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Caterpillar Messenger | Father's Day Gift Ideas for Dad

Caterpillar Messenger

Total Time Needed: 1 Hour

Gift a friend with this curly critter, who's ever ready to spring into action delivering a phone message or reminder.


  • Balsa wood (3/8 inch thick) cut into a 3- by 6-inch rectangle
  • Plastic bottle caps
  • Hot glue gun
  • Acrylic paint and brushes
  • 1 utility extension spring, 3/4 inch wide
  • 2 utility compression springs, 3/16 inch wide (sold at most hardware stores)
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Ribbon (3/8 inch wide and 4 inches long)


Hot-glue a bottle cap to each corner of the balsa wood, then turn the wood over and have your child paint the top and sides.

Caterpillar Messenger - Step 2

While the paint dries, slowly pull the ends of the large spring to create a 1/16-inch space between the coils. With wire cutters, trim the spring into a 3-inch-long caterpillar body, then use pliers to curl the cut ends so no sharp points protrude (adults only).

To provide a surface for gluing the spring to the wood, wind the ribbon between every third coil (a great job for kids). Straighten the ribbon so that it lies flat, apply hot glue and stick it to the wood.

For antennae, cut the small springs 1 inch long and wind the ends around the first coil in the body. Slip a gift tag between two coils, and the caterpillar is ready to deliver its first message.