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Ichabod Crane's favorite toy.
This is the popular Bird/Cage Optical Illusion, featured in Tim Burtons movie "Sleepy Hollow". Johnny Depp would twirl it constantly to concentrate and amuse others. I always loved it (especially the cardinal), so i decided to make one just like it. Its actually not very hard, if its done right.

All you need is thick white paper, and some string. I used off-white heavy cardstock paper and brown yarn to give mine an aged look (like the movie). And i also drew on my pictures to look more authentic, but you dont have to.

Posted by DarkAshHurts Published See DarkAshHurts's 112 projects »

  • How to make a toy. Bird Cage Optical Illusion - Step 1
    Step 1

    Trace a circle on your paper & cut it out.

    (if u dont have a stencil, try a jar lid. A bigger circle works best. ...My circle is 3 in. wide)

  • How to make a toy. Bird Cage Optical Illusion - Step 2
    Step 2

    Find a picture of a birdcage & bird you like, and resize them on your computer to fit just inside the circle.

    Take your birdcage picture, and make it as centered as possible and trace the outline onto the circle with pencil.
    (I'm using a lightbox to help trace.)

  • How to make a toy. Bird Cage Optical Illusion - Step 3
    Step 3

    Then color it in with a pen and ruler (i recommend a sharpie pen as it doesnt bleed).

    <--Should look somethin like this.

  • How to make a toy. Bird Cage Optical Illusion - Step 4
    Step 4

    ~This Step Very Important!!~

    Flip the circle over vertically (up to down). So now the blank side is facing up, and the top of the birdcage (on the back), is pointing down. (see picture)

    *If you do this wrong, your bird could be upside down later! :O *

  • How to make a toy. Bird Cage Optical Illusion - Step 5
    Step 5

    Next find a light source to see through your paper (like a lightbox/sunny window/computer screen). You should see your upside down cage through it.

    Now you need to draw/trace your bird on, so it fits ONLY inside the cage. Again trace it in pencil, then again with pens and colored pencils.

    (Once your done drawing, your pictures should look upright on both sides when you flip it over vertically. Yay! Hard part over.)

  • How to make a toy. Bird Cage Optical Illusion - Step 6
    Step 6

    Hole punch holes on each side of the circle in the middle. (for extra strength, i also modge-podged the holes so they cant rip)

    Then attach the string. Cut 2 long pieces of yarn, Double it over, put the loop through the hole, then the loose ends through loop. Pull tight. (repeat)

  • How to make a toy. Bird Cage Optical Illusion - Step 7
    Step 7

    Now your done! To use it, just hold the strings between your fingers and twirl it. Your flying bird should be trapped in a cage! Enjoy.

    (To see the illusion in action, heres a link!!!)

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nina.horan · Paris, Île-de-France, FR
ninfa a.
ninfa a.
It reminded me of the movie of "Sleeping hollow" lol This great!
Cake · 6 projects
This is really awesome!
Cat Morley
Cat Morley · London, GB · 1432 projects
This is such a clever project!
Julia Oreo
Julia Oreo · Bayamón, Bayamón, PR · 6 projects
made one of these for my friend! thanks so much for the how to!
Lau5ren · 65 projects
OOOH I love that movie!! Looks great, will make one tommorow!! (if I remember lol)

DarkAshHurts · 119 projects
@Frankly Serious: Wow, thats really awesome! Glad i could help. ;)

@hello julia: So do I!!!!! lol
hello julia
hello julia · Mission Hills, Kansas, US · 1 project
i looooooooooooovvvveeeeeeeeeeee sleepy hollow!!!!!!
Supernova's Child
Supernova's Child · Lisbon, Lisbon, PT · 98 projects
You totally saved me this holiday. I have a brother in law who is rich, so he can buy anything he wants, but he's also a movie buff. I made him this, because I knew it was the one thing he would love but never think to buy.
DarkAshHurts · 119 projects
Thanks for all the favs. Happy

Btw These make great simple gifts (i gave 1 to my friend for her birthday), or entertainment around christmas. Kids (and adults) will play with it for hours ...its kindof addicting to twirl it. lol
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