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Flushing Toilet (Valentine Box)

My son wanted a funny Valentine box for his class party, so he made a toilet (with my help).  A toilet is not a toilet though without it's flush, so we gave it one!

You can hear for yourself, here's a quick video of my son demonstrating how his Valentine box works.
Click here if you are viewing this in a reader or through e-mail to view the video.

My kids have had a lot of fun with this and I'll admit, I have a hard time walking by it myself without giving it a quick flush, ha-ha!

I had to call around to several places before I found a pre-wired 20 second digital voice recording module at Radio Shack that I could record the flush with.   It was more than I would normally spend on an item for a Valentine box ($11.00), but since this is the last year he'll make a box, I just went for it and splurged this time.  My first idea was to use a greeting card that you can record a message to, but I couldn't find one that didn't end with a song.

  • Pre-wired 20 second digital voice recording module from Radio Shack
  • Ice cream bucket (we ended up using a round one)
  • Small (white) box the size of a water tank
  • Foam Board
  • Packing and Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • Utility Knife
  • White Spray Paint
  • 2 Large Bolts and Nuts (or wood to hold them in place)
  • Pencil and paper to make a pattern for the lid and seat

I'm not going to go into too much detail in directions because it's pretty simple to put together when you look at the pictures, but I do have a few tips for you:  

We used paint sticks to hold the bolts in place because it's what we had that would work, nuts would work best. 

Be VERY CAREFUL when you attach the voice recording module, the wires are fragile and will break easily, so try not to move them.  You might want to tape them in place so they don't move.

The seat lid is held on with clear packing tape.  Taping it on the underside of the lid to the top of the seat will help the lid to stay up on it's own

Use the sandpaper to clean up and round the edges of the foam board.
When you record the flushing sound, hold the recorder down low (just past the seat) inside the bowl to get the best sound.  Try not to think about what you're doing.

Cut holes in the box and for the button and the speaker.  Tape the module to the inside of the box.

The black circle on the top of the 'tank' is the speaker.  It's taped to the box

My son drilled through the ice cream bucket and into the box, pushed the bolt through and then threaded it through a pre-drilled piece of wood (paint stick).  We used a scrap piece of foam board and taped it under the box as a stand so the toilet wouldn't tip back from the weight of the box.

I promise you this is the only time I'll ever write an entire post about a toilet, and hey, I spared you from all of the toilet jokes too!  Can't say I wasn't a little tempted to sneak a couple in though. ;)

Today's Fabulous Find...Digital Recording Module from Radio Shack 
(Without it, it would have been just another toilet box.)

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Lynette said...

That's great! I'm very impressed. :)

Karen said...

LOL! That is so funny Janet! What a great project for you to do together with your son! Love it:)

laxsupermom said...

Too funny! Looks like you passed on the creative gene to your son! Thanks for sharing.

farmhouse-story said...

so fun and so realistic! this is amazing, janet:)

Ashlyn said...

I was thinking this would be a great potty training helper. After every time they would go peepee in the potty. They could flush the big potty and then flush the small potty and get a little prize. This could be an amazing reinforcement for reluctant potty trainees. ;)

Janet said...

To Ashlyn: What a fabulous and creative idea! I love it! It has 20 seconds of record time, so you could even add a little personal note at the end of the flush to congratulate the child on a job well done. ;) My kids are all potty-trained, but maybe it would work for other achievements too? I might just have to give it a try! :)

kimberlyn said...

This is hilarious!! Just got done making it for my daughter.....the guy at Radio shack said I was the fifth person there today looking for the've inspired many :)

Janet said...

To Kimberlyn: Wow, who knew! Hope your daughter has fun with her Valentine box! Thanks for your comment. :)

Anonymous said...

I was looking for some inspiration and this was awesome!!!

Janet said...

Thank you!

Akidatheart said...

So clever

BoyMom27 said...

Hello. I LOVE this idea! I am just wondering if you used a template for the lid and seat and how you got the seat to "work" My son is pretty excited about this idea! So cute for an older boy (he's 10). Thanks!

Janet said...

Hi Melissa! Would you believe my kids are STILL using this box? I hope your son loves his as much as my kids have. :) To make the lid we turned the ice cream bucket upside down and traced around it, then we elongated our drawing a bit to make it look like a toilet lid shape before cutting it out. The lid is attached with a piece of clear packing tape, half of the piece is on the top of the seat and the other half of it is on the bottom side of the lid. Hope this helps! :)

Andrea Passantino said...

Hi! Great idea. I’m confused as to how the lid opens and shuts if its just two pieces of foam board... thank you!

Janet said...

Thanks Andrea! The lid on the seat is held on with clear packing tape. Taping it on the underside of the lid to the top of the seat will help the lid to stay up on it's own.


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