rest Top.
Measure the legs:
The foot stool will have legs that are 1/3 the length of the stick. The width of the stool is also 1/3. The total length of a stick is 3 1/2 inches (using Wrigley's, ymmv). This work out to each leg of the stool being 1 1/6 inches. You can use a ruler to measure from one end of a stick or the method I use - gum wrapper fold.
To measure 1/3 of the length of the stick simply fold another gum wrapper in thirds lengthwise. It's not an exact measure, but as long as you use this same length each time, it will be fine. Now make a 90 degree bend in one of the sticks at that point. Just do one for now (unless you have spare straight sticks).
Measure the braces:
The braces for the legs of the stools will consist of two spirals that wrap around the sticks and hold them together. You want equal spirals for each brace connector, so measure down halfway on two (2) sticks and bend them at that point. I bend them about 90 degrees which gives plenty of room to make the spiral connectors. An easy way to get a rule of 1/2 the length is to again use another gum wrapper this time folding it in half by bringing the short end together.
Measure the foot rest top:
The foot rest top will be the same length as the leg - 1/3 the length of the stick. You already have that length in the fold of the leg. Simply center that length against the width of a totally unfolded wrapper (shiny side down). Fold the sides in toward the middle so that the width of the wrapper matches length of the leg (1 1/6 inches).
Step 3: Make the Foot Rest Top
After you have the the foot rest top the proper width, you will need to roll the connectors from the sides into the middle. Take a straight stick and roll from each end toward the center, keeping the roll as tight as possible. Stop rolling when you get about 1/4 inch from the center. Repeat this on the other side after sliding the stick out gently. The rolls are the connectors for the top of the stool. The shiny side will go up. The rolls will allow the stool to vary in size as we stretch the legs after assembly, so don't be concerned about exact measure on distanced rolled from center.
Step 4: Create Braces, Bend Another Leg, Assemble One Side
Take one of the sticks that was bent in the middle. 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 have a "V" shape now with spiral connectors on each side.
Repeat that process for the second brace. You need two braces for this stool.
Bend the second leg:
The remaining straight stick (if you only made 4) can now be folded for the leg of the stool. Simply use the other stool leg that you folded to measure the length of this leg. Make the 90 degree angle fold on this stick at that spot.
Assemble one side:
This is kind of a tricky part. The legs (short parts) of the sticks need to be threaded into a brace. Simply slide each leg through the top of the "V" brace down through the spiral. This can take some patience and dexterity. Work at it and get it so it looks like a little "X" for where the legs cross. Try to get the legs to be equal in length from where they meet in the brace.
Step 5: Attach the Foot Rest Top, Fold the Other Legs, Install Other Brace
Attach the foot rest top:
Now that you have one side braced together, you can slide the top of the foot rest onto the sticks. The long portions of the sticks should be parallel and about 1/2 inch apart. Take the foot rest top and slide both sticks through the rolled connectors. Keep the shiny side up (the bottom is the open side of the brace where the legs stick out). Slide the top all the way to the bends of the legs.
Getting the sticks to thread through can be troublesome. I found that I can easily get a single straight stick through the each roll. Threading two at once is harder. I use a spare straight sticks and thread them through from the opposite side. When I push the two at once from the other side, the straight sticks help guide them through the hole. The separate straight sticks are simply pushed out the back side of each roll hole.
Fold the other legs:
After your foot rest top is in place, it will mark the point at which the other legs need to be folded down. Remember, it was 1/3 for the legs on one side, 1/3 for the foot rest top, and that leaves 1/3 for the legs on the other side. Fold each leg down at a 90 degree angle in the same direction as the ones on the other side.
Assemble the other brace:
Repeat the process you completed on the first brace with the second. Each side should form a little "X" and be even. It helps to tighten up the spirals once you have the shape you want. Simple twist them in the same direction they were wrapped. The top may be too loose or tight. Just roll the sides with your fingers to loosen or tighten as needed to make the stool fit properly.
This stools is a bit too large for the tiny chairs in my previous instructable.
tiny chair instructable
I'm still working on the instructions for a bigger chair that goes with this footstool. The chair takes almost 30 wrappers to make so please be patient.
Step 6: Epilogue
Here is a picture of my attempt at an umbrella. I'm still tinkering with designs for this. Believe it or not, this is much better than my first four attempts!
(idea for an instructable - how not to create an umbrella)