Wooden Toy Giraffe

Let’s make a toy giraffe using only dowel rods. Although this is not a difficult project, you will need to use some woodworking tools, it is best that it is made in whole or in part by an adult. Your completed giraffe will be about 15 1/4 inches tall.

This project is rated: MODERATE

Materials needed:
  • You will need several different size dowel rods. Here is the list of materials needed:
    • Body 1 1/4″ dowel, 3″ long
    • Neck 3/8″ dowel, 5 1/2″ long
    • Legs 1/4″ dowel, 2 1/2″ long (make 4)
    • Head 3/4″ dowel, 1 3/4″ long
    • Horns #6 finishing nails (2 required)
    • Ears Made from a craft stick (2 required)
  • Drill and bit
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Yarn

Read all of the directions before starting construction.

Toy Giraffe

Project Instructions

  1. From a 1 1/4″ dowel (closet pole), cut a piece 3″ long for the body.
    • a. The body needs to be prepared to receive the other parts.
    • b. Draw a line down the center of what will be the bottom of the body.
    • c. Mark a point, 3/8″ to each side of the center line and 3/8″ in from each end of the body. You will mark 4 points where the legs are to be attached.
    • d. Position the body with the bottom up (it is easiest to hold the body if you place it on a block of wood that has a groove cut in it to hold the body.)
    • e. Drill a 1/4″ diameter hole, 1/2″ deep, at each of the 4 places you have marked. These holes need to be drilled at an angle of approximately 20 degrees to the vertical.
    • f. Turn the body piece so the top will face up. Mark a point that is 1/2″ from one end, in the top center of the body.
    • g. Drill a 3/8″ diameter hole, 1/2″ deep, at the point you have marked. This hole should have a forward slant of about 10 degrees.
  2. Next, prepare the head.
    • a. On the underside of the head, mark a point 1/2″ from one end on the center.
    • b. At this point, drill a 3/8″ hole (vertically), 3/16″ deep.
    • c. Turn the head right side up.
    • d. Mark 2 points, 1/8″ either side of a center line, 1/4″ from the same end of the head where the hole was drilled on the underside.
    • e. Drill a 3/32″ hole at each of the marked points, 1/4″ deep.
    • f. Next, you must cut 2 slots to hold the ears.
    • g. Mark 2 points, 1/2″ each side of a center line and 3/8″ in from the same end described in step 2d.
    • h. Using a saw, cut 2 slots each centered on the marked points. Make the slots about 1/8″ deep and the width of the ears.
  3. Next, prepare the horns. Number 6 finishing nails are suitable for horns. Cut 2 nails so that the top of each nail has a length of 3/4″. Discard the lower part of the nails.
  4. Next, prepare the ears.
    • A craft stick (popsicle) is a suitable width for the ears. However, you can use any thin piece of wood, plastic, or metal.
    • The ear is an isosceles triangle atop a rectangle. The triangular part is 3/8″ high and 3/8″ wide. The rectangular part is 1/8″ high and 3/8″ wide.

Assembly Instructions

  1. Before doing any assembly, sand any rough or sharp edges on each of the parts.
  2. You are now ready to assemble the giraffe.
    • a. Glue the 4 legs into the 4 holes on the underside of the body.
    • b. Glue the neck into the hole on the topside of the body.
    • c. Glue the horns into the holes that were drilled for them in the head.
    • d. Glue the ears into the slots provided for the ears.
    • e. Glue the head onto the neck.
  3. Allow the glue to set.
  4. If necessary, sand off any excess glue or rough edges. (Note: If your giraffe wobbles, you need to level the legs. Lay a sheet of sandpaper on a level surface. Push the giraffe back and forth on the sandpaper until the legs are all the same length.)
  5. Paint the entire giraffe a brownish yellow (Note: If you want to make a pink giraffe with purple spots, that is OK.) You may need to apply 2 coats of the body color. Let the paint dry after each coat.
  6. After the base coat is dry, paint hooves, eyes, mouth, and nose, to suit your own ideas.
  7. Let the head colors dry and then using brown paint (or purple, etc.) paint spots all over the the body, legs, neck, and head.
  8. Let the paint dry.
    • a. Braid a tail using a suitably colored yarn.
    • b. Drill a hole in the rear of the body that is about the same diameter as the tail.
    • c. Glue the tail into the drilled hole.

You now have a complete toy giraffe.

Toy Giraffes

You can make larger or smaller giraffes by changing the given dimensions proportionately. Furthermore, you can use this same design to make other animals such as horses, zebras, etc. Just make a shorter neck and omit the horns.

Toy Horse
Tags: animals | toy
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