So you may or may not remember a
long, long, long, long time ago, I mentioned I was doing a special project with this:
Here’s what we did:
The absolute first thing that needed to happen was cutting the tire in half. After some serious Google searching we came across this video that makes it look soooo easy:
What you need to take away from that video is that the hardest part is getting the tire cutting started, hold the sawzall at a 45° angle – it will cut much faster, and get a pair of bolt cutters to cut through the metal ring towards the inner portion of the tire – your blade will not go through it.
Of course, it wasn’t helpful at all for me since Jer was the one on tire cutting duty:
Do you love the socks with sandals?! So hot. :p As you can see in the above picture, we marked off a straight line with a chalk line. Jerry is nothing if not a perfectionist. Once he was done I cleaned those tire halves within an inch of their lives to ready them for the painting process.
Meanwhile…Jerry was also in charge of cutting some seats and braces to size for me.
We used a 1×10 and 2x2s. The 1×10 is clearly going to be the seat of this seesaw for one and the braces were used to hold the seat to the tire…more on that in a bit. It’s time for spray paint. It’s also important to note that I sanded all sides of the wooden pieces until they were as smooth as a baby’s bottom. We don’t want any splinters to be gotten from a homemade toy. I used the braces as lifts so I could easily get around the top and sides of the seat with the spray paint.
Since I was leaving the inside of the tires black, I wanted to paint the underside of the seat black, too. Keeping it uniform and not allowing every speck of dirt to show up.
I considered it a bonus that it was metallic. The braces also got a nice coat of the black paint so they would be somewhat invisible to the overall design. Speaking of design…
It was then time to turn the yellow tire into a bumble bee! I measured around 3 inches wide for the black stripes. I had to fudge the last two since I didn’t actually measure the entire length and use math to figure out how wide the stripes should be to be even but I think it turned out pretty sweet anyway.
For the base of the bee, I followed these stripes straight down the sides of the tire from the top so it was more of a continuation of these lines then a whole set of new ones…which may have ended up looking cuter but what’s done is done.
As for the lady bug, I took my handy dandy sponge brush and simply swirled.
The same method was used for the tire portion of the lady bug as the top (which sadly, you cannot see in any of my photos).
Once all of the pieces were dried, I sprayed them with a coat of poly to make them a little more weather proof.
NOTE: I took this photo before I realized I wasn’t done painting the tires. Fail. However, it seems I was too lazy to take another picture once the bottoms were complete. Sounds about right.
Finally it was time for assembly! I let the Jer Bear take over on this one again and he used really long wood screws to go into the sides of the tires and held them more securely with a washer – just to be safe.
He used three of the same wood screws through the top of the seat, too. We tested them out…they’ll definitely stand up to a couple of toddlers. 😉
UPDATE: I would highly recommend adding some handles to these bad boys to make them easier to rock. My nieces were smart enough to ask for them the first time they tried them out. Doh! Outsmarted by 3 year olds!
Another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that these built for one rockers are a bit too big for their 3 1/2 year-old owners. Maybe we should have stalled on making them a bit longer. Ah, well. They have plenty of time to grow into them!
In case you find yourself wondering, our insect obsessed nieces LOVED their new toys…they’re just not sure how to use them yet. :p
Make something you’ve pinned lately? You should link up, too!