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Recycled Robot

This craft project reprinted courtesy of the Dow Company, Manufacturer of Genuine STYROFOAM (R) brand foam.

What boy(and lots of girls too) isn’t interested in futuristic fantasies? Here’s a fun project that will be just the ticket for a rainy day or to illustrate your favorite robot story. When you’re done give him/her a name and make it a part of the family.


STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
Balls: 1-1/2", two; 1", one
Block, 10"x4"x1"
Cubes: 5"; 4"; 2"
Discs, 3"x1", two

Metallic silver spray paint (read label thoroughly to be sure it`s foam-safe) or silver, acrylic craft paint with stiff paintbrush
Cardboard paper towel tubes, two
Flexible drinking straws, four
Assorted recyclables: buttons; bottle caps; bolts; drapery hooks; wires; pen caps; knobs; etc.
Serrated knife
Candle stub or paraffin
Fine-line black permanent marker
Wire cutters
Low-temp glue gun and glue sticks and/or thick, white craft glue and toothpicks
Optional: extra-large cardboard box


Caution: This project requires adult supervision. Children should never use a serrated knife or glue gun unsupervised; only adults should handle a glue gun and serrated knife.

Caution: Small pieces may pull loose; closely supervise small children around robot.

Stack foam cubes largest to smallest; glue cubes together to form head/body. If using white craft glue, insert toothpicks between pieces to help hold cubes together while glue dries.

Cut cardboard tubes to desired length for legs. Clip tubes every 1/2" around each opening to form tabs; fold tabs outward. Glue bottom tabs onto foam disc feet. Glue top tabs to bottom of body. Glue 1" foam balls to legs for knees.

Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin. Measure and cut four 1"x2" rectangles from foam block for arms. Cut 1" foam ball in half for knees. Press one side of each remaining foam ball against work surface to flatten slightly.

Cut flexible portion from four drinking straws. Use pencil point to poke small holes in center top and bottom of each arm section and into body at shoulder; apply glue to straw ends and insert in holes as shown. Note: Let glue dry completely before moving arms.

Glue knees to legs and flattened side of 1-1/2" foam ball hands to arms.

Refer to photo to glue buttons, control boxes, antennae, and other mechanical parts to robot. Let dry.

Place completed robot in extra-large cardboard box, if desired. Follow manufacturer's instructions to apply two to three light coats of spray paint to prevent drips. Let dry. Or, brush on silver paint using a stiff brush and "scrubbing" motion for thorough coverage.

For more free project ideas, please visit www.styrofoamcrafts.com. 

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More Boys Crafts, Recycled Containers and Lids, Space Crafts

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