About: I am an artist living and teaching ART in NYC for over 30 years, and I am a CZT, Certified Zentangle Teacher. I love to explore all sorts of art making both in my teaching and in my own work...check out my sit…

I wanted to make a special gift for my dear friend's grandbaby that is turning one in a few weeks. I thought of making this wooden stacking toy. So many toys today are made from plastic and other materials, however, the feel of a wooden toy is so comforting. I think of this as a "retro toy" that hopefully Isla will enjoy for many years and perhaps pass along to her own children someday!

And I made it from one piece of wood!

Step 1: Supplies

One piece of wood

12" X 18"

3/4 wooden dowel

8" wooden plaque (for the base, or you can cut your own)

*assorted woodshop tools ; band saw, drill press, table saw


wood glue

painting supplies

Step 2: Create Shapes

measure the wood and into 6 pieces, each 6"X6"

design pieces and cut the shapes. I decided to do bugs in a garden theme.

Step 3: Drill Holes

I used a drill press with a 13/16 flat wood drill bit.

The hole didn't go completely through the wood I used for the stacking pieces, therefore, I had to flip each piece and continue the hole from the other side.

Step 4: The Base

When drilling the hole in the base (to insert the dowel for stacking) I did not want to go all the way through.

I used an 6" square wooden plaque for the base of my toy. (An option would be to cut your own base. )

Step 5: Dowel

Place the dowel in the hole of the base and stack the 6 wooden pieces on top.

Measure and cut the dowel.

SAND ALL PIECES, including what will be the exposed edge of the dowel.

Step 6: Painting

Paint all the pieces including the base.

Use wood glue to insert the dowel in the base.

I used Blick Studio Acrylic (non Toxic paint) and finished each piece with a water-based gloss finish. I wanted the pieces to be glossy as well as a surface that can be easily cleaned and also safe for Isla to chew on if necessary!

Step 7: Close Up

One side of each critter is detailed and the underside is solid colors of the rainbow.

Step 8: February 2012

One of the first Instructables I ever published, back in 2012 was my

Sandwich Stacking Toy/Coaster Set by Susan Cirigliano

I had forgotten that I made it using ONE PIECE OF WOOD!

One Board Contest

Participated in the
One Board Contest