Handmade Wooden Space Toys

Wooden Space Figures Group
As a kid I can remember making wooden boats to race down the stream behind our house and wooden swords to fend off trolls in the forest, but that has been the extent of my experience creating wooden toys until recently. After having kids (two boys) and being overwhelmed by the explosion of plastic toys everywhere, I decided to create my own, more classic wooden figures for them to play with.


Wooden Space Figures Group

I found much inspiration on Etsy from artists like Amber Dussick with her post and video on handmade wooden toys. Eventually I discovered that Germans are the wooden figure masters with companies such as Ostheimer, Holztiger, Kinderkram, and Buntspechte. Although I do love the fantasy theme that some of these companies use so well, I wanted to create something a little more modern and chose to make wooden space figures. My figures share a similar scale to Ostheimer and Holztiger’s measuring somewhere between 4.5 to 6.5 inches.

Wooden Space Figures Group
Wooden Space Figures Group
Wooden Space Figures Group

Materials Used

Liquitex Paints
Wooden Space Figure
Wooden Space Figure
Wooden Space Figure
Wooden Space Figure
Wooden Space Figure
Wooden Space Figure
Wooden Space Figure

Process

After researching how to actually make wooden toys and figuring out what tools I needed, I did some sketching on paper to work out what figures I wanted to make. I then redrew the sketches I liked the most onto the planks of poplar. Next I cut the figures out using a scroll saw. I purchased the PORTER-CABLE 16″ Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Stand from Lowe’s which isn’t the best but works fine for my purposes. If I wanted to spend more money I would have bought Dewalt’s scroll saw. Once the figures were cut out, I began sanding to soften the edges and remove any splinters starting with a course 60 grit sandpaper and working my way towards a fine 320 grit. I used my Dremel rotary tool with sanding attachment at times to help speed this part of the work up. Out of the acrylic paints I’ve used, I prefer Liquitex, which is what I used for painting the sanded wood. A black Sharpie Paint Pen allowed me to more easily draw certain details such as the faces. To protect my paint job and the figures from my kids playing with them and being tossed in and out of their storage bin I coated them with Liquitex Matte Acrylic Varnish sanding very lightly with 400 grit sandpaper in between coats. All of the paints and varnish are, of course, non-toxic.

Liquitex Paints
Liquitex Paints
Liquitex Paints with Wooden Figures

Rocket Monkey

The Rocket Monkeys were some of my first wooden toys and making them helped me figure out the method I would use for the rest of the space figures.

Wooden Monkey Spaceships
Wooden Monkey Spaceships




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Creative Commons License
Handmade Wooden Space Toys by Max Williams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.maxwilliamsdesign.com.
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