Handmade wooden pull toys, like this charming family of ducks, can provide your toddler with hours of fun, proving elaborate electronic toys are not always necessary to keep your child entertained. Better still, they’re durable, so they last longer and are a very cost-effective way to stock your toy box or to give as a gift.
Gather your supplies
For duck family: 800 x 400 x 19mm Pine
For wheels: 300 x 300 x 12mm Plywood
For wheel axles: 900 x 6mm-dia Dowel
1. To make a sharp corner cut with a jigsaw, first round off the corner, then come back and cut into the corner from each side. 2. When painting the animals, mix 1 part paint with 1 part sealer, then apply 2 coats of paint to each ‘pet’, allowing paint to dry after each coat. 3. Before assembling pets, spray the painted pieces with finishing sealer, following manufacturer’s instructions.
- Step 1: Enlarge templates (above) to size using a photocopier, then cut out. Using marker pen, trace template onto pine. Clamp wood to your work surface, follow marked outline and, using jigsaw, cut out each shape.
- Step 2: Using 6mm drill bit, drill dowel holes through ducks where indicated on template. Using hole- saw bit, cut 12 wheels. To make a smooth round cut with hole saw, work from 1 side of pine shape until teeth have started cutting and bit comes through the other side, then flip pine shape over and come back the other way. For wheel axles, cut 6 lengths of 6mm dowel, each measuring 50mm.
- Step 3: Sand ducks and wheels smooth. Paint ducks in Primrose, and wheels and axles in Napthol Red Light. To finish facial details, refer to picture (below) and glue goggle eyes in place, on each side of each duck.
- Step 4: Push an axle through each hole in ducks then, using PVA glue, attach a wheel at each dowel end. Screwing into thickness of wood, attach a screw eye into breast of each duck and into rear of mother duck and 1 duckling. For lead, cut three 45cm lengths of leather cord and two 14cm cord lengths. Attach 1 end of 45cm lengths of cord to mother duck breast through screw eye, then plait other ends. Thread ends of plait through large bead and tie off. The bead becomes the ‘handle’ for the lead. With mother duck in front, arrange ducks in a line and connect the 3 by tying 14cm cord lengths to screw eyes in rear and breast of ducks.
You’ll also need
Jigsaw; drill; 3mm, 6mm and 8mm drill bits; 50mm hole-saw bit; mouse sander; clamps; sandpaper; blowtorch; wire brush; screwdriver; wood screws; marker pen; PVA wood glue; contact adhesive; hot-glue gun and glue sticks; Jo Sonja’s Background Colours; Jo Sonja’s Artists’ Colours; Jo Sonja’s All Purpose Sealer; Boyles Matt Spray Finishing Sealer; metal bookend; 25mm paintbrush; 0.5” artist’s flat brush; no. 6 round brush; no. 6 artist’s liner brush; sea sponge; goggle eyes; 2m leather cord; wooden bead with large hole; ribbons; screw eyes; scissors