Sometimes, toys are better made durable. That is certainly true for toddlers and rough children. After all, there are a lot of cheap toys that break too easily. Unless someone gave these children something sturdy, they will eat a lot of budget for their toys! So, how can we manage?
Well, we can try making the toys from wood. Wood is easy to obtain and work with. Since they are thick, they should be more durable of the children’s rough play. Plus, they cost technically nothing because wooden toys can be made from scrap wood like this puzzle below!
Materials and Tools:
- Scrap wood (¾-inch thickness is ideal, but you can thin it by yourself too)
- Scroll saw
- Printer paper
- Painter’s tape
- Pencil or pen
- Palm sander
- Sealer and paint*
*Make sure it is non-toxic especially if you are planning to give the puzzle to children, especially younger ones since they have the tendency to put things in their mouths.
- Print the template you want to use. You can find them for free online. Plus, it doesn’t have to be the classic rectangular puzzle. You can also use fun shapes such as animals. For this tutorial, we are using elephant line art. If you want to use line arts as well, find the simplest one to make it easier drawing the puzzle pieces later on. Print the template to the size you want.
- Next, stick painter tape all over the scrap wood (or at least on the spot you are planning to cut the puzzle from). Then, apply some adhesive onto the tape and stick the template on the adhesive. This way, the paper will stick until we finished cutting and we can easily peel it off right after.
- Using the scroll saw, cut the wood following the outline of the template. Then, if your template doesn’t have drawn puzzle pieces, draw it yourself and then cut those puzzle shapes with the scroll saw again. Sand the pieces if necessary.
- Lastly, paint and seal the puzzle. Let the coat dries and the puzzle is ready to use! Again, make sure that the coats are non-toxic and they are safe for the children to play with. If you are giving the puzzle to a sensible adult, you can use any paint and sealer you want.
Though this project is intended to be given to children, that doesn’t mean you can’t give it to anyone. After all, the design depends on who you are going to give it (and how much time you are planning to work on it, of course.) The puzzle above takes less than an hour, so you can imagine how much time a complicated design would take instead.
If you want to give someone a toy that can also serve as a decoration, a standing puzzle like in the tutorial above is a good choice! You can also give this type of puzzle to families with young children so they can play with it and use it as a decoration when the kids grow up.