Enjoy our free wooden toy plans
and please show
us wooden homemade toys
of your own that you have made, and tell us all
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
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
The children of those days accepted more primitive homemade toys
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 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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