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How to build the Leaning Tower of Pisa out of lolly sticks

Updated April 17, 2017

Making a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a fun and creative craft project. Building the model will help you and your children learn about the tower, and will be a way of spending time together. Using iced lolly sticks you have collected, you can build a large replica of the Leaning Tower which will look impressive. By cutting the base you will be able to make it lean without it falling over, just like the real Tower of Pisa.

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  1. Wrap paper around a jam jar, and tape it in place. This will form the "mould" for the model building.

  2. Cut the rounded edges off the top of the lolly sticks with the utility knife. Place wood glue on the right hand side of a lolly stick. Attach this to another stick. Hold against the paper on the jam jar to give the shape. Glue a circle of sticks around the jam jar. When you have gone all the way around, place rubber bands around the lolly sticks to hold them in place. Leave them to dry for 3 to 4 hours.

  3. Remove the rubber bands from the lolly sticks, and slide the wooden circle off the jam jar. If the paper sticks to the lolly sticks, rip it off and place a new layer of paper onto the jam jar.

  4. Repeat the circle-making process using lolly sticks on the jam jar. While the second circle is drying, make a roof for the first circle. Place lolly sticks across the top of the circle and glue to the vertical lolly sticks. You will need to cut each stick to size and glue it in place. When you have finished making the roof, place a small book on top of the roof to hold it in place while it dries.

  5. Repeat these steps, making circles and lids, until you have six identical circles with lids. Make a seventh circle on the jam jar, but make the lolly sticks longer by cutting off less of the rounded edge. Attach the sticks to one another around the jam jar and hold in place with an elastic band. While you have it held in place, carefully cut a line across the bottom of the circle, making one side shorter than the other. This will give the base a lean. If your lolly stick circle is 10 cm (4 inches) high, cut one side 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) shorter to give a realistic lean. If in doubt, cut the lean smaller, as you can always add to it.

  6. Make a roof for the leaning section. When this has dried, glue the base of one of the circles onto the roof of the leaning section. Wait for this to dry, and then glue another circle onto the roof. Repeat this until you have attached all six sections onto the leaning base. After attaching each section, place the tower on a flat surface to see if the lean is too great. Trim the longer side if it is.

  7. Make a final, smaller circle when you have finished. This should be the same height as the six identical segments, but half the diameter. Use a small jam jar or other cylindrical object for this. When it has dried, make the roof as before, and attach to the top of the tower, in the centre of the previous section. When this has dried, your tower is complete.

  8. Paint the tower to match the real Leaning Tower of Pisa. Paint the entire structure in white paint, then wait for it to dry. Draw on the details using a thin black pen. You can now display your structure.

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 Jam jars, one half as big as the first
  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Lolly sticks
  • Utility knife
  • Wood glue
  • Rubber bands
  • White paint
  • Thin black pen

About the Author

Emile Heskey has been a professional writer since 2008, when he began writing for "The Journal" student newspaper. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in modern history and politics from Oxford University, as well as a Master of Science in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies from Edinburgh University.

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