How to Make a Suspension Bridge Out of Popsicle Sticks

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Your popsicle stick model will obviously look a lot more simple than a real bridge.
Your popsicle stick model will obviously look a lot more simple than a real bridge. (Image: menai suspension bridge. image by Harvey Hudson from Fotolia.com)

Popsicle crafts are great fun for kids 6 to 10 years old. Your creativity is the only limit to what can or can’t be done with popsicle sticks. Even curved lines like the cables of a suspension bridge can be constructed from popsicle sticks; you only need to follow the curve as you glue the sticks together. It’s hard to say which is more fun: making the bridge, or using it to carry dolls and trucks to imaginary lands after the construction work is finished.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Popsicle sticks
  • White glue
  • Hacksaw
  • Books
  • Clothes pins

Draw a rough profile view of your suspension bridge on paper, including the horizontal roadway, two vertical towers and the curved suspension cables. The cables should begin at one end of the roadway, curve up to the top of one tower, curve to the next tower and end at the other end of the roadway. Trace the drawing onto a second sheet of paper so you have two identical profile views.

Lay popsicle sticks over the horizontal roadway of both drawings, gluing them to each other. Lay sticks for the towers, gluing them to each other and to the roadway.

Lay popsicle sticks along the curved lines for the cables. If the sticks are too long to follow the graceful curves of your cables, cut them in half with a hacksaw. Glue these sticks to each other, to the roadway and to the towers on both of your drawings.

Allow the glue to dry completely. Remove both units from the paper. You will now have two identical halves of the bridge. Stand both halves up parallel to each other and prop them in place with books, less than one popsicle stick apart from each other.

Apply a bead of glue to the top of the roadway on each half of the bridge. Beginning at one end of the roadway, lay popsicle sticks perpendicular to each half of the bridge, with the end of each stick resting in the bead of glue. Continue laying sticks all the way across the roadway.

Glue a popsicle stick from the top of the tower on one half of the bridge to the corresponding tower top on the other half, temporarily holding it in place with clothes pins. Repeat with the other tower. Optionally add more supporting popsicle sticks between towers, if desired. Remove books and clothes pins when dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sticks should overlap by one-half to three-quarters of an inch when gluing them together.
  • If you want a narrower bridge, you have the option to use cut popsicle sticks to glue both halves of the bridge together.
  • Do not allow small children to use the saw; this job is for parents.

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