Free Wooden Toy Plans for Homemade Toys

Enjoy our free wooden toy plans and please show us wooden homemade toys of your own that you have made, and tell us all about them.

Today, more and more people are going back to making traditional toys for children. Toys that remind them of their past when they were young. So we have provided you with a number of free wooden toy plans here that are easy to make, could easily be made by youngsters whom they themselves want to try making, or even as a cottage industry to sell at country markets.

The American Indians and the Eskimos made homemade toys. They made dolls from bits of skin and fur of wild animals and gaily decorated them with shells, beads and feathers. They also carved small models of animals and human beings from wood and bone.

The oldest European toy manufacturing center is Nuremberg, Germany. This town was especially noted for its metal playthings, like the lead soldiers, which were the delight of our childhood. Sonneburg, in Germany, was the greatest European center for the manufacture of wooden toys.

The children of those days accepted more primitive homemade toys; dolls that were often merely pieces of cloth folded and pinned in such a manner as to suggest the outline that was not there.

A few other toys such as hoops, jumping-jacks, tenpins, marbles, battledore-and-shuttlecock and alphabet blocks, represented the limit of the toy-makers' stock.

We have some lovely plans for making traditional wooden toys of times gone by that are are relevant today, as they were then. Get those kids away from those dreadful electronic games and let's get them back to old-fashioned, healthy play!

Free Wooden Toy Plans and Tools

When using these free wooden toy plans to make your homemade toys you will need some basic tools:
One coping saw frame
One dozen saw blades
A pocket knife with a small stone to keep it sharp.
Some No. 1 sandpaper, a small can of glue and some one-inch brads.
1 Rip saw.
1 Jack, or smooth, plane.
1 Turning saw
1 Claw Hammer
1 Screwdriver
1 inch and half-inch chisel
1 Try square
1 Brace, set of bits and countersink
1 Half round file, No. 10.
1 Pair of 6" dividers.
1 Ruler.
1 Knife.

A board on which the sawing is done, to prevent marring the table, can be made from a piece of boxwood 7/8"x6"xl2". A hole should be bored about three inches from one end and half way between the sides, and a V-shaped notch should be cut from the end of the board to the hole.

If a vise is available matters are very much simplified.

With the above described outfit, toy animals, toy furniture, jumping-jacks and other simple toys of a like nature can be made.

Free Wooden Toy Plans and Wood

The material should be thin wood from the thickness of cigar box wood (which by the way is especially good to use for some of the toys), up to one-half inch in thickness.
Composition board, such as Beaver Board, also known as chipboard in some countries,  is very good for the smaller toys but lacks strength and cannot be handled roughly.

Three-ply veneered wood may be obtained from firms which specialize in veneer. It is strong and serviceable but a little more expensive than the plain wood.

Bass and pine are excellent woods to use in toy making, as they work very easily and are light in weight. 

Free Wooden Toy Plans and Transferring Designs to Wood

A design may be traced by placing a piece of transparent paper over the desired drawing and outlining it with a pencil. The resulting tracing is cut out, placed on a stiff piece of cardboard or fiber board, and redrawn on this.

The board is then cut carefully with scissors or a sharp knife. This pattern may be used for a long time and other patterns may be made from it in a similar manner.

Another simple method is to place a piece of carbon paper beneath the desired drawing, carbon side down, and to go over the lines of the drawing with a medium hard pencil.

This transfer may be made directly on the wood or on a piece of cardboard which is to be cut out and used as a pattern. For cut-up picture puzzles the picture is pasted directly on the wood and, after drying, is cut at random.

Free Wooden Toy Plans and Sanding Homemade Toys

After all cutting with edged tools has been completed, all pieces should be carefully sanded to insure the removal of all scars, pencil lines and other imperfections.

Sandpaper should be used on a small block. Care should be taken that no paper hangs over the block, thus rounding the edges of the work being finished.

In sanding over a first coat of shellac or paint a block is not used, but the sandpaper is folded two or three times and used under the finger tips. Care must be taken especially not to wear through the finish on the edges.

Free Wooden Toy Plans and Painting Homemade Toys

First and foremost, all paint used for these free wooden toy plans must be lead-free so that they are non-toxic to children.

Secondly, paint is difficult to use sometimes for the novice. Colors handled by beginners will run together and will be "dauby" in appearance and a detriment rather than a finish to a toy. Added to this is the likelihood of a generous application on the painter's hands and clothing.

Instead, excellent results in using the ordinary colored wax crayons on toys. Crayon is easy to apply, has a pleasing color tone, is clean and very satisfactory for the beginner.

After all of a toy has been colored a fairly heavy line may be drawn free-hand, at the point of contact of the colors, with an ordinary drafting pen and India ink. Pains should be taken to see that the ink is dry in one place before applying in another.
If the crayon has been put on with pressure and uniformly deposited over the surface the ink will "take"without spreading and the result is a clean-cut finished

For more advanced workers the toys should be painted with either commercial or enamel paints, - making sure that they are lead-free - which are available on the market in all colors, or with colors mixed by the toymaker. If you mix your own colors much of the mystery of the ready-mixed paints is done away with.

By adding to white enamel a small amount of a selected color, ground in oil, various tones of the color may be obtained.

Free Wooden Toy Plans and Preparation Before Painting

In painting any object a first or priming coat is applied. Flat white is an excellent all-round primer. After the priming coat has dried thoroughly on a toy, it should be sanded lightly to remove any rough places with No. sandpaper and dusted. Then the final coat should lie applied.

Gray is also very good for the first coat except where a white or very light colored paints are to be used for the finished coat.

Free Wooden Toy Plans and Drying Homemade Toys

When painting small toys or parts of larger toys it is economical to have a string or wire stretched between two hooks six or seven feet from the floor, on which to hang the painted article.

Drive an inch brad into some part of the toy that will not be seen, such as the lower edge of the animal toys, and attach a short length of string or wire to this and hang up as before described. This nail will be handy to hold the toy by while painting and when hung up is out of the way, is not touching anything to cause marks on the paint, and is high enough up to be where the temperature of the room will assist in the drying process. Remove this nail after the toy is dry. If possible toys should dry in a special room where it is quiet, with no dust stirring or drafts blowing, and where the temperature is fairly uniform, not falling below 60 degrees.

Free Wooden Toy Plans and How to Paint Homemade Toys

Paint should be applied with the tip of the brush, holding the brush nearly vertical, using a uniform stroke and taking care to prevent "tears" or surplus paint running over an edge. The brush should be in proportion to the size of the article painted, and the strokes should be outward toward the edges rather than from the edges inward.

Features and fine lines on the toys may be placed with No. 3 round sable brush or with India ink in an ordinary drafting pen. The latter method of outlining and drawing in features has proved most successful with the writer's classes, as the solidity of the pen allows a firm pressure on the surface of the work and insures a uniform line. Fine or coarse lines may be made by adjusting the pen to suit the desired need.

Considerable skill is needed to satisfactorily place lines with a fine pointed brush held in the hands of an inexperienced boy, and the drafting-pen method simplifies the problem immensely.

Adjoining colors, outlined by this method, improve the appearance of the toy fifty per cent.

Dull colors may be "livened up" by applying a coat of white shellac or varnish.

Toys having parts of various colors, such as carts, etc., should have the different parts painted before assembling.

Free Wooden Toy Plans and Staining Homemade Toys

Before attempting to stain a toy, the wood should be carefully examined to see that all scars, glue or scratches have been removed. This is very important as the stain will show up all imperfections in the wood very plainly.

Enough stain should be poured in a shallow cup for the piece of work at hand and should then be applied with a brush with the grain of the wood in long narrow bands from one end of the work to the other. The stain should be wiped with a piece of waste or cloth soon after being applied, removing all surplus stain and thus bringing out the grain of the wood.

Pains must be taken when staining the edges not to allow the stain to run over on the adjacent surface. If it does the stain should be quickly wiped off with a piece of waste before it causes the surface to be unevenly stained.

There will probably be no necessity in toy construction to use filler on the wood so the method of applying this will be omitted.

Next apply a coat of white shellac (reduced by one part of alcohol to three parts of shellac), brushing it on quickly with the grain of the wood.

Do not have too much shellac on the brush. If laps or runs show, work them out with the brush. After the shellac has dried eight or ten hours it should be rubbed lightly with No. sandpaper. Be careful not to sand through the shellac, particularly on the edges.

A second coat may be applied if desired.

Free Wooden Toy Plans and Waxing Homemade Toys

For the last coat apply a coat of either hard or liquid wax, the latter being preferable. Shake the can or jar before applying liquid wax. Apply evenly with a soft cloth and allow it to dry for an hour. Rub down to the proper luster with a soft clean cloth. Two or more coats of wax may be applied if desired.

See our Free Wooden Toy Plans for the Following Homemade Toys:

Make your own Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle

Wooden Pull Along Toy Dippy Duck

Childrens Ironing Board