Introduction: Tiny Wooden Wheelbarrow

About: I am an escapee from modern life, now living by the sea in a forest garden in France. After over 20 years industrial experience, I quit my managerial position to study for a degree in Engineering. That done I …

This is to be a prop for our on-going stop motion animation and the design is based upon a 1930's construction plan for a full sized wooden garden wheelbarrow.

I've already made a full-size one, using an old metal-framed barrow and if you are interested you can follow the link here: Wooden Wheelbarrow


Fruit Crate/Orange Box Wood

Bicycle Inner Tube (a small piece to make the tyre)

Bicycle Wheel Spoke

PVA Glue

Hot Melt Glue

Step 1: Inspiration & Calculations

The barrow needed to be scaled-down to the dimensions of one of our stop-motion characters: The Dog.

In order to achieve this, I firstly measured the distance of the Dog's front paw to the ground, when he is standing on his hind legs. This I compared with the same dimension of my hand to the floor. This turned out to be a scaling factor of 10:1. To make it easier to scale down the construction plans, I converted the old Imperial Units to Metric and divided by ten.

Step 2: Tools



Craft knives

Japanese pull saw

Abrasive paper: coarse and fine

Junior hacksaw


Metal rule

Glue gun

Hole saw

Portable drill




Step 3: Making the Wheel

The wheel was simply cut using a 2" - 48mm hole saw.

I cut a thin strip of bicycle inner tube to the same thickness as the wooden rim of the wheel,. This was then stretched to fit,

I decided to make a wooden spindle from a surplus piece of fruit crate wood, that was already cut to approximately ¼" - 6mm square. This would fit in the ¼" - 6mm diameter of the centre wheel hole. I made this into a round spindle by holding the wood in the chuck of a portable drill and turning it on a piece of coarse grit abrasive paper.

Step 4: Making the Wheelbarrow Frame & Base

The two longest square sections of the barrow are called the strines and these support the whole structure of the barrow. These two lengths of ¼" - 6mm square fruit crate wood were shaped at one end to form the handles. I achieved this with a craft knife and abrasive paper.

I cut a trapezium-shaped piece of fruit crate wood for the base of the barrow tray and this was glued with PVA glue in the appropriate position to the two strines and left to dry.

I cut two blocks for the axle supports and these were glued with PVA at the strine ends and clamped.

Once dry I cut two triangles to fit on the top of the strines and these were glued in place to become the front supports for the tray.

Step 5: Making the Tray

The front wall of the tray was cut and glued to the supporting triangles and the bottom edge of the tray with hot melt glue.

The rear wall of the tray was cut and two support triangles were glued to the strines prior to attaching it with hot melt.

I marked the dimensions of the side walls of the tray by laying the barrow on to the fruit crate wood and drawing the outline with a pencil. The side walls were then cut and glued in place.

Step 6: Making & Fitting the Legs

The legs were fashioned from ¼" - 6mm thick fruit crate wood and cut to a 'dog-leg' so that the top half was angled to fit against the side walls of the tray.

The legs were glued in place with hot melt.

Step 7: Fitting the Wheel

I had decided that the wooden wheel spindle would be attached to the wheel supports using two short lengths of bicycle-wheel spoke, so I first drilled 1/16" - 2mm holes in the wheel support blocks at the end of the strines and then I cut the spindle length to the width of the strines at that point. I then carefully drilled two same sized central holes in the two ends of the spindle.

I marked and cut two ½" - 12mm pieces of bicycle-wheel spoke and fitted them through the wheel support blocks and into the holes in the spindle ends.

Step 8: Photos

I filled up my barrow with some tiny flowers and a seed tray (fashioned from fruit crate wood) of miniature lettuce.

Hope you have enjoyed this project.

All the very best, Organikmechanic aka Andy

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