I wanted to do a tutorial for this push toy, but I didn’t take any pictures as I was making them (I finished two). But I had a request for instructions and I finally caved and tried to recreate it without actually making a new elephant. Also, I took the pictures late last night so the photos are pretty bad. Sorry.

You will need:

1. Mod Podge 2. a sponge brush for the Mod Podge and and paint 3. acrylic paint, I used grey and pink 4. paper to cover the elephant body and ears, I used a grey pattern and a pink polka dot 5. a rough fingernail file 6. wooden toy wheels (you can get these at a craft store) 7. ears cut out of 1/4 inch particle board 8. two 2-inch pieces of wooden dowel (match the dowel thickness with the hole in the wheel) 9. an animal pattern, I’ve had this one for many years, I thinks it’s from a Martha Stewart Baby magazine 10. a piece of wood that fits your animal pattern

I forgot to show the wood glue, the clamp, and the sand paper. And you’ll need a scroll saw or a jigsaw to cut out the elephant pattern and a drill press or a hand held drill.


1. I didn’t take a picture of this, but first you will need to trace your animal pattern onto your wood and trace your ears onto the particle board. Cut them out using a scroll saw or a jigsaw. Using a drill or drill press, make a hole where pictured on the pattern that is slightly larger than the dowel that you will be using to allow the wheels to roll. Sand down the rough and uneven edges.
2. Using your new wooden elephant as a template, trace two elephant shapes and two ear shapes out of your paper and cut out. It’s better if the shapes are a little bit bigger than the wooden elephant because we’ll be filing the paper down for a perfect fit.
3. Paint the edge of the elephant grey, going around the whole elephant.
4. Paint the skinny edge of the ears pink.
5. Using Mod Podge and the sponge brush, adhere the paper to the wooden elephant. I only applied Mod Podge to the back side of the paper. Repeat for the ears.
6. After the Mod Podge dries, file down the edges of the paper to meet the edge of the wood using the rough file. This will create a crisp and distressed line along the elephant. Repeat for the ears.
7. Using just a little bit of wood glue, stick both of the ears onto the elephant body and hold in place with a clamp. Let dry overnight.
8. Meanwhile, spray paint your wheels grey and cut your dowel to size.
9. When everything is dry, insert the dowel through the drilled hole and glue the wheels to pieces of dowel.
10. Tie a matching bow and find someone to give your elephant push toy to.


  1. that is darling!

    Wendy    Thursday, September 24, 2009
  2. I can’t believe you used a saw and made that! That’s awesome! :)

    Cindy    Thursday, September 24, 2009
  3. thank you for this. i seriously loved it from the first photo you posted of it. it’s a perfect handmade gift for any little one. thanks for sharing.

    marta    Thursday, September 24, 2009
  4. So, so cute. Now how do I justify buying a jigsaw for my "crafting"?

    Joy    Friday, September 25, 2009
  5. Okay, to be fair I should mention that I was the feminist-type girl who took three–yes THREE–years of woodshop in junior high/high school. I loved it and projects like this never intimidate me. Also my husband was a finish carpenter for many years before we met and before he returned to school to get his degree in something else. So we both have a lot of sawdust in our pasts.

    onecharmingirl    Friday, September 25, 2009
  6. An Elegant Elephant. Perfect. My sister is just like you – we always gave her a new tool for Christmas and Birthdays. But for the rest of us, you really should simply sell a craft kit with the elephant wood cutouts. The shape is just perfect.

    Amy @ Tonality Designs    Friday, September 25, 2009
  7. What a simple easy tutorial ~ minus the whole jigsaw, cut my finger off part. What a sweet gift to give to a new mommy!

    pamela    Saturday, September 26, 2009
  8. This is just so darling! Thanks for the tutorial ~ while the instructions seem fairly easy to follow along with, I think I’ll stay far away from any tools! I’ve run over my finger with the needle in my sewing machine once…..I can’t even imagine what might occur if I had my hands on a power tool! Beautiful work!!

    Karen Wilson/lillybelle Designs    Sunday, September 27, 2009
  9. Adorable! I just showed it to my husband and told him to get to work cutting out the wood:o) I can’t wait to make one for my little seven month old, Ellie. We call her Ellie-phant.

    Mollie Farnsworth    Monday, September 28, 2009
  10. That is really cool!

    Richard    Thursday, October 29, 2009
  11. I love your blog!! Can you tell me how big is the finished elephant?

    Kim    Wednesday, November 4, 2009
  12. I LOVE this! It’s posting today! xo

    Mod Podge Amy    Wednesday, May 12, 2010
  13. Super cute idea! It will go on my toddlers gift page.

    Noreen    Wednesday, May 12, 2010
  14. WOW! This is one of the cutest baby toys I’ve seen in a long time!! Darling!

    Alison    Wednesday, May 12, 2010
  15. I love this-so cute and the possibilities are endless!

    Tammy @she wears flowers    Thursday, May 13, 2010
  16. Oops–I meant to tell you that I think your tutorial is great! Very well done!

    Tammy @she wears flowers    Thursday, May 13, 2010
  17. How Cute! I just love your little elephant…and the colors too!

    Debbie Saenz    Friday, May 14, 2010
  18. Just wanted to let you know that I featured this idea on my blog with a roundup of other fun baby ideas, getting ready for Baby Week at Oopsey Daisy. Here is the link:


    Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!


    Alison    Wednesday, May 26, 2010
  19. Could you please post a link to the elephant template, I have 3 of the Martha Stewart Baby Magazines, but the animal template is not in any of them. It is just perfect. Or could you tell me what magazine you found it in. Thanks.

    Nancy    Wednesday, June 8, 2011
  20. Wonderful elephant I’ll do this myself!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Ludmila    Sunday, June 26, 2011

7 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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