Christmas gifts on a budget: Make your own wooden toys

When I was a little girl all I wanted for Christmas was a giant doll house just like the one my friend Susie had. It was a huge (or at least taller than I was then), wooden, open style dollhouse with pink and red roses painted on the sides. It was everything my six year old girl’s heart desired. Unfortunately I never did get one so when my own daughter was born, I promised myself that I would get her one that was bigger than she was when she turned 6. 

My daughter turns 6 in a few months and I thought I would buy her a nice big dollhouse for Christmas. Then I went online to find one and my jaw literally dropped to the floor! Have you seen the price tags on these things?!?!? The ones that even remotely tickled my fancy were up and over A HUNDRED DOLLARS! 

That’s when I decided to get creative and googled some dollhouse plans. We had some leftover plywood and I always have paint in the house… I decided to build one myself. found a plan that with an open design that was perfect. I also looked up how to buy nail guns, and actually went and bought one to make light of the countless tiny nails I foresaw myself having to hammer in manually… I’ve never been very adept at using a hammer. After using my new brad nailer, I am actually wondering why I didn’t buy one before. It made my dollhouse come together much quicker and the finish was much neater as well. 


I had some scrap lumber lying in the backyard left over from when we had some repairs done. I went to the local hardware store and had them cut according to the dimensions in the design. I did have to purchase some extra plywood and I had that cut to size as well. I also bought some wood glue and sandpaper. 

Assembling the dollhouse was a cinch! I started putting the pieces together using the wood glue and my new brad nail gun, following the steps on the plan. I was able to complete the construction part in a couple of hours. The tough part was keeping it a secret from my daughter. Luckily it’s cold where I am and the garage doesn’t have heating so she didn’t stray there. Once I had the structure ready I found some wallpaper and fabric scraps to paper and carpet the floor and walls. 

I used acrylic paint to paint the outside and you can be sure I painted in some pink and white roses on it. I used an acrylic lacquer to seat and finish the front after the paint dried. The project was so easy and so FUN to make that I started thinking of all the presents you could make yourself and save a LOAD of money this Christmas.  


I remembered the lovely little wooden toys that were all the rage back when I was young. I found some great ideas that you can actually make yourself.  Not only will they bring wonderful nostalgia but they are super easy to make and I am sure the kids in your life will love them. There are some ideas for toddlers and some even for teens. I also think they would make a great special memento for a loved child. Most of these can be made from leftover wood pieces from other projects. 

Here are the top contenders for the DIY toys I looked up. Tutorials for these are easily available online.

1. DIY Wooden Block Stacker

2. DIY Wooden Toy Camera

3. DIY Wooden Chalkboard City Blocks

4. DIY Wooden Cap Gun and Target

5. DIY Dollhouse in a Box

6. DIY Mini Wooden Magnetic Blocks

7. DIY Wooden Mirror Blocks

8. DIY Wooden Nesting Dolls

9. DIY Open Design Wooden Dollhouse

10. DIY Oversized Tic-Tac-Toe

11. DIY Handmade Wooden Pizza Puzzle

12. DIY Wooden Puppet Theatre

13. DIY Wooden Rainbow Building Blocks

14. DIY Rainbow City Blocks

15. DIY Wooden Baby Rocking Toy

16. DIY Wooden Sit and Scoot

17. DIY Wooden Based Play Tent

18. DIY Handmade Wooden Sensory Board

19. DIY Wooden Story Cubes

20. DIY Handmade Wooden Texture Blocks

21. DIY Wooden Balance Board

22. DIY Wooden Toy Boat

23. DIY Wooden Play Kitchen

24. DIY Nature Blocks

25. DIY Handmade Wooden Vehicles

26. DIY Wood Burned Blocks

27. DIY Wooden Racetrack

28. DIY Personalized Wooden Name Puzzle

29. DIY Wooden Tethers and Rattles

30. DIY Wooden Train Tracks

31. DIY Wooden pull along Cart

32. DIY Coloured Wooden Jenga

33. DIY Wooden Mock tool station

I could probably keep adding to this list forever! There are so many ideas floating around the internet. Catch one, and give it a go. You can thank me later. 

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