I'm hosting my friend a baby shower this month. It's her second baby and she has most of the stuff already. The DIY wooden baby gym comes as a perfect gift for the occasion.
In terms of gifts, as you know, I'm a big fan of handmade things since they are so unique and the fact that you spend x-amount of hours making them, makes it so much more special.
The idea to make a baby gym for my friend came from her admiring Sasha's and Sia's baby play gym that I made when Sasha was little. It's been through 2 moves, 2 kids, and already lost its freshness but it saw better times!
I feel any wooden toys or baby gym is so much more eye-pleasing than the store-bought plastic ones.
It's a simple project that could be done in an hour without the serious tools required.
TIME SPENT: 1 hour
COST: less than $10
You can go an easy route if you want and ask Home Depot workers to cut wood for you and make the required holes.
I did this last time but since I have tools, I decided to make everything from scratch this time, and let me show you how I did it.
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I also recently made a baby gym for twins!!! So exciting! You can watch it here
- 1x2x8 (1)
- dowel (mine is ⅞)
- screws (x2)
- wooden rings (this set from Amazon has a variety of sizes)
- wooden beads (I got my from Michaels years ago, but there are better options on Amazon)
- elastic cord (optional)
- rope for the sides
- paint (optional)
DON'T FORGET TO PIN FOR LATER>>>>>>>
1. Measure 4 legs (2' each)
2. Using a hole saw, drill a hole on 2 legs (2" from the top). If you don't have that one, you can always ask Home Depot workers to do it for you.
After I was done with an easy part - to cut all the legs 24" each, I attempted to make holes. I don't have a drill press where you can easily make a hole and decided to go with a hole saw. I purchased one the right size (1" for my ⅞" dowel) and got to work.
It clearly seems so much easier on tutorial videos. It was a complete fiasco. Wood from the backside of the leg chipped terribly.
After some practice, I realized that the only way it would work with me is if you start to drill from one side and then finish from the opposite side. This way the hole comes out even and doesn't chip.
I decided to flip it around and drill from the sides meeting in the center. Luckily, it worked! But I decided never to use the hole saw again.
3. Cut a 23 angle cut on the bottom of the legs. I used my miter saw but you can also use a hand saw. This cut will ensure your wooden baby play gym to be stable on its legs.
4. Attach dowel with screws.
5. Drill holes on the sides and put a rope through it. You can adjust the angle of the baby gym.
6. Using an elastic cord put the wooden beads on it.
Adding wooden toys to the baby gym
I used the elastic cord to make it more exciting for the baby to be under. He can reach for the toy, pull it down and up. That encourages your baby to move, reach out for objects, and improves hand-eye coordination.
You can add different mobiles for it. As options, you could use wooden teethers (these non-toxic wooden teethers are so cute), felt toys (cool clouds here), or colorful ribbon(you could also use these ones later when kids grow up a little). The point is for the baby to get curious about those things and try to reach it, working out those tiny baby muscles.
It encourages your baby to reach the milestone and improves hand-eye coordination.
If you prefer to buy
If you are not a handy type, you can always buy it. Amazon and Etsy have a variety of options for different budgets. Here are a few options from Amazon:
All of them have a great rating.
If you prefer to support small businesses, Etsy alternative is a great option.
This grey and the white baby gym are very adorable!
I hope you enjoyed this DIY baby gym tutorial! If you like it, follow me on Instagram @ifonlyapril. I try to post in stories my progress with all the projects.
Here is the link to my YouTube Channel where I post videos about simple DIY decor and planning to make a video version of a DIY wooden baby gym.
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Once you’ve finished your beaded strands, it’s time to fit the baby gym together. Slide two of the legs onto the dowel so they’re snug against the button end. This is where I ran into a problem I pushed the outside leg so hard against the button end that it wouldn’t rotate, and it wound up popping off the button. You don’t need to make it snug it just needs to sit there with enough room to swivel.
Wonderful project and very pretty end result!
How far from the top do you drill the hole for the wooden dowel?
Thank you 🙂 I think it was about 1" or something like that. But you can go up to 2" and it would still look good!
I have already started this project , and really looking forward to the end result, thank you!
Where do you drill the holes for the rope? In the middle of the legs?
Hi Nikki! It’s more or less in the middle but it doesn’t really matter. You can adjust the rope to change the distance between legs