Conker person

November 13, 2017

Simple but so effective – these conker people are easy to make.

conkers connected with cocktail sticks to make a Conker Person
Author: Muddy Faces

Age Range: 6+

Duration: 1-2 hours

Location: anywhere

Time Of Day: any time

Season: autumn

Tags: autumn, conker, drill, palm drill, people, tools

Category: art & creating tool use & traditional crafts


Muddy Faces actively promotes child-led outdoor play and learning . We recognise and believe in the curiosity that children have and their drive to explore and discover.  We suggest that more prescribed activities like this one are considered with this in mind. Often much more creative ideas will occur if resources are provided and children given the time and space to explore independently.

Head out on a conker hunt…

Environmental considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing for, carrying out & completing this activity. Could the impact be reduced? A few considerations specific to this activity are:

  • collect conkers that have fallen onto the pavement & would end up being crushed in the road
  • don’t forget to collect up the little and misshapen ones that often get ignored
  • if collecting from a more natural areas please follow our foraging guidelines

Health and safety considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments. Some considerations particular to this activity are:

  • softwood drills and cocktail sticks have sharp points
  • palm drills have sharp edges
  • choking hazard.

Step 1

For each conker person, select 3 large conkers and 4 small ones.

Step 2 – use a softwood hand drill to make holes in the 4 small conkers

Make sure the drilled hole is the right size for the cocktail sticks – too big and they will fall out.
Our softwood drills come in 2, 3 and 4 mm diameter – the 2 mm bore creates the perfect-sized hole for a cocktail stick.
A conker clamp is useful to help prevent the conker slipping around, but not essential.

See our drilling conkers activity if you need help.

kit needed for creating a conker person

If the conkers are soft you may be able to push the cocktail sticks in without the need for a drill, or use a thin bradawl or similar to make the holes.

Although we didn’t try it, you could use a malleable substance such as bluetack or glue to help the sticks stay in place.

Step 3 – make the lower body section

Drill 2 holes into one of the large conkers in the direction you want the legs sticking out, and one hole on the opposite side of the body to attach the torso.

Attach the bum and feet together with cocktail sticks.

Step 4 – make the upper body, arms & head

Drill one large conker all the way through – this is for the upper body.

On this conker drill 2 angled holes on the side for the arms.

Use cocktail sticks to attach the hands to the upper body. We snapped the cocktail sticks to make them shorter for the arms than the legs.

Drill the last large conker for the head (do not go all the way through). Attach it to the upper body, making sure the cocktail stick goes all the way through and out the bottom.

body and head of a conker person

Step 5 – put it all together

Connect the upper body to the lower body and Bob’s your uncle – you have a conker person!

Step 6

Play (gently).

Take it further

Use chalk or acrylic pens to decorate/personalise your conker people/creature/sculpture.

Take your conker people on an adventure, or play hide and seek with them.

Try making some conker animals.

Use acorns as an alternative to conkers.