Introduction: Giraffe Piggy Bank From Scrap Plywood

Hello everyone! Today we're building a piggy bank shaped like a giraffe (a giraffe bank?) using a few pieces of scrap plywood that I had laying around. I didn't actually have enough plywood of the same thickness to make all the pieces, but it still managed to make it symmetrical, so it's ok :D

I included a digitally traced template so you can make your own giraffe! The picture you see above is some kind of x-ray of the entire piece, but we'll make it using a total of 5 slices.


- plywood, any thickness will do, but make sure that the middle one is thick enough for your biggest coin to fit in;

- plexiglass;

- wood glue;

- 8 tiny screws;

- (Optional) something to make a base for the giraffe (I used a slice of a small log);

- Acrylic paint and/or varnish.

The tools I used were a scrollsaw and a small drill (dremel tool), but I'm pretty sure it can be done using hand toold only.

Step 1: Making a Plan

I created the design on a couple pieces of paper, but I then decided to scan and re-draw it on my computer, so you can easily print it and try to make your own. In any case, make sure that the coin track can fit every coin before continuing. You can try this by sliding your biggest coin onto the printed design and checking that it doesn't touch both walls (of the template marked with "x1")

You may print one of each of the three templates you see in this step, but don't forget that you'll need a total of 5 pieces of plywood on which to transfer them, as show by the numbers in the pictures.

Step 2: Cutting the Plywood

You now have to transfer the design onto the wood. I used copy paper and a few pieces of scrap plywood. The one I used for the middle section (the coin track) was actually thinner than the rest, but I think it worked out nicely because that way the giraffe was not too thick :)

Once the design is transferred, you can start cutting it. The S-shaped carvings on the external faces of the giraffe are purely decorative (just to see the coin while it drops), so you can skip it if it's too hard to make. You'll also have to cut a few closed shapes: in that case you should first poke a hole with a drill and then insert a fretsaw and cut it by hand (like I did) or make a bigger hole and use a scrollsaw.

The middle piece is actually the hardest because it's very thin and fragile, and you may have to sand it smoothly and refine it before assembly. Once you've cut it, it's the only time you can check if the coins actually fit all the way throught.

Step 3: Gluing Everything Together

If you're sure that the biggest coins will fit, you can glue the 5 layers together and put a weight on them until the glue is completely dry :)

The leg pieces go on the outside, the one with the tail goes in the middle, the other two space them.

Step 4: Sanding and Testing

Sanding is very important, as it will make a great difference when you apply paint and varnish :)

Just to make sure... one last coin test xD

Step 5: Painting

I painted my giraffe to make it as realistic as possible, while keeping the anime eye which I really liked xD

I first started with a white priming and then an entire yellow cover. Next, I added the mane, the darker spots and all the other details.

Step 6: Varnishing

This step is optional. Acrylic paint leaves a nice finish, but I wanted the giraffe to shine and not lose its color, so I went for it.

Step 7: Plexiglass and Final Details

Now it's time to add the plexiglass. Cut two shapes using the template and poke 4 small holes on each of them. Try to fit them in place and mark the holes' positions, then pre-drill them on the giraffe and screw the plexiglass in place. Make sure not to tighten the screws too much or the plexiglass might break!

If you want, you can glue the giraffe onto a more stable base, like I did, and decorate it. I painted a bit of grass and a few flowers and I think they came out nicely :)

Step 8: Done!

Your piggy/giraffy bank is finished! Now it's time to fill it with coins and have fun watching them drop ;D

I hope you liked this instructable, let me know if you build one yourself!

Thanks for your attention :)

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