Monday, May 5, 2014

DIY Naturally Dyed Children's Wood Cat Stacker Toy

I love kid stacking toys.  I think they are so much fun.  I really want to build a rainbow stacker for BH.   For that to happen I have to get off my rear and figure out how to use my band saw.  In the mean time I've been working on a few small scroll saw projects that turned out to be more fun than I anticipated.

2" Maple Wood Cat Stacker dyed with Turmeric and Coffee - With a Natural Mineral Oil and Beeswax finish

My best friend sent me a scroll saw pattern book for my birthday.  This cat stacker project is the first thing I made from the book.  I made this as a birthday gift for Baby H's(BH) baby pal.

1" Salvaged Wood Cat Stacker naturally dyed with Turmeric, Onion Skin and Coffee -With a Natural Mineral Oil and Beeswax finish
This is the first cat stacker I made for our baby pal.

 I fell in love with the cat stacker and ended up immediately making a second one for BH.  The first stacker I used 1" salvaged wood from our old fireplace mantle.  For the second stacker (BH's stacker) I decided to use 2" maplewood to make it more sturdy and hopefully easier for a little one to stack the pieces.

2" Maple Wood Cat Stacker dyed with Turmeric and Coffee, Mineral Oil and Beeswax finish


The process was pretty simple.  I made a copy of the cat pattern,  blew it up 140%.  For the first cat stacker I taped the pattern onto the wood (Sand the wood first with 120 and 220 grit).  For the second I did as the book suggested and used temporary spray adhesive to stick it to the wood.  I'd suggest using the temporary adhesive (but the tape method works too).  You can find temporary adhesive at any office supply store.  I then traced the pattern out with an x-acto blade and drew the lines in as I went.

This is the first cat stacker, made with a piece of wood from our old fireplace.


Cutting. . . . . 

This is the first cat stacker -made with a piece of wood from our old fireplace.

I'm still pretty new to the scroll saw, it's definitely something that takes practice.  I found doing the ears to be the most difficult.  The maple wood was probably a little too thick for the scroll saw(would be better to use a band saw) so I noticed a lot of bending of the blade as I cut (it still worked so meh).

After making the cuts. . .
This is the first cat stacker -made with a piece of wood from our old fireplace.

I stained my first batch of cats with turmeric, coffee and onion skins.  The rat piece (from the first stacker set) is the only thing stained with onion skins.  As you can see it turned out kind of diseased looking so I decided against using the onion skins for the second stacker.  I still want to experiment with the onion skin, but need to figure out how to get a more consistent stain.

1" Salvaged wood Cat Stacker dyed with Turmeric, Onion Skin and Coffee - Mineral Oil and Beeswax finish -This is the first cat stacker I made for our baby pal.

 The second batch I only used turmeric and coffee grounds.  I simmered the cats in the coffee and turmeric for a few hours and let them dry overnight.  JG thinks this is a bad idea (it might be, I don't know) and may cause potential cracking.  Fortunately, both cat batches came out great. 

 After they dried I did a light sanding with 400 grit.  Used a wood burner to do the cat faces.  For the finish I used a mixture of mineral oil and bees wax.

2" Maple Wood Cat Stacker dyed with Turmeric and Coffee, Mineral Oil and Beeswax finish
 The stain on the maple wood didn't take as well as it did on the salvaged wood.  Regardless, I was still really happy with the result.

I can't wait to start on some other scroll saw projects (and eventually move onto the band saw :-) ).


2" Maple Wood Cat Stacker dyed with Turmeric and Coffee, Mineral Oil and Beeswax finish


2" Maple Wood Cat Stacker dyed with Turmeric and Coffee, Mineral Oil and Beeswax finish

Linked to:
Tuesdays at our Home @ Our Home Away From Home
The DIY'ers @ Home Coming
NIfty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Inspire Me Monday @ Domestically Speaking, Sand & Sisal, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Sweet C's Designs
Submarine Sunday @ USS Crafty
Under $100 @ Beyond the Picket Fence 
Creative Inspirations @ Embracing Change 
Pin Me @ Diana Rambles 

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks T'onna! I just linked it to Submarine Sunday :-)

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  2. Maple has a really tight grain so that may be why the stain didn't take as well.

    I've got an unfinished futon frame made out of maple that I want to stain so I've been reading about different natural stains.

    C.

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  3. These are amazing! I would love to order some for a baby shower! and I love the stain on the mouse- it reminds me of tie dye which IS OH THE RAGE with the kiddos again.

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  4. Congratulations! This post is featured over at Diana Rambles today and has been pinned in the Featured at Diana Rambles board at Pinterest, Tweeted, and Recommended on G+. Please grab a featured button off my sidebar or via the link under the features. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!

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