How to build a popsicle stick bridge By: taylor keck

Materials Needed:

  • Abt. 300 popsicle sticks
  • 1 bottle of Elmer's glue
  • 10 stretchy rubber bands
  • Yardstick or ruler
  • 2 inch thick piece of styrofoam
  • Abt. 30 paper clips
  • Scissors
  • Time!

*While building use paper clips and/or rubber bands whenever and wherever you may need them or think is necessary.

Steps in order to create bridge:

Bases

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  1. Gather all of your materials, so that you have them on a table near you.
  2. Measure out 30-40 inches. That is the length this bridge has to be. At least 30, but no more than 40.
  3. First, count out 2 sets of 15 sticks and set them each into a separate pile on the table.
  4. Next, take one stick from a pile and squeeze a reasonable amount of glue onto half of one side of the wider, flat part of the stick so that half of the stick has glue on it and the other half does not.
  5. Third, pick up another stick from the same pile you grabbed the first stick from and overlap that stick to the stick that has glue on it. This will result in half of each stick sticking off both sides.
  6. Repeat step 4 and 5 until one of your 2 piles of 15 sticks have no sticks left, so you will have 2 identical sides.
  7. At this point, you will have to let your sticks dry for at least 5 hours before you continue on building your bridge.
  8. Once both bottom supports you built are completely dry, set them aside for now.
  9. Next, gather another 2 sets of sticks, but with only 13 sticks in each pile instead of 15.
  10. Now do the same thing with overlapping sticks that you did in steps 4 and 5 until both piles of 13 make 2 individual stick like figures, like before.
  11. Afterward, you will need to let these 2 figures dry for at least 5 hours also.

Sides

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  1. You should now have 4 stick like figures with 2 shorter length ones. These 4 figures will be the bottom and top supports on your bridge.
  2. Once you make sure all four stick figures are completely dry, take 1 shorter one and 1 longer one and set them flat on the table about the length of a popsicle stick laying straight, with the shorter one on the top leaving space on both sides, so that when you lay a stick connecting from top to bottom, it will be at a little bit of an angle.
  3. Then you will need to take 2 popsicle sticks and place 1 on each side of the first side of you bridge, so that they are somewhat at an angle. The shape you should have is a trapezoid.
  4. After you have your trapezoid outline made, you then will have to stop building that for a little while, while you go a step ahead of yourself for a minute.
  5. You will need to take about 46 popsicle sticks lay them into groups of 2, so that you have 23 even groups of 2 sticks.
  6. Next, take one pair of sticks and put glue on one whole side of one of the sticks.
  7. Second, place the other stick in that pair and press down firmly so that the two stick come together to essentially make one. Once they are placed together, take a paper clip and clip the 2 sticks you just stuck together with the paper clip, so that they are able to dry a little faster.
  8. Repeat step 7 for the other 22 leftover pairs of sticks. You will then have 46 thicker, more sturdy, sticks that will hopefully be easier to use later.
  9. Once all of the pairs are dried, take the paper clips off each of them and set the paper clips aside (you will need them for the other side).
  10. Now, take one of the pairs and put glue on the edges of one of the sides of the doubled up sticks. Place it on one side of the trapezoid you made earlier so that it is connected to the top and bottom supports at a straight angle.
  11. Once you have the straight stick in place, take another one of the doubled up sticks and put glue on the edges just like step 21, but put the stick at a negative slope, so that the space in between the straight and angled sticks make a scaline triangle (a triangle with all different side lengths).
  12. Continue steps 10 and 11 until you reach half way across your bridge.
  13. As you reach the halfway point, switch the way that your sloped sticks are facing. Face the popsicle at a positive slope so that it is the opposite of the side you just did.
  14. After you have finished with your one side of the bridge, let that side dry as you repeat the same necessary steps in order to create another similar side of your bride, so that you have 2 identical sides for the bridge.

Top and Bottom

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  1. Then, when both sides of your bridge are completely dry, you will need to stand the bridge upright and place the piece of styrofoam in between both sides.
  2. Take a few rubber bands and place them around your bridge to hold the styrofoam into place in the middle, so that you are able to work with it in the middle holding your two sides together.
  3. You will begin your middle top and bottom supports by taking 30 popsicle sticks and dividng them each into piles of 2.
  4. Next, you take a pair of 2 and paste a dot of glue in the center of one of the sticks.
  5. Take the leftover stick in the pair and place the center of that stick in the center of the other stick with flue, so that they make the shape of an X.
  6. You will need to take 1 paper clip and place it over the middle where you glued the 2 X shaped sticks together. This will hopefully speed up the time it takes for the X to dry. However, you will need to let them dry for at least 2 hours before you can use them.
  7. Repeat making the X shape sticks until you have 15 X's completed, which will eliminate your 30 sticks you had put in a pile.
  8. Afterward, all your X's should be completely dry, so you should then take off all of the paper clips that you put in the center of each X to make them dry faster.
  9. Now take an X that you made and paste glue on all the edges of each end of the 2 sticks.
  10. After the glue is on the corners you will need to lightly push your styrofoam down if it is sticking out of the top, so that it is now sticking out of the bottom and place an X on the top starting at one of the sides of your bridge.
  11. You will need to use a rubber band to place around your bridge so, that it puts pressure on the center of your glued down X, so that it is able to dry easier to the bride.
  12. Continue placing glue on the X's and placing them on the bridge until you have used 7 of your 15 sticks, or reached the other side of your bridge.
  13. Next, you have to wait until those top X's are dry until you can take the rubber bands off of them.
  14. Then, the styroafoam will need to be taken out, so that you can continue placing X's on the bottom. (Tip: You will probably have to cut off the rubber bands holding the styrofoam in place, otherwise, you will have a difficult time trying to rip them off without breaking the X's you just placed on top).
  15. Once the styrofoam is taken out of the center of your bride, begin gluing and pasting your leftover X's onto the bottom of your bridge, the same way you put the top X's on.
  16. All of your X's should be gone and used at this point. You have now completed most of your bridge, but you still need to make things where you will be able to set it on a table or desk with 30 inches in between the two tables.

Edge Platforms

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  1. So first, glue together a 5 by 3 "block" of sticks. Prepare to let dry after completed. Do this step 2 times, so you have 2 "blocks/boxes" of sticks together.
  2. Now take one of the blocks and put two lines of glue about the width apart as the two sticks are hanging over the edges.
  3. Line the glue up with the over hanging sticks and apply a little pressure, so it looks like a little platform.
  4. Repeat step 2 & 3 to do the same thing to the other side of the bridge. Tip your bridge upside down so that it may dry easier and let dry completely.

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