Hey you all! You can probably expect me to be MIA for a while, because I have a cute little newborn on my lap as of March 1st, and I am seriously sleep deprived right now! Haha!
Back to today’s post: After making June’s ombre & gold wood blocks (HERE), I wanted to come up with another natural wood toy for my babies. Then one day I was browsing Pinterest, and came across the most adorable wood animals, here. SO much cuter than plastic animals! The wheels in my brain started rolling, and I decided to try to DIY my own wood animal blocks from what I had on hand. You will need: -2×4″ board. Mine was about 6′ long. -A Jig Saw -Acrylic paints They cost me nothing, because I already had everything on hand. But if I had to break it down, my jig saw only cost under $30; the 2×4″ board was left over scrap from other projects, but that would otherwise cost just a few dollars; and the acrylic paints were the “99 cents a bottle” type you can get at the craft store. Not bad for endless wood block animals. You can bet I plan on making more! 🙂
To start out, here is a free pattern based off of all the animals I made. Just print, cut, and trace them out onto your 2×4. I completely eyeballed my designs, and you can do that too if you have a different type of animal in mind! Be creative!
Above is a photo of the silhouette I did of the fox before cutting it. A few tips for using the jig saw: -Take it slow. -If there is a sharp corner, make a separate cut for the sharp edge. – For smooth curves, you will get smoother rounded edges if you make less cuts, and just do it all in one go. Here they all are after getting cut out. The hardest one was the deer because of the antlers. I took some sandpaper and softened the corners and edges.
I considered giving them more of a 3D appearance by sanding/carving the edges off, but I decided against it because I wanted to just paint the sides and leave the outside edges raw wood.
I used various shades, and watered down the paint for a smooth, almost see-through paint. Also, I tried to use the same colors (or at least incorporate the same colors) in each animal, to give them a consistent flow.
Lastly, I slightly sanded down the paints, both to let the natural wood show through, and to give them a worn feel.You could seal them if you want, but I chose not to, because I love the flat paint look. Here they all are finished:
The Badger… you could also make a bear from this one. 🙂
The Deer… One note, the Deer, owl and squirrel are all cut horizontally, instead of vertically, which is why they are taller than the 4″ the other animals amount to.
The Owl… You wouldn’t be able to tell what this one was if it weren’t for the painting! Haha!
All the other animals have symmetrical sides, but the owl has a front and a back. The back just being feathers.
The Squirrel… he is ironically as tall as the deer!
Ahhh! I am in love with these toys, and June plays with them nearly every day. Can’t wait for the new baby to play with them too! What are some other animals you would like to see? I would love to get my hands on some super thick shelving boards to make larger versions of the animal toys as well- think pulley toys! Off to feed the new baby! XO