|Project by skone||posted 01-06-2012 08:42 PM||1572 views||8 times favorited||10 comments|
I made this beanbag toss game as a Christmas gift for my kids, ages 2 and 5. It’s a classic toy and believe me, is addictive to play with no matter your age.
The wood for this toy is all varying widths of 1x pine from the local cull bin. They were clearing out a bunch of 4 foot lengths at 51¢ a stick. I couldn’t say no.
The decorated “target” if you will, was doweled using a Dowl-It jig (vintage like-new in the box Ebay score!) and glued up with Titebond 3 on my bar clamps. I made the main hole with my jigsaw and then hit all the edges with a roundover bit in the router. Soft edges are safe if a child does a header into the toy but also helps the bean bags fall one way or the other instead of getting stuck hanging on a corner. I then sanded to 220.
The decorative vertical colors are all done in non toxic milk paint, another kid friendly choice. Masking tape helped me with the straight lines. I then penciled in and painted the birdhouse visual with black acrylic craft paint and added a very short bit of dowel as a “perch”. It’s only for visual effect, so I kept the perch short enough that no beanbag should get hung up on it – and I rounded it off to be sure. I then gave the whole surface a waterbased clearcoat followed by a light sanding with 600 grit paper.
I gave the easel back portion of the toy the same glue up and finish as the target area and joined the two parts with a length of piano hinge I had left over from a previous project. I made the hinge area as broad as possible to ensure durability. We’ve inherited a few toys from the dump that had blown out dainty brass hinges. Kids and dainty brass hinges just don’t mix, folks. I also added a loop of nylon cord between the two pieces. This was done to ensure that the hinge doesn’t get over extended if a kid climbs on the thing. It also keeps the angle of play at the setting of your choosing — just slide the knot along the cord. Different angle of play is a handy option when you consider distance and/or the height of the players. 2-year olds aren’t very tall!
When not in use the whole thing folds flat in an instant and can be stowed behind our kids’ toybox.
The beanbags (beanbirds?) are integral to the overall concept of the artwork, of course! My wife made them on her sewing machine. They are colored wool felt filled with dried beans. I added the bird faces with acrylic craft paint.
This was so much fun to make. Hope you guys like it.
-- "Take extra care not to lose what you feel" (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood)