Homemade Toy Ideas From Our Workshop

Don't gripe about the cost or quality of children's playthings. Give your little one(s) a homemade toy.

| November/December 1981

072 homemade toy - diagram - guardhouse

Diagram shows cut lines and fold lines for the cardboard guardhouse. Scale: 1 square = 1 inch.


If you've often thought you could make playthings as good or better as what retailers have to offer, here are three homemade toy ideas to get you started.

A Wooden Soldier

What's the holiday season without a wooden soldier or two to join the festivities? To make this pint-sized fusilier, you'll need a scrap of wood that measures 1 3/4" X 2" X 7 1/2", a second odd piece about 1/2" X 3" square, and a 2 1/4"-long section of broomstick or dowel.

Cut or sand the corners from the "body" block, round one end of the billet, and remove a slot to simulate a pair of legs. The guardsman's arms are made by cutting the dowel lengthwise down its center, then sanding and beveling the two resulting pieces. To make the base, simply trim a 3" square of wood to form a circle, and smooth off its top edge.

Now, paint all the parts, tack the arms in place, and glue the figure to its stand. If you wish, you can also whip together a simple guardhouse using a 10" X 20" piece of stiff cardboard, which you can color as you see fit. 

Click here to download the toy-parts template. 

Click here to download the soldier construction details.

mother earth news fair


Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, hands-on workshops, and great food!