If you’ve been checking out nursery decor on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve come across these super cute and trendy activity gyms for baby!!
Wooden play gyms seem to be all the rage because they fit a neutral color scheme, are more durable, and better for the environment. But search the simple gym on Amazon or Etsy and you may be amazed by the whopping $60 (gym and three toys) or $40 (gym only) price tag. I ran to my local Home Depot and picked up the supplies for the gym for only $5 and will buy the cute toys off Amazon for $23.
- 8′ 1×2 Pine Board ($4.42)
- 1/2″ Pine Dowel 48″ ($1.46)
- String (twine, cotton sash cord, or whatever you have on hand)
- Drill with 1/2″ Spade Attachment and Drill Bits
- Start by cutting the pine board for legs. My board was a little longer than 8′ so I cut it into four 2 foot boards to use at the legs.
- Cut the dowel to 30 inches.
- Cut the legs at an angle. I tried 45° and it was way too low. We are going to attempt a 22.5° angle so the gym sits right on any surface. Now here’s a cool little trick…you don’t need a speed square. Start by folding a piece of printer paper. Take the right edge and fold it all the way across so it’s flush with the left side. Then take that same right side and fold across so it’s flush with the left side again. It might look like a paper airplane, but here’s our angle!! If you are visual like me, you can follow this tutorial I found to make a 45 degree angle, then fold it once more.
- Drill the holes for the dowel. Use a 1/2″ spade attachment on drill. Measure 4 inches from the top of the post, and make sure you mark it in the center. Use this as a template for the other 3 legs so everything it lined up.
- Drill holes for the rope. Use a drill bit big enough for your rope to easily be threaded through. I measured approximately 7″ up from the lowest point of the angle and marked in the center.
- Sand it all down. Be sure to get the ends of the pine board and dowel where you made the cuts. I also sanded the holes I made for the dowels by rolling a piece of sandpaper and threading it back and forth in the hole.
- Start assembling by putting the dowel in first. Being sure the angles are flat on the ground, you can thread the string through the string holes and tie it off.
- Add your toys by removing the dowel. That’s it! If you wanted to add wood glue to the dowel hole, you could, but then you wouldn’t be able to fold it up or change out toys.