I know every new mom must say this but I’m trying really hard to not have lots of plastic—let’s face it, down right ugly—baby toys in the house. I know I say this now and when #babygirlhearts is having a fit I’m going to cave and buy that gigantic Fisher-Price toy but in the meantime let’s live in my naive mom bliss and make a pretty wooden baby gym instead, ok?
I spotted tons of pretty wooden baby gyms on Etsy if you rather buy than DIY but if you’re looking for a fun weekend (or nap time) project keep reading. While it looks slightly complicated, I promise it was really easy to make and you can customize it the perfect color palette to match your nursery.
After making the wooden baby gym, I sewed up some cute little toys to hang from it. You can make them in whatever shapes and colors you like but I have included a downloadable template below if you would like to make the same shapes I created.
Wooden Baby Gym Supplies
Baby Gym Directions
- Optional: if your boards and dowels are not already cut to size, use a hand saw and miter box or a miter saw to cut them to size.
- Use the 3/4″ spade drill bit to drill a hole 3″ from the top end of each of the 4 wood boards. This is where the dowel will be inserted.
- Use the 3/8″ spade drill bit to drill a hole 10″ from the opposite end of each of the 4 wood boards.
- Place the 4 wooden rings on the dowel and carefully insert it into the wood boards. It will be a snug fit; I found it easiest to do the left and right sides one at a time.
- Thread the thick, 5mm cotton rope though the bottom holes. Knot at each end and trim the rope. Repeat with the opposite side.
- That’s it! The baby gym structure is built. Now onto the fun part—making all the colorful toys to hang from it.
Baby Gym Toy Supplies
Felt sheets – I used 1 9″ x 12″ sheet of the following colors: white, bright pink, yellow and teal
4 – 2″ wooden rings
thin cotton string, cut into 4 – __” pieces
12 – 15mm silicone teething beads
polyester fiber filling
sewing machine with matching thread
large plastic needle
Heart, rainbow, cloud and flower template
Hanging Toy Directions
- Download and print the toy template. Cut out the paper patterns and pin or trace them onto your favorite colors of felt. Cut out each of the shapes.
- Thread each piece of string with 3 silicone teething beads. Then thread the needle back through the same beads to create a loop.
- Place the end of the loop in the top center of one of the felt shapes. Place the matching front piece onto and align the edges, using needles to hold it in place. Use a sewing machine and coordinating thread to sew all the way around each shape, leaving an 1.5″ – 2″ opening.
- Fill will polyester fiber fill and then sew the opening closed.
- To attach each toy to the wooden baby gym, simply place the loop of cotton string through the wooden ring and push the toy through the loop. Now you can easily swap out the toys to clean them or replace them.