Bella had this idea, Why not make a DIY wooden baby gym?
I’m all for DIY stuff, and although we already have a baby gym. But I thought why not, if it goes wrong its only a few pound.
I looked at the pictures to get some good ideas, then drove from university to B&Q and winged it. So I went in with an idea of what I needed to get, and headed straight to the wood aisle.
On my list was; a rounded wood pole, 4 x wood chunks for the legs and that’s about it.
My plan was to have 2 bits of wood in an X shape, drill a hole in the middle for the pole to go through and that’s it.
What I bought
- 1 x wooden pole
- 4 x 15mm x 36mm x 900mm Softwood strip wood
I’m not much of a DIY guy, but I have some basic tools at home, stuff that I have collected over the years from putting up shelves or drilling holes into the wall.
Not too long ago from B&Q I bought a large selection of drill bits. That has massive drill bits, metal drill bits, and importantly for this DIY project, wooden drill bits with flat wood drill bits (you need the flat wood drill bits. Trust me, I tried making a big hole with a normal drill bit and snapped a shelf, live and learn).
Tools you will need
- A power drill (or handheld one if you feel manly)
- Wooden drill bits
- Flat wood drill bit (size of your rod)
- Smaller wood drill bit
- Pen or pencil ( I would recommend pencil but all I could find was a pen)
Lets get started
To start off with I got 2 pieces of wood and held them in roughly the shape I wanted. Called Bella (the deciding factor of everything) got her to agree on the shape, and marked where the pole will go through.
As all pieces of wood were the same size, I was able to drill a hole in one in the correct space. Once you’ve gone through, place the next piece under and mark it, then drill through that. I prefer this way so I know its a perfect fit.
Once I finished all the holes, I placed the rod through and it was starting to take shape already. It was a bit wobbly, so I moved onto the next step.
I had a few ideas on how to make sure the legs didn’t spread too far and in turn, fall down, but I found just drilling a hole through them and then threading a piece of string through the hole, tying a large knot at the end will be enough, and it was.
With the pole though all the pieces of wood I laid them all flat and on top of each other, got a small wooden drill bit, eyed up where I feel the string should be and drilled. Doing it this way made sure all the holes were in line, and it saved a lot of time.
Once this is done, you get your piece of string, thread it through both the holes. Then call your wife again, so she can decide how far apart she wants the legs and in turn, how long the string has to be.
When you have been given the all clear you have to tie the string into a knot big enough to stop it slipping through the whole again.
If you have a cat, have fun with this bit, as with Zelda she was obsessed with the string, and sometimes pulled it out of the holes.
Now you are pretty much done. You have a fully working play gym, just some finishing touches and your ready to play!
Saw the bits off that you don’t want. In our case, the top part was way too long simply due to the length of the wood I bought, so after getting the bosses input again, I cut it down to a better-looking length.
Make a better footing for the play gym. Due to how I’ve made this, the feet are on the pointed bit of the wood making it more wobbly. So I took a saw to this as well, making it so it has the most amount of surface area on the floor, and this made it so much more stable.
Glue the outer legs onto the pole. This way you can collapse the baby gym for easy storage, if you want to be able to remove the pole I wouldn’t recommend this. Also a rubber washer to stop the inner legs travelling too far into the centre, this is a little issue that ours has sometimes.
Add some toys. We are using Lamaze toys that have clips on the end, but we are going to order an assortment of wooden shapes online and use the string to dangle them for Primrose to play with. This will make it 100% wooden and more fun, unique and eco-friendly.
Thanks for reading, I hope it has inspired you to make your own DIY baby gym.
If you have any other DIY ideas that you have made or would like to see made please comment below, I’m always up for a challenge!