The Paper Puzzle Parade

Build your own "Zoetrope" movie viewer

Surprise! Here is a little christmas present to all of our visitors during the holiday season!
It is a kit for a "Zoetrope", a kind of a mechanic cinema invented 1834 by William George Horner.

This Zoetrope is made mostly from paper parts. It will show you a running champagne bottle - just as it can be seen above.

Ok, ok, it's really a bit late for a 1997 christmas greeting. But as this page still gets requests from all over the world, I have decided to keep it available. Everyone who wants to create his own and more up-to-date version can now download a kit with the movie graphics removed.
Maybe I should also create a file with the '98' replaced by a '99'?
All you need to build your own Zoetrope is the following:
1.: A printout of this sheet
This is the main part of the kit: A sheet of paper containing all paper parts of your Zoetrope. Download the PDF file here.

The PDF file requieres the Adobe Acrobat Reader®, which is available from the Adobe web site.



Due to the better contrast, a color printout is highly desireable!! Many copy-shops can make a color print if you hand them the file. The Zoetrope will work best if you print the file onto a light cardboard (approx. 160 g m-2; most color printers and copy machines can handle this).
Please take care: The original file fits onto a "DIN A4" sheet. If you have to use the american "letter" sheets, you might have to resize the printout.


2.: A little rod, approx. 20 cm lenght, 4 mm diameter
Wood, plastic, metal: anything will do!

3.: A piece of plastic straw tube, approx 15 cm lenght, 5 mm diameter
Use one of the flexible drinking straws. Your rod has to fit freely into this tube.

How to build the Zoetrope from these parts:
  1. Cut out just the contours of part A. Fold its upper part backwards at the dashed line and glue it to the back face. Then cut out the ten small white stripes to form ten slits.
  2. Form a cylinder from part A using the flap on the right side. The image series has to be on the inside of this cylinder!
  3. Cut out part B. Insert it - printed face upwards - into the cylinder and glue its bottom side to the 25 small flaps of part A.
  4. Cleave the top 2 cm of your tube into four segments and fold them to the outside at right angles.
  1. Cut out part C. Also cut out the small hole in its center. Slide your straw through this hole.
  2. Glue together the back faces of parts B and C with the four cleaved stripes of your straw right between them (Have a look at the image on the right).
  3. Cut out part D and form a cone from it. Slide it over the straw and glue it over the greyed area of part C using the seven flaps. Take care to fix the straw at a right angle towards the base of the cylinder.
  4. Slide the rod into the straw and let the cylinder rotate around this axis. Now look through the slits into the cylinder. Can you see the bottle walking?
    As the Zoetrope needs some light, the best idea is to hold it right under a lamp, e.g. a desktop lamp.

If you built the zoetrope - why not leave a comment in my guestbook?

Of course, you can create your own movies for this Zoetrope. Your movie sheets should have ten images of 25 mm width and 40 mm height. Just fix them into the inside of the cylinder. Or use a printout of this sheet, which has all the bottle graphics removed.

Have fun!
Have a merry christmas!

Snowflake - Taken from Laurie McCanna's Free Art Site If you like the art of animation, have a look at the 'Random Motion' web pages
created by Ruth Hayes!

If you enjoyed to build this zoetrope, why don't you try to build your own paper rocket?

If you like this page - why not leave a comment in my guestbook?

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This kit: © 1997, 98 by Georg Eggers, all rigths reserved. Not to be used for any commercial purpose!

Last modifications: 05-Jan-2004
Author: Georg Eggers email:
Please leave a comment in the Guestbook!

Number of request since Tue Sep 29 1998: