Introduction: Wooden Camera With Chalkboard

About: I like to design and build wooden toys for my daughters. I also make furniture from time to time.

This wooden camera is great for young children. It has an adjustable lens and a sturdy strap so that the camera is secure for everyday play. This camera also features a chalkboard display for little photographers to draw their photographs on and a handy chalk storage at the top so it is readily available for their next photography session.

Step 1: You Will Need:

To make this wooden camera you will need the following:

1 Large wooden wheel for the lens

2 smaller wooden wheels (1 to secure the lense in place so it can spin and 1 to act as a shutter button)

2 small wooden knobs that can hold the camera strap on

8mm wooden dowel

4mm wooden dowel

4mm plywood (8cm x 6cm)

A plank of wood. For this project I used some inch thick birch.

Camera template


Chalkboard paint

Step 2: Marking Out Your Template and Cutting Out the Shape

Draw a camera design onto a piece of paper and cut it out to make a template. Tape your template onto your piece of wood, draw around the shape with pencil and cut out your design using a scroll saw/jigsaw or a bandsaw depending on what you have available to you. If you do not have any of these machines available, you could use a coping saw to do the task.

Step 3: Sanding to the Line!

When cutting out your design, cut slightly outside your line and then you can use a bench sander or sandpaper to sand up to your line.

Step 4: Marking the Location of Your Holes.

There are a variety of different sized holes in this project so take the time to label each hole location and write the size of the drill but needed for each hole so you do not make a mistake. I used my template to help me get a good location for the front holes and then I used a pin to poke through the paper into my wood for an exact location.

Note! These measurements will change depending on the wood you use, and the wood accessories available to you.

There are 6 holes in total.

1. 8mm hole that will hold a wooden dowel for the lense to spin on.

2. 20mm hole that will used as a viewfinder for the camera so people can look through it.

3. 4mm hole for the shutter button.

4. 10mm hole to hold a piece of chalk

5+6. 5mm hold for the wooden knobs at either side of the camera for the camera strap.

Step 5: Drilling the Holes

Drill all of your holes using the drill sizes you marked out earlier. The only hole that goes all the way through the wood is the hole for the viewfinder.

Step 6: More Sanding

Now that you have all of your holes drilled, it is time to finish sanding your camera body. Ease over all of the edges with either sandpaper, a file or use a router and a roundover bit to give an even curve all the way around your camera. Once complete sand your camera up through the different sanding grits until 240 grit sandpaper. This should be smooth enough, ready for painting.

Step 7: Painting the Chalkboard Camera Display

Using 4mm thick plywood, cut out a rectangle piece that will fit onto the back of your camera. The will act as the display of the camera. Using some form of chalkboard paint, apply two coats of paint to the plywood rectangle and leave to dry.

Step 8: Dry Fit and Painting

Once you have all of your holes drilled and have sanded your camera body, it is time to do a dry fit of the camera. Begin to assemble all of your pieces, checking that everything fits where it needs to be. Once you are happy that all of your pieces fit it is time to paint your camera. I decided to tape off half of my camera to give it a unique pattern.

Note, because these toys are designed for children, it is important that you use a paint that is safe for toys. For these cameras, I have used Tempera paint in a variety of colours.

Paint your camera however you wish and leave it to dry.

Step 9: Gluing!

Once your paint has dried, remove any tape from your camera and begin to glue all of your additional features onto your camera. Please ensure that the 8mm dowel fits loosely into the large wheel so that it can spin. This give your toy an extra feature of an adjustable lens.

Step 10: Oiling!

Once you have assembled your camera it is now time to oil it. Remember to use a food safe oil for children's toys. For these camera's I used linseed oil to coat each camera.

Step 11: Attach a Strap and Finish

Cut a 70cm piece of fabric that will act as a strap. Use a craft knife to cut two slots in the ends of each strap and attach them to the wooden knobs at either side.

For this camera, I used a cream canvas strap as it is a strong material and will hopefully withstand lots of use.

Place a piece of chalk in the large hole at the top and your camera is ready for action.

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