Cat Chasing Mouse Automaton

Learn how to make an automaton of a cat chasing a rat! This is a beginner friendly crafts project that will help you understand the basics of the mechanics behind these projects.


  • A cardboard box
  • Two skewers
  • Straw
  • Artwork you’d like to see spin
  • Scissors
  • Glue


  1. Get a cardboard box and use scissors to cut off the bottom and a side
  2. Using one of the pieces you cut off, cut a small strip of cardboard
  3. Using another piece you cut off, cut two circles with the same diameter
  4. Grab the straw and cut off a piece that is 2cm long
  5. On the top of the box, puncture a hole large enough to fit the straw
  6. On the sides of the boxes, puncture two holes that are across from one another
  7. At the center of the circle, puncture a hole in each
  8. Stick a skewer through a circle and glue them together
  9. Repeat step 7 for the other skewer and circle
  10. Stick one of the skewers through the top hole of the box and cut the remaining end of the skewer. You should have a decent length of the skewer sticking out of the top of the box
  11. Stick the other skewer through the sides of the box and cut off any excess wood. You should have a decent length to spin the skewer
  12. Make sure that the top hole’s circle is sitting on top of the other circle
  13. Take the piece of straw and put it through the top of the box. The straw should be stuck inside the hole of the box with the skewer inside the straw
  14. Grab the cardboard strip and fold the edges of the cardboard away from one another
  15. Glue the cat onto one end and the mouse onto the other end
  16. stick the top skewer through the middle of the cardboard strip
  17. Spin the skewer on the side to see the cat chasing the rat!
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