The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

Make a button for the Great Glass Elevator

Turn your home into the Great Glass Elevator and head off on an adventure!

Make a button for the Great Glass Elevator

Willy Wonka uses a very special elevator in his factory. It is made entirely of glass and has thousands of wonderful buttons which, when pressed, take Mr Wonka to different rooms all over his factory. The elevator travels in all directions - "up and down, sideways, slantways, and any other way you can think of”. The elevator can also fly out of the factory by bursting its way out through the factory roof! 

Charlie sees lots of incredible rooms with Mr Wonka in the Great Glass Elevator. He spots a mountain of vanilla fudge, a caramel lake and the Oompa-Loompas' village.

One of the rooms they visit is the Inventing Room! Do you know where Roald Dahl got his inspiration from for the Inventing Room? At the Museum we are very lucky to have Roald’s notes explaining where his ideas came from. Why not have a look at them here?

Family challenge

You might be at home, but can you turn your house into the Great Glass Elevator and head off on an adventure?

Tools you might need

  • Paper or card. Or download our fantabulous button templates from the link on the right of this page.
  • Scissors
  • Pencils, pens or crayons
  • Craft materials
  • Glue or tape


  1. Make lots of fantastic buttons. Cut out the buttons from the templates or create some extra special buttons from your own imagination.
  2. Label what the buttons are for and where they might take you. Do they make the elevator whizz faster or turn invisible? Which Inventing Rooms do they go to, or do they fly you to an exciting new place altogether?
  3. Colour in your elevator buttons or decorate them with different types of textures and craft materials that you can find at home.
  4. Arrange all of your buttons to design a control panel for your Great Glass Elevator! Which one will you press first?

Extra, extra!

  • Turn a room into your own Great Glass Elevator. Attach the buttons to your wall, door or window with sticky tack (if a grown-up tells you it's okay to do this!), tie them to coat hangers and hang them up or simply lay the buttons on the floor. Invite someone in and take them on an adventure...
  • Create a word cloud. Collect as many words as you can to describe what your Elevator looks and sounds like. Is it shiny, transparent, hard, soft, colourful, loud, whizzy, zippy, bumpy? Write them in a cloud shape so you can gaze at the sky as you travel.
  • Experience take-off! Use your senses to imagine whooshing through the sky in the Elevator. Run as fast as you can and feel the air whizz past your face. Jump up and down a few times. How does that make your tummy feel? Spin around. Are you dizzy?
  • Share a story. Has your Great Glass Elevator given you an idea for an adventure? Can you write, draw or act it out?

Join in

When we re-open you can join us for more great craft activities like this! Come and visit us at the Museum in Roald's home-village of Great Missenden.

Share with us

Grown-ups! We'll love to see what you make. Feel free to share your creations with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Download our Great Glass Elevator button templates

Find out more about the book