or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Arts & Crafts › Wood animals are shockingly easy to make! (with the right tools)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Wood animals are shockingly easy to make! (with the right tools) - Page 9

post #161 of 238
Sorry double posted with a little help from my daughter!
post #162 of 238
I've been making wooden toys for about a month now and figured I'd throw in my two cents about trial and errors:
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id...ion_id=5773288 )

I started out with a used jigsaw which works great for larger designs, but no matter how I tried I couldn't get my cuts to come out straight and all my toys came out slanted--especially the ones made from thicker wood. For Christmas I got a used scroll saw and a table belt/disk sander and now I am totally addicted. I just finished a whole castle set complete with a prince, princess, king and queen and am almost done with a little red riding hood set. Seriously this is so much fun!!!

For a natural beeswax sealer, I also like the 1 part beeswax to 3 parts jojoba oil. I have one of those large glass measuring cups that I melt the beeswax and jojoba oil in and then add my eo and pour it into a container. It cools to a firm stage and is very easy to scoop your fingers in and absorbs into wood great! Plus it smells good too and makes your hands feel nice and smooth!

Nolimum -- sometimes Craigslist will have local people who mill their own wood, if you don't see any ads, you can place a wanted add. I get to cheat as my dad mills his own wood they selectively harvest off their land. I have also found a local company (Eugene, OR) that supplies their wood to Home Depot/Lowes, so if you search and find one where you live, you can save money off of what Lowes/Home Depot charges.

For those who can't get the AP non-toxic watercolors (stockmar is awesome if you can though), another cheap in your kitchen option is food coloring. Mix it with some water and then paint on. The only thing is that it bleeds quite a bit compared to watercolors so don't try too detailed work. I have found that if you burn VERY deep grooves in your design, then that will help the dye from spreading.

Which brings me to my last bit of advise--if you are going to be using any sort of hardwood at all, don't scrimp on your wood burner. My first wood burner cost $8, and was horrible as it didn't heat up enough. My next woodburner cost $35, but works great and even has different tips.
post #163 of 238
Jessicado, These are amazing!!! They are exactly what I've been wanting to do. I love how your food dyes turned out. They just look so rich and beautiful!

I've also been burning wood. I have a woodburner by Alleen's (the glue people) and it SUCKS. It came with different tips and everything, but they are loose so they'll move around just when you need to be quite precise, and they BEND! I was going along burning a line, and I looked closely at the pen and the tip was slowly bending as I went. I have to keep a scrap piece of wood nearby just so I can press on it to bend the tip back! What brand is your wood burner?

I wasn't sure if I could make the polish so I went ahead and bought MamaKopp's on Etsy. I will try that and then maybe make my own next time.
post #164 of 238
Thanks so much Nolimum!
I just added the castle set, which is the first set I have made with the watercolors, and you can see what a difference it makes:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php...ng_id=19565537
They are alot easier to use and more vibrant, however I still really like using the food dye for pieces that don't have alot of small details.

I got my woodburner at Michaels, which if you can get the coupon for 40% off that they have every few weeks, would make it alot cheaper!
post #165 of 238
Wow, Jessicado! Those are so amazingly awesome. And thank you so much for the great tips. I bought a scroll saw a few months ago but have only made a few things. I haven't yet approached how to paint them, but have been thinking about it. And I've been thinking about getting a woodburning kit.

So, you woodburn the lines on, and then paint in each section? That's a good idea.

I've been hand sanding the pieces that I've made. Is the table belt/disk sander a lot easier? My DH might have one of those already. Hmm....he's an avid woodworker and who knows what he's got down there!
post #166 of 238
One of these days I'll take pictures of our painted critters. But I do have a question. We used watercolors and sealed with MamaKopp cream (which I love). I think I didn't put enough cream on it originally, because if DS even kisses one of his animals, he gets paint on his lips. (Good thing it's safe paint!) I just went through and resealed with lots more of the cream. It's soaked right in, but I did a little test with a moistened fingertip and came away with paint on my finger. So I guess more cream? I don't want to varnish them, but at this rate, we'll have to repaint them all in a few months. Any advice? Just liberal beeswax polish until it doesn't soak in anymore??? It's not like my son really mouths things anymore...but basic play for him sometimes involves kissing his animals. Oh...and he did pop the baby chick in his mouth briefly---just because I guess!---it definitely needs repainting!!
post #167 of 238
Tinasquirrel--thanks! Yeah, I have found woodburning is great, because first of all your design is now black and permanent, and then it helps your dye from bleeding.

The table/belt sander is AWESOME!!! Before all I had was a finishing sander which wasn't very good at helping me hide any imperfections from the cutting, or in beveling edges. I would always have to take my dremel tool to fix stuff and bevel the edges. My hubby then got a handheld belt sander which was great for taking off mistakes, but sucked for detail work. The table sander is great because you can use both hands for holding the toy. Mine cost $80 at the tool store (couldn't find one used) but I have heard of people getting a handheld belt sander and clamping it upside down to use which would be cheaper.

3901sca--I had the same problem with my first set of toys, but I found that one of the most important things to preventing leftover color residue, is letting them sit in a warm place. We have a dehumidifier that I leave in the room with the toys overnight after they are sealed (with only one coat) and don't have any problems afterwards. I do let them sit a little in there after I paint and before I seal too, but after they are sealed is the most important I think.
post #168 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicado View Post
3901sca--I had the same problem with my first set of toys, but I found that one of the most important things to preventing leftover color residue, is letting them sit in a warm place. We have a dehumidifier that I leave in the room with the toys overnight after they are sealed (with only one coat) and don't have any problems afterwards. I do let them sit a little in there after I paint and before I seal too, but after they are sealed is the most important I think.
Hmm. Maybe I'll try leaving them in front of the heat vent in the bathroom. It gets TOASTY in there. Do you suppose it's getting the wax really soaked into the wood that's the solution? I know I must be missing something!
post #169 of 238
Ok, so I have read this entire thread and now I'm addicted I told my hubby that I want a scroll saw for mothers day...

I love, love, love Holtzinger toys but they are sooooo expensive. Seriously, $20 plus for a little horse. I just can't afford that now. So, I am inspired. I love making crafty stuff so we'll see.

I just watched the tutorial too. Pretty cool. Ill have to post when I get a chance. I am going to be buying a jigsaw in the next week or so but its not for toymaking. I am wondering if I can use it to make some more simple toys though.
post #170 of 238
I used a jigsaw and it worked just fine! It is just harder to cut smaller pieces of wood--I found it was easiest when using a jigsaw to put all your designs on a large piece of wood and the start cutting then out leaving the board you are cutting from intact as much as possible so you always have someplace to hold onto if that makes sense.
post #171 of 238
I started scroll sawing last night and it was so much fun! I need a little more practice, but for the most part it's pretty easy.

Will post pics soon!!!

post #172 of 238
Okay, finally made it through the thread and now I have a bunch of questions!

How big and loud is the scroll saw in comparison with other saws? It looks like the best option for wooden toys but we live in a military housing complex and we plan to either do woodwork on the balcony or in our smaller bathroom. Do you other mamas that live in apartments get noise complaints? I'd also want to make Montessori materials and need a band saw but I've never had any experience with any kind of saws and a band saw looks frightening!

How much dust does making one toy produce? Does the dust fly everywhere or mainly just fall to the ground in a small area around you?

What brands would you recommend for a scroll saw?

Is there any way we can get wood online? I guess I could ask my family in California to get some wood, cut it down and then ship to us but they do have their own lives and this would be a last resort. There are probably hardware stores here in Korea but I don't know how we'd manage to get a piece of pine with language barriers.

I'm planning on getting the water colors and beeeautiful beeswax from nova natural. Does that beeswax produce a good shine?

All of you mamas are so inspirational and crafty! :
post #173 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by michelleklu View Post
Okay, finally made it through the thread and now I have a bunch of questions!

How big and loud is the scroll saw in comparison with other saws? It looks like the best option for wooden toys but we live in a military housing complex and we plan to either do woodwork on the balcony or in our smaller bathroom. Do you other mamas that live in apartments get noise complaints? I'd also want to make Montessori materials and need a band saw but I've never had any experience with any kind of saws and a band saw looks frightening!

How much dust does making one toy produce? Does the dust fly everywhere or mainly just fall to the ground in a small area around you?

What brands would you recommend for a scroll saw?

Is there any way we can get wood online? I guess I could ask my family in California to get some wood, cut it down and then ship to us but they do have their own lives and this would be a last resort. There are probably hardware stores here in Korea but I don't know how we'd manage to get a piece of pine with language barriers.

I'm planning on getting the water colors and beeeautiful beeswax from nova natural. Does that beeswax produce a good shine?

All of you mamas are so inspirational and crafty! :
We have a Black and Decker. It's pretty loud honestly and kicks up a fair amount of dust.

I haven't managed to get the right combination of water color and beeswax. I might have put on the water colors too thickly. I tried putting mineral oil on too and still, if I put a damp finger (or my son kisses his animals which he does a lot!) I come away away with paint. So I guess future critters will be non-toxic acrylic craft paint. Oh well. It was a good idea!

I finally took some pictures of our painted Christmas animals. You can see them <a href="http://lyneya.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/the-barn-that-etsy-built/">here</a>.
post #174 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3901sca View Post
We have a Black and Decker. It's pretty loud honestly and kicks up a fair amount of dust.

I haven't managed to get the right combination of water color and beeswax. I might have put on the water colors too thickly. I tried putting mineral oil on too and still, if I put a damp finger (or my son kisses his animals which he does a lot!) I come away away with paint. So I guess future critters will be non-toxic acrylic craft paint. Oh well. It was a good idea!

I finally took some pictures of our painted Christmas animals. You can see them <a href="http://lyneya.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/the-barn-that-etsy-built/">here</a>.
Oh those are so beautiful and what a cute cat!

Does the paint smear when you play with them? Boo water colors! Do you think baking them for a little bit will make the colors set? I guess I might go with acrylics as well.

Just curious since you have a military dh, do you live in military housing? My neighbor just declared himself the mayor of Camp George so I'm pretty nervous about using a scroll saw. I'm really not looking forward to using a coping saw though! Maybe I'll just break it out when they go out.
post #175 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by michelleklu View Post
Oh those are so beautiful and what a cute cat!

Does the paint smear when you play with them? Boo water colors! Do you think baking them for a little bit will make the colors set? I guess I might go with acrylics as well.

Just curious since you have a military dh, do you live in military housing? My neighbor just declared himself the mayor of Camp George so I'm pretty nervous about using a scroll saw. I'm really not looking forward to using a coping saw though! Maybe I'll just break it out when they go out.
RE: Military spouse: I've got it pretty easy. He was full time Marines right out of high school, but that was a decade before I met him. Now he's Reserves or Guard with just a few months here and there as full time. We do live in a townhome, so we need to be courteous of our neighbors, but I've got a garage to work in.

Oh...the paint. They only smear when they get a little wet. And I've got a two year old...so they do get damp sometimes! He is a kiss-y kid.
post #176 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicado View Post
Thanks so much Nolimum!
I just added the castle set, which is the first set I have made with the watercolors, and you can see what a difference it makes:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php...ng_id=19565537
They are alot easier to use and more vibrant, however I still really like using the food dye for pieces that don't have alot of small details.

I got my woodburner at Michaels, which if you can get the coupon for 40% off that they have every few weeks, would make it alot cheaper!

I was eyeing these this week. I do have a question for you. Have you found that watercolor paint comes off in your little ones hands while s/he plays with the toys? I'm a traditional watercolorist by nature and I have a hard time imagining the toys not staining little, moist fingers.
post #177 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by notwonamesalike View Post
I was eyeing these this week. I do have a question for you. Have you found that watercolor paint comes off in your little ones hands while s/he plays with the toys? I'm a traditional watercolorist by nature and I have a hard time imagining the toys not staining little, moist fingers.
I just washed pink paint from all over my son's hands and face last night. I thought it was food though he's not usually that messy. This morning I found pink fingerprints on a picture frame of his grandparents. And nearby, pink all over the new toy barn...and a much faded, faceless little piglet. Thank goodness watercolor comes off. But this solidifies it. All the critters are going to get new paint-jobs with non-toxic acrylic paint. People keep saying there's ways to keep it sealed, but I've tried several coats of beeswax polish and mineral oil so far and they've had a month to cure. I'm about done.
post #178 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by notwonamesalike View Post
I was eyeing these this week. I do have a question for you. Have you found that watercolor paint comes off in your little ones hands while s/he plays with the toys? I'm a traditional watercolorist by nature and I have a hard time imagining the toys not staining little, moist fingers.
I did have a problem with the paint coming off before I started letting them sit in a warm place overnight....but even before that the paint only came off for a couple of days before it soaked in. I have been selling toys like crazy from my store lately and haven't had any complaints from anyone either and many repeat buyers. Perhaps the dehumidifier is the trick? I thought maybe it was because it warmed the room up really nice but maybe it is a combination of the dehumidifier sucking the moisture out of the toys too? My husband has also suggested perhaps putting the toys in the oven on low, but I haven't tried that technique yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3901sca View Post
I just washed pink paint from all over my son's hands and face last night. I thought it was food though he's not usually that messy. This morning I found pink fingerprints on a picture frame of his grandparents. And nearby, pink all over the new toy barn...and a much faded, faceless little piglet. Thank goodness watercolor comes off. But this solidifies it. All the critters are going to get new paint-jobs with non-toxic acrylic paint. People keep saying there's ways to keep it sealed, but I've tried several coats of beeswax polish and mineral oil so far and they've had a month to cure. I'm about done.
I am so sorry! I don't know what else to tell you that could help....so I'll just send hugs your way to help with your frustration!
(I couldn't find the hug emoticon, but you get the point!)

Edit: I just checked out your pictures of your toys and they are adorable! Are the animals in the barn the ones you made? If so, I think that might be part of the problem, They are sooo cute, but it looks like the paint isn't soaked into the wood, but rather painted on top? I think in order for the paint not to come off, you have to water it down and let it really soak into the wood, so it stains the wood the color you want, but doesn't cover it.
Kinda like this:
http://www.etsy.com/edit_listing5.ph...ng_id=20135968
The whale is blue, but the paint has been absorbed into the wood and you can still see the wood grain through the paint. Not that I'm saying you have to make your toys like mine as yours are adorable and I think if you used the non-toxic acrylic they would turn out just fine, just trying to give tips on what I have found works to not have the watercolors smear!
post #179 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicado View Post
I did have a problem with the paint coming off before I started letting them sit in a warm place overnight....but even before that the paint only came off for a couple of days before it soaked in. I have been selling toys like crazy from my store lately and haven't had any complaints from anyone either and many repeat buyers. Perhaps the dehumidifier is the trick? I thought maybe it was because it warmed the room up really nice but maybe it is a combination of the dehumidifier sucking the moisture out of the toys too? My husband has also suggested perhaps putting the toys in the oven on low, but I haven't tried that technique yet.


I am so sorry! I don't know what else to tell you that could help....so I'll just send hugs your way to help with your frustration!
(I couldn't find the hug emoticon, but you get the point!)
Thanks. I do appreciate your info. It's entirely possible that we're using the wrong kind of watercolor...or too thick (it's definitely not see-through). One day I'll try again. The nice thing is that this way I can do a do-over for some of the paint jobs I wasn't as happy with (due to a month straight of midnights to finish everything before Christmas!!)
post #180 of 238
I finally finished some toys!! :

Owl and tree

Moon mobile
for friend's baby due in June (I'm going to hang stars from the bottom)

DD holding tree
Is she not the most beautiful child!?!

DD helping me paint

DP has taken DD out to play so I can work on more.. better get off the puter and take advantage of my precious toddler-free time!!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Arts & Crafts
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Arts & Crafts › Wood animals are shockingly easy to make! (with the right tools)