It’s All in the Eyes



The good news is that, after some time and patience and a little elbow grease…our Monkbot is complete.

The bad news is…somehow in the process of attaching the visor to him…I broke his inner workings and he no longer claps his cymbals. The Monkbot is fully operational…I guess the batteries were just low (which is weird since they are brand new and I’ve only turned the thing on three times).

Oh well…what cha gonna do?

So, for DIY addicts…here’s how I made the visor.

Using silver Sculpey Premo Polymer Clay, I shaped the visor.


Next, I took the roughly shaped visor and put it on the Monkbot…to ensure a snug fit and to get accurate sizing.


To give a little depth to the visor, I made a rim for its outer edge.


Ben and I had talked about how best to affix the visor to the Monkbot, and Ben suggested making clips. This was a GREAT idea. However, I had trouble finding thin, flat stips of metal to create the clips. I had to improvise using needle threaders from the sewing section of the craft store. They measured about 2″ long and I used jewelry pliers (from when I used to make jewelry) to bend them into shape. I then pushed the Monkbot’s eyeballs back in his head (this is where I think I may have broken his mechanical parts). Next I tested the clips to see if they would brace into the sockets…which they did.


I then took the shaped clips and embedded them in the back of the visor.


Next I smoothed the entire visor as best as I could…getting rid of cracks, fingerprints, etc.


I then baked the visor in a 275-degree oven for an hour.


Using the same paint I used on the antenna…I painted the inside of the visor black.


After the black paint had dried, I used some yellow fabric paint I had to create the frequency readout…so the Monkbot can properly detect kick-ass music.


Actually attaching the visor took a little finagling…but once it popped into place, it sat securely on the Monkbot’s face. I even opted to not use glue because the fit was so tight.

I also went back and used a little bit of the industrial strength craft glue to secure the antenna to the Monkbot’s head. It still wiggles…but the antenna stands much straighter.

I stayed home from work today…taking a mental health day…and used this project as my catharsis. It was great to get absorbed in something so goofy and fun…thinking through problems and resolving them on my own. I started the visor at around 9 a.m. and finished at about 4 p.m.

Okay…the next step is to write instructions and get the Monkbot mailed out. This week has been a little crazy for me…so please be patient while I work up our Traveling Monkbot Plan. I will post it later this week…and when I do…we’ll have lift off!


29 Responses to “It’s All in the Eyes”

  1. double d Says:

    He freakin’ RAWKS!!!


    Ok, Shelley…seriously. We HAVE GOT TO GET GRAY to GET A PICTURE WITH the monkbot & TAYLOR….has to happen….has to….

    I looooovvvveeee it.

  2. shelley Says:

    I’m glad you like it, DD!!! πŸ™‚

    (I have to admit…it turned out better than I expected.)

  3. Squeebee Says:

    Shelley….he looks great! I like the visor SOOOOO much better than the sceeery eyes he had before. Good on ya!

  4. shrewspeaks Says:



  5. shelley Says:

    I love the visor on your Monkbot smilie, Shrew…


    How did you do that?

  6. shrewspeaks Says:

    Awe…the visor is just [ and { then ] all together to make [{]

    Much easier than the visor you labored to make

  7. NOLAgirl Says:

    I can’t see the pictures. 😦 It says server error.

    *shakes fist at computer*

  8. shelley Says:

    NOLA…try again later…maybe server was down temporarily.


  9. NOLAgirl Says:

    I can see them now! Dude, Shelley, you are an arts and craft guru. Very impressive! I don’t think I have that patience for that.

    Can’t wait to see what the Monkbot will do next. πŸ™‚

  10. shelley Says:

    Glad you like it, NOLA.

    Yeah…about the Arts and Crafts thing. I’m a HUGE A&C goober. I have big ol’ plastic bins in my office closet filled with fabrics and yarn and sewing notions and glue and paint and…you name it, I got it…from a bag of googley eyes to a bottle of Modge Podge.

    I’m notorious for starting hobbies…doing them for a few months and then dropping them like hot potatoes.

    Some of my phases have included making wreaths, ceramics, pottery, making jewelry, crocheting, sewing, decorating homes, cross stitch, calligraphy, photography, and decorating sweatshirts (yes…I am a recovering Glitternazi).

    The only thing I’ve ever stuck with is writing…although, I been known to sew from time to time on projects…oh, and I’ve revisited crocheting.

  11. Libby Says:

    Shelley – you did a great job with Monkbot! I know he is a happy guy with his visor and antenna. Could not be cuter!!

  12. shelley Says:

    Thanks, Libby!

    I have to say…he looks TONS less scary without those crazy eyes staring at cha. πŸ˜‰

  13. Mind Doc Says:

    Shelley, you are fantastic and amazing. I doff my hat to you! The visor is pure brilliance. Whoo hoo!

  14. double d Says:

    Wow, a “doff” from the Doc….a high honor, to be sure…

    shrew—love the smiley!

  15. shelley Says:

    Thanks, Mind Doc…and DD.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a hat doffed to me before.


  16. Jax Says:

    And the award for the most creative blog host goes to ….



    Way to go Shelley!!!! Too danged funny!!

    We have to have a video of this guy playing to some Taylor!

    Way to go!!

  17. ms.sonny Says:

    IS going on over here?
    I drop by
    to see whaddup
    an there is some kind
    of smackdown happenin
    with blog masters
    a pkg of
    soulpatrol fruits an nuts
    an now this?
    A complete visual
    craft lesson
    monkbot sunglasses?
    just sayin…
    ok I need to come by more often..

  18. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I am not supposed to be here today! I will get beaten if I’m caught away from my “post” this week…but I knew the Monkbot would be here and I had to see…


    Shelley, you have outdone yourself!! I can’t wait to get my greasy little hands on that critter and show him off!! (I’ll wear my Monkbot t-shirt while running around with him!)

    Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!

    Bye y’all!

  19. jenniesaunt Says:

    I must admit that I had my doubts about the Sculpey Premo Polymer Clay. Then, the before picture with the monkey’s eyeballs pushed back made me shiver. However, the finished product looks way better on the little guy. Although…here is where I must have missed some key earlier discussion….is permanent vision impairment a small sacrifice compared to the ability to properly detect “kick-ass” music?

    BTW, that was really cool for Taylor to answer your “expectations” question in a recent interview. I think that he is listening to you.

  20. Texan Says:

    maybe I am twisted….. but …. anyone else picking up a FRANKENSTEIN/MONKBOT vibe here?

    …and the Frankenstein was written by…. mary SHELLEY!

    …we must err on the side of caution friends and make sure the monkbot feels the LOVE!

    I’m just sayin’!

  21. shelley Says:

    texan…the funny thing is…i was named for mary shelley’s husband…percy bysshe shelley.

    i kid you not…

    my mom wanted to name me after him because of his poetry.

  22. claire Says:

    Hi ms sonny!!!

    Texan…… FrankenBot, perhaps??

    Shelley, you artistic blogmeistress, you!!

    So, who’s comin’ to Ireland to hand-deliver Frankie the FrankenBot to me??? ‘Cos I just DARE you to pay whatever postage it would cost πŸ™‚

  23. Holeigh Says:

    Oh how much better the MonkBot looks after his makeover! Great job Shell, I bet that project was lots of fun, haha.

    I also like how fitting the title of this post is (“It’s All In the Eyes”) considering the present over at GC right now. πŸ™‚

  24. Ridearoundsally Says:

    Im sorry…maybey Ive seen one too many horror movies but there is no way I would be alone with that thing in a room. Its the kind of thing you would find under your bed..(and we all know if your toe hangs over just a smidgin it will get ya)!!! Reminds me of the old movie “The Monkey’s Paw”. Disturbing…very disturbing…must go put lights on in house now…

  25. texan Says:

    lol shelly that is too close for comfort… and the first one to open the youngest frankenbot beware…that visor hides the glint in his eye.

    he needs a sidekick to travel with him. a little Igor chaperone

    what hump?

  26. Jan Says:

    Shelley, the monkbot looks awesome! I am impressed that the visor turned out so great. The eyes being pushed back in the head were very horror show creepy.

  27. Rowan Says:

    Shelley – the visor is truly superb! Woweeee!

    Texan – Awww, I have just bought a little sidekick. I saw him on Ebay, and took a chance bidding on him, as the picture was very vague. When he arrived in the post today, he had black patches on his little face, as though he was fighting off some sort of ancient scrofula from the Dark Ages, and he has lost his features, apart from his little orange eyes.

    Was going to try to give him a facial transplant with flesh-coloured felt, remembering that such advances in plastic surgery have indeed been recently achieved. (Sean and Christian failed with theirs on Nip/Tuck, but they gave their all…sigh.)

    My little fellow works – he jumps in the air and clashes his cymbals, but desperately needs the Shelley treatment. When its my turn for the bot, I will return Igor with him as an illegal immigrant. {:8o}

    The visor smileys are very cool, DD. I am verrrry excited about the Monkbot project. Its gonna be a real talking point…gonna be BIG!

    0–{[Z]8)} o–{:8)}

  28. shelley Says:

    Rowan…you’re the best…can’t wait to see Igor. πŸ˜‰



  29. Rowan Says:

    OOh thanks, Shelley! He is a bit of a poor thing, but he winds up with a key in his back and jumps with vigour. He is in dire need of your state-of-the art surgical skills.

    Was always so sorry for Igor in those old b/w films….kept on a leash, hoping for his life-changing op, and never getting it!

    Yep…get scrubbed in for some finicky micro-surgery!
    o–{:8)}-(M )=:

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