Be honest, you don't recycle your old batteries, you hoard them! They've been languishing in the junk drawer for years because you are scared of them. You think that your flesh will melt if you touch them - like in a sci-fi movie. I know, it takes a neurotic to know one.
No more! I shall confront my exaggerated fear of the miniscule odds that a battery will A) leak and B) by doing so, cause serious damage. It's not rational people.
So, for this project I used 3 of at least 9 AA batteries that I had laying around, some 6 X 17cm pieces of wire (thick jewelry wire would do although I picked mine up on a construction site); jewelry pliers, a rectangular block of wood, tack, chalk spray paint, matte varnish, super glue (now there's a real dangerous chap) , gloves and perhaps a glue gun. And something to act as heads e.g. beads or seeds.