I love making things over the summer for our classroom. I find inspiration online, and then try to make my own versions. I am not a master woodworker by any stretch, but I do enjoy using new tools and trying to make things in our garage! Last year I made wood car tracks, and wood blocks for our students to play with. This year I went with wood gems!
Find scrap wood
We have a big wood pile in our garage, and we have lots of scraps left over from other projects. I just picked pieces that I thought would work, and my SO cut them down to size using his miter saw.
Next, I sanded down the edges and made them into the gem shapes using our belt sander. I would not try doing this by hand, it would take forever!
Once you have the shape you like, just sand down the edges and make sure there are no pointy ends.
Next, I painted them. I was debating whether or not to keep them natural looking, but I liked the look of them painted. I chose to do some pastel colours and leave some of them natural.
I then lightly sanded them again to give them the ‘worn’ look and to smooth them out. This gave them a nice finished look! I hand-sanded them at this point because I didn’t want to take the paint off completely.
I am excited for our students to be able to use these. They are perfect for stacking and I think they are going to be a great addition to our building center!
Have you done any DIYs for your classroom? Anything else I should try making?