While Dash (pictured today with Savvy) is officially recuperating , I’ve been making a bunch of props for performing on stage or TV.
After our two recent circus performances, I realized that my “toddler toy” props were too big to haul around, and too tippy to use on-stage. My new criteria are that everything has to be super strong but lightweight–preferably aluminum or thin-wall PVC. And it has to come apart to fit in a standard suitcase.
I started by taking apart our large Fisher Price thrift store toys and making them fit on an adjustable non-tip stand (from an electronic drum set) that I got at Goodwill.
After endless hours at the workbench, a dozen trips to Menards, painting, repainting, cutting rubber, cementing and screwing everything together… the first set of props are finished. A few of these were existing props, but most things in the photo were modified or are entirely new within the past 2 weeks. I added thick, grippy rubber on the bottom of EVERY prop possible, and sometimes rubber on the top, too. No more tipping or sliding props for us!
Click on the photos for descriptions of what they do and how they were made. Feel free to contact me with questions. Check back in a week or two to see our second and final set of props.
The stacking cup holder without the cups in it.
Our mailbox, now on a pole that fits on the adjustable stand.
Our new “spinning bowls,” with their measurements shown in inches. It was sooooo hard to find something flat, low, and in 2″ increments that looked like a set. After over a year of searching, I finally found something that would work. With rubber inside and on and bottom, this is the heaviest prop next to the tightrope.
Though it doesn’t look like it in the photo, these are four identical hoop jumps, each 24″ tall–half of that the post, and half the hoop. I’m really happy with how they turned out. They look like brushed aluminum, but are actually made from metal electrical boxes, rubber, 3/4″ PVC pipe, hula hoops, screws, cement, and dowels. They are nearly impossible to tip over, non-slip, and they screw apart quickly to store flat.
The platform box I made for Dash in December.
FITpaws Paw Pod holder from above.
Dash’s small, carpeted barrel that I made in December.
Our micro basketball hoop to use with an itty-bitty ball. The hoop part came from my niece’s “Build a Bear Workshop” accessory.
Pool rings to stack on a peg.
Medium basketball set. This one has electronic scoring that works, along with music and cheering. Only good to use with very small audiences though. This was probably the most difficult project–getting it off it’s structure and onto a pole that will work with the new base… while keeping the electronics safe.
Mini toilet plunger turned into a peg ring or a post to wrap around in circles.
Cute little papillon-sized baskets.
Every circus dog needs a glamorous sign on stage… 🙂
Dash’s expensive brand-new Hyperflite frisbees… which we are now afraid to use again after the dislocated hip!
I added outriggers and a rubber top to this toddler bench so Dash can push it across the floor and then jump on it without tipping it over.
Dash’s mini skateboard.
Wooden non-slip holder for FITpaws Paw Pods. These can be used for a variety of balance tricks.
A fishing net cut down to size and padded, to use as a hand-held jump. I got this idea from Rick Martin’s (Tricky Dogs) book, “Circus Tricks for Your Dog.”
I added a platform to our existing “piano” to see if this will help Dash hit the keys better instead of aiming for the metal bars on the top.
Our extra big basketball prop.
I made this platform with a rubber base to hold our stacking cups upright during performances. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy for one to get knocked over, and then the dog has to chase it all over the stage to get it back. Hopefully, this stand will rectify that problem.