Tutorial + How-to Balancing Bat (3 of 3)

Published on October 17th, 2010 | by Julie Finn

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Switch Your Balancing Butterfly to a Balancing Bat for Halloween

Balancing Bats in Time for HalloweenButterflies are sweet like candy, but spooky they are not. If you’re getting ready for a Halloween party, or you just want to get in the spirit of the season, then you definitely want to trade in sweet and check out spooky.

Balancing butterflies were hot this summer, but did you know that you can make the exact same balancing toy in a variety of forms? Just as with my balancing butterfly tutorial, we’re going to use pennies, cardboard record album covers, and hot glue, but we’re going to redraw the butterfly template and turn that sweet springtime flutterby into a creepily hovering bat.

You will need:

  • Cardboard record album cover, or any paper of similar weight, such as cereal box cardboard, or Bristol board.
  • Two pennies
  • Glue stick and hot glue
  • Pencil, paper, and scissors
  • Materials to decorate, if desired

1. Fold your plain paper in half, and starting at the folded center, draw one half of a bat. The bat should have a small head and large, widespread wings that sweep well above that head.

2. Cut out the bat template and unfold it.

The balancing bat template has wide, forward-sweeping wings.3. Lay the template onto a piece of cardboard, trace around it, and cut it out.

4. Using the glue stick, glue a penny to the forward tip of each wing.

5. Test your bat. You should be able to balance your bat on one finger, and its weight should be centered somewhere far forward, ideally at its head. If the bat doesn’t balance, redraw your template.

If the bat doesn’t balance at all, then likely its wings need to be even wider and more forward of its head.

If the bat balances too close to the middle of its body, then its wings need to be more forward.

If the bat balances too close to the top of its head, or seems like it would balance past the top of its head, then the wings are swept too far forward.

Adhere the pennies with glue stick to test the bat, then with hot glue for permanence.6. When the bat works well, replace the glue stick with hot glue. I like to glue the pennies tails-up for some Halloween-style bad luck.

Making and playing with these bats is an absorbing activity to occupy children at a Halloween party, and the bats also look very creepy balanced uncannily on the top edges of shelves and cupboards and all around the house.


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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



2 Responses to Switch Your Balancing Butterfly to a Balancing Bat for Halloween

  1. The bat should have a small head and large, widespread wings that sweep well above that head.

  2. 3Bishops says:

    Nice design / project! Ironic — we did the same thing, which is to repurpose a bird-shaped center-of-gravity project into a bat-shaped project. The template and instructions / supply list can be found/downloaded/printed here: http://wp.me/p1UTwN-6g

    We have found that — contrary to our presupposition — that using a lighter weight cardstock allows the wings to sag down and forward, creating a more three-dimensional appearance, enhanced reality of flight and of flapping wings, and better balance!

    Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

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