Antique Toys: Rope Climbing Bear

Today I am going to show you how to make a bear that will climb a rope. This is the second part of the antique toys series I am trying to start on Instructables. This is a simple antique toy that will be a great present for any little kid. I chose the shape of a bear because it is a simple shape that any little kid would love to play with. This is also another entry into the "Toy Challenge" please vote for me!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

To start this project we need to gather the materials and tools. Below is a list of everything you will need.

Band saw/Scroll Saw
Hand sander
Black Marker (optional)
Paint Brushes
Drill Bit (size of string)
Tape Measure
Small Screwdriver (optional)

Wood glue
150grit Sand Paper
Bear Template (file below)
Plywood (optional thickness)

All of these tools and materials should already be available at your house considering they are common items. The plywood may be a little harder to get. Here is the link for the template if yo can't get it from below:,r:4,s:0&biw=1440&bih=671

Step 2: Preparing the Wood

For this step since I didn't have a piece of plywood thick enough I had to glue two pieces together. If you have a piece big enough go ahead and skip to step 3. If not follow along until you get the wood assembled.

To start we are going to need to take the 150grit sand paper and using the hand sander sand down both sides of the wood were the glue will go this way both pieces will be able to hold the glue. I found that if you sand down the side on each piece the bond will be even stronger. After you apply glue to both halves of the wood you need to clamp the pieces together. I just used three wood clamps and let the wood sit overnight. After the wood sits you can either apply some wood filler into the cracks or you can make your own by mixing wood glue with the sawdust. This way the wood still looks the same even with the crack. Before you apply the wood filler you need to sand down both sides.

Step 3: Trace the Bear

In this step you need to do two things. The first is to cut out the template of the bear that you should of printed out. The second thing is that you need to trace the outline of the bear onto the wood so you have a clean line to cut on.

Step 4: Cut Out the Shape

Now it is time to cut out the shape of the bear. Don't rush it! take your time it may take awhile but it will be worth it for a better looking bear. I recommend that you cut out small sections at a time. I started with the head and worked my way down. I cut out small bits at a time until I got the whole bear cut out. After you get done cutting out the bear you need to sand down the sides. I recommend taking the sand paper off of the sander and just using your hand so you can get into the small corners. don't forget to sand down the front and back faces.

Step 5: Drilling the Rope Holes

For this step you need your drill bit and drill. You need to mark about 45º on the bears arms so you can drill the holes for the rope. You should use a drill bit no bigger than the size of rope you are using so that way the bear isn't loosely hanging on the ropes. I put my bear into a vise so i can drill a straight hole without the wood sliding out from underneath me.

Step 6: Making the Hanging Bar

To make the hanging bar you will need a scrap piece of plywood or any other type of wood. A scrap of your cut plywood should work just fine. You are going to need to drill three holes in it. One in the center and two on each of the far sides. The two holes on the sides should be farther than the wholes in the bear.

Step 7: Painting the Bear

Time to paint! This step is all up to you. I painted my bear brown and then I mixed brown and white to get the light brown color for the feet. Have fun painting the bear what ever color you want. You can also paint the hanging bar if you want. Mine was already stained so I left it like that. This is were I used the black marker. I couldn't find my black paint so I took a permanent marker and drew on the eyes. Again feel free to paint it whatever colors you want.

Step 8: Attaching the Rope and Hanger Bar



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    10 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is very cute! I'm thinking about making this with a group of children. We might have to pre-cut the bear but they could still sand we could use a hand drill for the other parts I believe. Many ideas, I'm assuming other animals will work as long as you have the right distance between the arms and the base bar on top. Great 'able!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I had one of those! I always thought it was supposed to swing. No one showed me how to use it.

    Man, I'm glad I saw this. I hope I can find the bear, now...

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    ya i wasnt sure how to put the template for the bear on the instructable so i just posted the link


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is a well done traditional toy. It is nice to see handmade objects. Design was more simple and required less planning than some of the other projects in the contest. Very sustainable


    1 reply

    That is one of my main goals to create projects that an adult could work on with a kid like a father and son project or something like that. Thanks for the nice comment and I hope u vote for me in the contests.

    Thank you to all of you I like to work with wood and make things that I can give as gifts or keep for myself. I hope you will vote for me in the contests.