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by Karen Zethmayr


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Fun with Foil foil rubbing of leaf


Candle Motors

instructions for making decorative motors that run on
candle power
using recycled
aluminum containers.


foil rubbing of coin
commemorative quarter



To spark your imagination~

Foil rubbings are a fun way of making souvenirs and still leaving the objects behind.

Use them in scrapbook pages, greeting cards, decorations on boxes, a name plaque on your door, anything that needs a little special touch.

foil rubbing of doll's head

doll's head

foil rubbing of old piece of jewelry

old brooch
foil rubbing of sea shell

sea shell

Candle Motors: What makes them spin? Heat rises. Even the heat from a radiator can make them spin.

Scroll down for a few basic tips.

Made from foil pans  
The motors get VERY HOT!! If you want to move them around to make adjustments, DON'T TOUCH

with your hands.
Use another rod
to lift it off and
let it cool
before you make any changes.

Use old aluminum pie tins.
Smooth out a piece about 4"x4". A scissors handle or a large spoon will work as a smoothing tool.

Start with a square and find the center. Gently make a well in the center. Take something blunt (The rounded end of a popsicle stick will work.) Be careful not to push through the aluminum. Turn the piece over and work a groove around the well (on this side it's a bump) to make it stand out.

On the well side, use a straight edge as a guide and make grooves out from (but not through) the center (4, 6, 8, whatever you like.) These will be ridges on the bump side. The ridges will help you form the motor into a cone, which will balance better. Turn to the bump side and gently work the area between the ridges until they bend a little to be more like a cone.

Cut in about 1/2 way along each ridge, and fold up a triangle on each "blade." The fold should go from the end of the cut to the outer edge of the next ridge.

If you want curlicues like the ones in the photo, cut a very thin strip along the edge of a scrap piece. The thinner the strip, the more it curls. You don't have to fasten them. If you lay a ring of curled stuff on top of a motor, it will stay in place.

The rods in the picture are available in hardware and hobby stores. Put a short candle in the middle of some florist foam and stick the rod into the foam next to the candle. How long or short the rod is will have an effect on the speed of the motor. Balance the motor on the rod and give it some time to heat up.




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Email Karen Zethmayr grandma@grandmaskite.comTeaching ResumeDesign Resume