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Elephant-Shaped Piggy Bank

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My girlfriend is slightly elephant-obsessed, so I made her this "piggy" bank in the shape of an elephant for Christmas.  I've seen some of these customized wooden coin banks on the internet, but they cost somewhere in the $30-50 range (not including shipping), whereas the one I made can probably be built for $10-15.  I ended up spending absolutely no money on this project because I had all the materials in my shop to begin with.

Because this instructable is a bit more complicated than my previous ones, I'll include a list of materials:

1'x2' 3/4" thick board (any hardwood)

Plexiglas (enough for the two side walls)

1/2" long flathead screws (x5)

1" long 1/4"-20 Phillips head bolt (x1)

Stain/paint (as per preference)


As for tools, I just used a jig-saw, power drill, and power sander.
 
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Step 1: Find a template pattern

Picture of Find a template pattern
I found this minimalistic design of an elephant silhouette somewhere online (this piggy bank can be any shape, depending on the recipient's interest).  I blew up the image so that the elephant would stand approximately 5" tall, and then printed it out.

I suggest finding and printing out the paper template first before picking out the wooden board, so that you don't buy more wood than you need.
Ramming9 months ago
Hi. I just began to laugh when i saw this, because we have one like that in the living room. We use it for bottle deposits. We have had this for one years. My girlfriends grandfather made it for her, back when she was a child. The baby elephant is made of the cut-out. It's cut down in thickness by a thickness planer.

I thinking about making one for my daughter, but for this one i want to make some ears out of leather and either nail it on or use some contact cement or similar. Maybe both.
IMG_0712.JPG
guyzo35 (author)  Ramming9 months ago
They look really nice! Great minds think alike, I guess. The leather ears are a great idea!
Ramming guyzo359 months ago
True. The ear-idea was a result of me thinking that it needed a more realistic touch. :)
McChubs2 years ago
Cool. In construction class I am making a duck version, do you have an idea to get the coins out through like a coin slot?
guyzo35 (author)  McChubs2 years ago
Like I wrote in Step 7, I found the easiest way to get the coins out was to just have one of the plexiglass panels swivel or get unscrewed completely. Any holes in the wood for coin removal need to be plugged initially anyway, so having the glass as a means to remove the coins kills two birds with one stone.
erhapp3 years ago
Great project. It inspired me to make to a duck version for my son.
duck.jpg
guyzo35 (author)  erhapp3 years ago
It looks great! What material did you use for the body?
erhapp guyzo353 years ago
I used two layer of wood. Afterwards the body was spray-painted and got a high-gloss finish.
ChrysN3 years ago
It's so pretty!
i would suggest also using a hand file for this part, one with a rounded edge and one with a flat edge, it will make your sanding job alot easier...
nickodemus3 years ago
Nicely done :)
sgtsnyder883 years ago
This is a really cool concept. My older cousin made one like this shaped like a teddy bear for me when I was younger. On his version, the plexi glass was cut to cover the entire shape, not just a small area. Also, this actually makes it easier to cut because the hole is oriented the other way, spanning from one side of the bank to the other
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