How to make a jack in the box spring toy

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to make a jack in the box spring toy
Delight your children by making them a homemade jack in the box toy. (Image by Timelewisnm; Flickr.)

A jack in the box is a classic toy that has endured through the years despite the advent of electronic toys and video games. You can make your own jack in the box toy to play with from supplies available at a hobby or craft shop. You will also need a number of tools and supplies from around the house. It requires patience but no real skill.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Paints
  • Model paintbrushes
  • 8 mm (5/16 inch) wooden bead
  • 1.25 by 5 cm (1/2 by 2 inch) wooden block
  • 15 cm (6 inch) red pipe cleaner
  • Wire cutters
  • Ruler
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Small black pom-pom balls
  • White glue
  • 15 cm (6 inch) blue pipe cleaner
  • 28-gauge gold wire
  • Red bead
  • 3 mm (1/8 inch) diameter metal spring
  • Portable drill
  • Cardboard
  • Gold sequins
  • Decoupage
  • Utility knife
  • Bonding glue

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a sheet of newspaper on a table. Place the jars of paint on the newspaper. Open the jars of paint. Place the wooden bead on the newspaper. Paint the wooden bead white with a medium paintbrush. Wait an hour for the paint to dry.

  2. 2

    Paint a yellow circle at one end of the wooden bead, around one of the holes, with a fine paintbrush. Wait an hour for the paint to dry.

  3. 3

    Paint a face between the two holes on the bead with black paint using a fine paintbrush. Wait an hour for the paint to dry.

  4. 4

    Paint red swirls on both sides of the bead moving upward to the yellow circle with a fine paintbrush. Wait an hour for the paint to dry.

  5. 5

    Place the wooden block on the newspaper. Paint the top of the wooden square red with a medium paintbrush. Wait an hour for the paint to dry.

  6. 6

    Turn the wooden square over. Paint what is now the top of the wooden square red with a medium paintbrush. Wait an hour for the paint to dry.

  7. 7

    Paint the left side of the wooden square blue with a medium paintbrush. Paint the right side of the wooden square yellow with a medium paintbrush. Wait an hour for the paint to dry.

  8. 8

    Paint the front of the wooden square yellow with a medium paintbrush. Paint the back of the wooden square red with a medium paintbrush. Wait an hour for the paint to dry.

  9. 9

    Measure 2.2 cm (7/8 inch) from one end of the red pipe cleaner. Bend the pipe cleaner at this mark. Measure the length of the pipe cleaner from the other end to where you just bent it. Bend the pipe cleaner at the halfway mark between the end and the bend you just made. Stick the end of the pipe cleaner farthest from the bend at the mark into the hole in the bead so that it is flush with the bottom of the bead.

  10. 10

    Bend the top of the pipe cleaner next to the top of the wooden bead's yellow circle with the jaws of the needle-nosed pliers to form a triangle which, will be the hat of the jack in the box. Cut off the excess length of pipe cleaner with the wire cutters. Dispose of the excess length of pipe cleaner.

  11. 11

    Apply white glue to one side of each of the two pom-pom balls. Place the side of each of the pom-poms that has white glue on it on to either side of the top point of the triangle at the top of the wooden bead. Let the glue set for 10 minutes.

  12. 12

    Hold the blue pipe cleaner by one end in one hand. Clamp the jaws of the needle-nosed pliers around the other end of the blue pipe cleaner. Twist the jaws of the needle-nosed pliers so the pipe cleaner forms a circle. Cut off the circle with the wire cutters. Dispose of the excess length of the blue pipe cleaner.

  13. 13

    Apply white glue to one side of the circle of blue pipe cleaner. Place the circle of blue pipe cleaner that has the white glue on it against the neck of the wooden bead's head.

  14. 14

    Cut a fine paintbrush in half using the wire cutters. Discard the part with the brush in the trash. Hold the remaining piece of the paintbrush by the handle in one hand. Wrap the 20 gauge gold wire a few times around the length of the paintbrush. Cut the end of the wire with the wire cutters. Tie a knot in the end of the gold wire to secure it in place.

  15. 15

    Apply white glue to one end of the paintbrush. Attach the neck of the wooden bead to the end of the paintbrush that has the white glue on it.

  16. 16

    Place the spring halfway onto the bottom of the fine paintbrush. Apply a drop of bonding glue to the end of the paintbrush where it meets the spring. Let the bonding glue set for an hour.

  17. 17

    Drill a hole through the centre at the top of the wooden block to the bottom using a portable drill. Upend the block to remove any wood shavings from inside of the hole. Place the wooden block back on the newspaper

  18. 18

    Apply a coat of decoupage to the wooden block with a medium paintbrush Wait 24 hours for the decoupage to dry. Turn the wooden block over. Apply a coat of decoupage to the uncovered side of the wooden block. Wait 24 hours for the decoupage to dry.

  19. 19

    Cut out a square of cardboard that is the same side as the top of the wooden block using the utility knife. Place the square of cardboard on the newspaper. Paint the square of cardboard blue with a medium paintbrush. Wait an hour for the paint to dry. Turn the square of cardboard over. Paint the square of cardboard red with a medium paintbrush. Wait an hour for the paint to dry.

  20. 20

    Apply white glue to the gold sequin. Place the side of the gold sequin that has the white glue on it against the centre of the red painted side of the cardboard square.

  21. 21

    Hold the cardboard square with the red paint facing up. Fold the cardboard back 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) on one end and place white glue along the flap. Place the end of the cardboard square that has the white glue on it against the to the back of the wooden block at the top. Wait a half hour for the white glue to dry.

  22. 22

    Hold the 26-gauge wire in one hand by an end. Hold the needle-nosed pliers in the other hand. Clamp the jaws of the needle-nosed pliers around the end of the wire Make a 3 mm (1/8 inch) bend in the wire with the needle-nosed pliers. Place the jaws of the needle-nosed pliers 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) away from the first bend. Make another bend in the wire with the needle-nosed pliers to form a zig-zag shape.

  23. 23

    Place a drop of white glue on one end of the 26-gauge wire. Insert the end of the wire that has the drop of white glue on it through the red bead. Let the glue dry for a half hour. Place a drop of bonding glue in the bottom of the wooden block. Place the free end of the spring on to the bonding glue. Let the bonding glue set for two hours.

  24. 24

    Push down on the jack in the box with the finger of one hand. Place the end of the 26-gauge wire opposite the red bead through the holes in the top of the wooden block and over the cardboard flap to hold the jack inside of the wooden block. Remove your finger.

Tips and warnings

  • You can spray your toy when finished with a water-resistant spray.

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