Paper Cup Scuttling Crabs

These colourful runaway paper cup crabs use kinetic energy to scuttle sideways.

Paper Cup Scuttling Crabs

Skill Level

Easy. Adult supervision needed

Time to Make

40 minutes plus drying time

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. To make one crab you need two cups.
  2. Cut out the pincers out of the same colour card and stick them to the back of one of the cups.
  3. Poke two holes in the top half of the cup with a pencil about 2 cm apart.
  4. Thread an orange pipe cleaner from the inside through the holes.
  5. Spiral the top of each pipe cleaner and stick a wiggle eye on each.
  6. Poke 3 holes either side of the crab and cut the pipe cleaners into 3 to thread into those as legs.
  7. Now take some clay and roll it into a cylinder roughly the length of an AA battery but a little thicker.
  8. Choose a rubber band that fits from one side of the cup to the other with not much spare.
  9. Roll the centre of this band into the clay so that the two ends are left out. allow to dry overnight (I would always make a spare in case it cracks or the band snaps)
  10. Once dry take the second cup and make two snips 1 cm apart on opposite sides of the rim.
  11. Hook the rubber band onto each slit now slot this cup into the crab cup.
  12. To make the crab run you twist up the clay weight and then when it is let go the crab will run.
Paper Cup Scuttling Crabs Paper Cup Scuttling Crabs Paper Cup Scuttling Crabs

Top Tip

If you turn the cup inside around the crabs will run forward instead of sideways so you can race them.