The author with his
repurposed puppet pal.
ZIPPY THE RECYCLED
Build characters from old Zip drives.
By Ian Alejandro
Photography by Carlos Alejandro
To earn my Showman badge in Cub Scouts, I needed
to make some type of puppet. I went to my “invention
bin” (a box of things to be repurposed) and found 2
old Zip drives. As I pried them apart and laid out all
the parts inside, I realized they would make a cool
marionette. And so Zippy was born. Here’s how I did
it. You don’t have to use Zip drives, but they work great.
1. Pry the Zip drives open with a screwdriver, then
disassemble (Figure A, on next page), cut the wires
away, and keep the following pieces: 2 spinners
(eyes), the outer case (body), sliding tray (head),
4 case sides (arms), and 4 case ends (legs).
Zip drives ( 2)
Black fishing line
2"×½" wood slat 2' long
Beads ( 5)
Eye screws ( 3)
24-gauge solid-core wire and wire cutters
Slotted screwdriver and a T6 Torx screwdriver
Dremel tool or drill with e" drill bit
Sandpaper, clothespin, pipe cleaner, and clamps
A nail and a pencil
Spray paint (optional)