tutorial: a flower garden for toddlers

IMGP0307way back at christmastime, i made a flower garden toy for my niece after reading this blog post on the artful parent. once i’d gathered all the parts, i realized it was pretty simple and inexpensive to make (though mine isn’t quite as nice as the one she links to), so i thought i’d share how i created this “flower garden” toy.IMGP9434-001


silk flowers (not pictured below)


drill with a bit that is about the same size as the stems on your flowers

measuring tape and pencil (optional)

IMGP9924*finding the wood was probably the trickiest part.  i ended up finding a piece that was intended to be a pre-finished “parsons table” furniture leg from a home improvement store. it had a screw set into one end. for the one i gave my niece, i couldn’t figure out how to remove the screw, so i just screwed a wooden ball over it. when i made the second one for the happy little baby, i asked a wood-working friend if i could use his bench-mounted vise and a vise grip wrench and it was simple to unscrew the screw from the wood completely.


1. first, measure your wood and mark regular intervals where you want your flowers to be planted.  mark the intervals with a pencil.

IMGP99252. drill holes where you’ve marked. be sure to only drill about 1/2 way or maybe 3/4 of the way through the wood.IMGP9926 3. insert flowers. if your flowers are super tall like these were, you might want to cut the stems with a wire cutter and seal the ends with a bit of hot glue to keep the wire from poking your child. for the second set, i used a daisy “bush” that had multiple flowers on one stem and those stems had solid plastic encasing the wires making them somewhat less dangerous.  if you’re still concerned about the sharpness, you can try smoothing it out by rubbing it over some industrial sandpaper or emery cloth.IMGP9442-001as i mentioned here i made a set for my own family after seeing how it was indeed popular with my niece (and my nephews for that matter). so far, she’s mostly been interested in removing the flowers and flinging them around the room and putting them back in the holes is low on her list of priorities, but maybe when she’s a bit older?

IMGP0292lucky for you, dear readers, i decided to make an extra set as a giveaway to celebrate my 10 year blogiversary! if you would like to own one of these lovely little flower garden toys, simply leave a comment on this blog post telling me your favorite happy stuff tutorial by next tuesday, june 30,2015 and i will draw a winner.

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