I’ve silently drooled over the wooden Grimm’s Rainbow toys for years. There’s just something about wooden toys that just feels so organic and RIGHT. Pair that with vibrant colors and curves, and I’m so far gone.
If you’re not familiar, or don’t understand the draw, click here to see some of the fun things you can do with this toy!
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However, to own one of these toys (you can see the original here), you have to be well above the upper middle class, or have a very rich uncle. They cost a pretty penny, and I’ve never even considered dropping that kind of money.
BUT. I did “consider” MAKING IT. And it turned out far better than I could have imagined!
DIY Grimm’s Rainbow Supplies
- Pine Board (5/4 x 6)
- Wood Glue
- Random Orbital Sander
- My PRINTABLE TEMPLATE
- Scroll Saw (this one is mine, but you don’t need one this fancy)
- Oscillating belt sander
- Spray Paint
Start out by cutting 4 lengths of 15″ from your pine board. I used my miter saw, but you could use any saw you have on hand. Then glue the long sides together to make two rectangles like so…
After you’ve sanded these free of glue and completely smooth, we’re going to trace on our rainbow! I made myself a template by drilling evenly spaced holes in a paint stick, securing the base with a nail, and tracing each hole into a half-circle with a pencil.
You don’t have to do all of this, because I made my template a free printable for you! And it is the same exact dimension as the original Grimm’s Rainbow.
Print out the two pages, and tape them together along the seam. There’s a chance that your printer will print them with a border that will make it slightly smaller than mine (which is to scale with the original Grimms Rainbow)… if that’s the case, I would go to your local printery and have them print it so that the outside rainbow edges are a length of 13.5″.
After you tape your pages along the seam, cut off the excess paper at the top so the paper and your board are the same dimensions.
Use the same technique from this post to affix the template to the wood… and we’re ready to cut!!
Even if you’re very familiar with scroll-sawing, this part takes some time because the wood is so thick. And you want to be very careful to stay on the line and not veer to the left or right of it since we’re using both sides. Does that make sense??
Make your way through all the ‘bows’, and then repeat the whole template process on your second board.
The reason we’re doing this twice is so that we can glue them together and have the thickness of the original Grimm’s Rainbow.
Now that we have two sets of rainbows cut (and the template peeled off), we’re going to glue them together and clamp them. We only had enough clamps to do about 3 bows at a time.
Time to sand! Our Oscillating Belt Sander came in so handy for this. Even though I was as precise as I could be on my scroll sawing, the bows still didn’t line up perfectly… so I sanded them until they lined up just right!
Not only did I sand both the inside and outside of each bow, I also chamfered the edges by changing the angle of the sanding table. This makes the edges less rough and gives it a more finished, kid-friendly look and feel. Then hand-sand everything with 220 grit to smooth them out in preparation for painting.
I honestly love this raw version of Grimm’s Rainbow, and had a half a mind to leave it this way. But I was dead set on making this thing as close a knockoff as I could…
Are we ready to paint? I gathered up some rainbow colors from my stash of spray paint, and got started! I sprayed one side of all 8 bows, then waited a day and flipped them to spray the other side. There were a few that needed a second coat or touch-ups.
We wanted to give these a coat of non-toxic sealer to make them super safe for kiddos, so we used this eco-friendly sealer.
And WE ARE DONE!
I had way too much fun with this project. And Cypress (and the twins too!) have tons and tonnnnnns of fun with it. There are so many possibilities!
We always try to make a homemade gift for each of our kiddos for birthdays and Christmas, and this was the gift we made for Cypress’ Birthday this year! (She turned FOUR last week *tears*)
Next week I’m going to share a gender neutral gift guide for 4-year-olds, so stay tuned!