Thursday, June 25, 2015

DIY Wood Rocker

My one year old nephew came to stay with me for a little while. I made him a few toys to play with while we were together. He loves to rock, so I made him this little rocker.

I found the pattern on the Ramblings from the Burbs blog way back in March of last year. You can find the template and some great tips on her blog. Here are the steps I took to make mine.

Needed Materials:
2'x4' 1/2" Plywood
2 - 1"x4"
1" Kreg Pocket Hole Screws
Wood Glue
Paint or Stain

Needed Cuts:
9 - 1"x4" cut at 13.5" (slats)
Template from the Ramblings from the Burbs blog (rocker)

Step 1:
Copy the template onto your wood.
Step 2:
Make the cuts. I used my miter saw to make the slats.

I used my jigsaw to make the rockers.
I used a hole saw to make the initial hole for the hand holds. If you don't have a hole saw, just use the largest drill bit you have and then put the jigsaw blade in the hole to cut out the hand holds.
Step 3: Make the pocket holes. Set your Kreg Jig at the 5/8 marking and drill into each end of the slats.

Step 4: Sand everything well. I usually wait until everything is built before I sand, but I wanted to paint before it was assembled.
Step 5: Paint or apply finish of your choice. I used Rustoleum Ultra Cover paints and I sealed it with Rustoleum Clear Gloss spray paint.
Step 6: Mark the locations of the slats (optional).
You may want to place marks on the rockers at the locations that you want to place the slats. I did not do this, but I wish I would have. My rocker is not exactly even because I did not do this.

Step 7: Using 1" Kreg screws and wood glue, attach the slats to the rockers. I started in the middle and worked outward on each side. I did not measure, but I placed them about 3/4" in from the base of the rockers. Be sure that you attach the slats so that they are at the same place on each rocker. This is where the marks would have come in handy.
Step 8: Fill the pocket holes with putty (optional).
I filled my pocket holes, sanded, and did paint touch ups. You could also skip this step and leave the holes.

Step 9: Enjoy!
I am so glad I finally got around to building this! You can not only rock in it.
You can use it as a tunnel.
You can play peek-a-boo.
You can climb on top of it.
It can even be turned on it's side and imagined that it is an ice cream stand, check out, puppet stage, etc.
This would be an easy gift to make for any little one in your life!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

DIY Wood Car and Truck Push Toys

If you need a quick, easy, and inexpensive gift for the little person in your life, this may be the perfect project for you. I made this little car and truck out of scraps of wood.

I got to spend the last few days with this little guy, Zachary, while his parents and sister were on vacation.
I decided to make some toys for him to make our time together special. I found the directions to make these cute toy cars on Ana White's website. you can find the full directions and printable templates here.

Here are the steps I took to make mine.

Needed Materials:
1"x4" scrap (7" or longer will be sufficient for the car or truck.)
Toy wheels (or make your own)
Dowel (size depends on your wheels)
4 Washers (size depends on your wheels)
Wood Glue

Step 1: Draw your vehicle shape on the wood.
You can use the templates provided on Ana White's website or make your own.
Step 2: Cut the outline of your vehicle.
Use a jigsaw to cut the outside of the vehicles out of the 1"x4" boards. I am not the greatest with the jigsaw so the cars I made are far from perfect, but Zach doesn't seem to mind.
Step 3: Cut out the window holes.
Use a hole saw to drill a hole in the window space. Then use the jigsaw to finish the cuts.
Step 4: Make your wheels. (optional)
If you are making your own wheels, use a hole saw to cut out the four wheels. I bought my wheels. They were just over $1 for 4 wheels. You can find them in the hobby section of your DIY store. Ask for the Pine Wood Derby supplies.

Step 5: Cut your dowels.
Cut your dowels to be long enough to go through both wheels and through the 1"x4" piece. Make the dowels slightly longer, because you will need to use a washer between the car and each wheel.

Step 6: Drill the holes for your wheels.
Make sure you drill the hole large enough to fit your dowels. Also, ensure sure that you drill the holes so that they are level with each other. I just eyeballed it when I made the car and the front wheels are lower than the back wheels.
Step 7: Sand all surfaces.
These are going to be in little hands, so be sure that you sand all surfaces very well.
Step 8: Paint.
If there is any chance that these are going to end up in someone's mouth, be certain that you use a child-safe paint and that you seal it very well with mineral oil.
Step 9: Attach your wheels to the dowel.
Use wood glue to attach one wheel to each dowel.
Step 10: Attach the wheels to the vehicle.
Put a washer on the dowel with the wheel. Push the dowel through the vehicle. Put another washer on the other side of the vehicle and glue the other wheel to the dowel.
Step 11: Enjoy!
I made a car and a truck. Ana White's website also has a template for a helicopter. You could easily modify the templates to make any vehicle. Some ideas are train cars, bus, fire truck, ambulance, police car, etc.

Zach loves his new car and truck and they are the perfect size for his little hands!