We Lived Happily Ever After: DIY Wood Block Animals

Monday, March 9, 2015

DIY Wood Block Animals


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! 


Isn't he a cutie? I'll probably do a post with tons of photos of him, but in the meanwhile, you can see more photos on my Instagram or Facebook



 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:
-2x4" 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 2x4" 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 2x4. 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.


Then, using a pen, I added some of the finer details, like the eyes and noses.


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 Bunny...


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 Fox...



The Hedgehog...


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



7 comments :

  1. These are incredible! Can I pay you to make me some for my son??

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    1. I would love to! Email me at welivedhappilyeveraftertheblog@gmail.com and we can talk more. :)

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  2. Do your kids put these in their mouths? I love wood toys and think these are SUPER adorable, but I worry about the paint if kids got these in their mouths. Obviously an older child would know better, what age are you starting your son with these?

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    1. My daughter had never put things in her mouth, and he's too little right now. :)

      I don't think acrylic paint is dangerous... but I wouldn't let them put them in their mouths. But I'm just hoping he's like his big sister. :)

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  3. Super cute! I was just looking at a similar thing for 50 pound a set! I didn't even think about making them myself, and I'm a furniture maker! They're now on the to do list for my new baby (due in September). Thanks for the excellent idea and the templates, just perfect!

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  4. I would live to attempt these myself! Could you tell me what type of wood you used?

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    1. Hey! It's just 2x4's from Home Depot or Lowes.... It is probably pine? It's slightly soft, if that helps. :)

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