The first toy we bought for Juniper was used for our birth announcement. We wanted it to fit within a natural aesthetic, so of course it was wood. When I received the rattle I realised how simple this could be to make myself. In this post, you will learn the steps to make one with a little extra style, ombré rings.
Tools you will need:
- Wood glue (non-toxic)
- Cups for dying
- 3/8″ dowel
- Wood beads – 1″ with a 3/8″ hole
- Wood rings – 1.5″ outside diameter, 3/4″ inside diameter
You will want to start by dying the rings since this will take the longest. I used coffee to dye them, but tea can be just as effective. These are both safe for babies to chew on and will add a nice natural color to your wood. I had some left-over coffee that I poured into small cups and let the rings soak. You only need to dye 2 of the rings since the third will remain light to create the ombré effect. One cup is full strength and the other is watered down.
Since wood does float you can either flip the rings halfway through or tie a string with a weight around the rings to get them completely submerged (this is what I did when I was tired of flipping). You will want to leave the rings in the coffee bath for at least 4 hours, but overnight will produce even better results.
While the rings are dying you can move on to the other steps. Take your dowel and cut it down to 3″ in length. Once cut you may want to sand the edge a little to ensure a good fit in the bead but this is not necessary since the cut end will be covered.
You can now glue one of the beads on the end of the dowel. Take the wood glue and squirt some on a q-tip, this way you can ensure to get full coverage on the inside of the bead without overfilling the hole.
Once the glue is spread evenly, fit the dowel into the hole of the bead.
Once the rings are dyed and dry arrange them from light to dark and slide them onto the dowel. Repeat the glue step above for the bead on the other end and attach that as you did before. Let the glue dry overnight and you are done!
That is it. You now have your own, handmade montessori rattle. Share with baby and enjoy.
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