It’s time to meet our new favorite tool and see how we made these adorable DIY wooden baby teethers!
Friends, I’d like to introduce you to someone new today.
He’s called the X-Carve and he’s basically the newest member of our family. Corey can’t stop talking about him and all the cool things he can do. I can’t stop brainstorming ways to hang out with him. Jackson’s constantly asking if he can be with us while we’re spending time with him. Grant seems thrilled with the work he’s been doing around the house, too.
…what, you don’t consider your new favorite tools part of the family?!
This post is sponsored by our new friends at Inventables and contains affiliate links, but all opinions and ideas are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Love & Renovations!
Corey has been talking about getting an X-Carve for years now, so when I told him that Inventables was interested in partnering with us this year, you can imagine his excitement. I was pretty thrilled too, because this baby can do so many really exciting things, and I can’t wait to show you all of the projects we’re already dreaming up.
I’ll dive into the details in a moment, but first I want to give a quick note: I know most of y’all reading are hobby DIYers who love to work on your home. I know it’s unlikely that you’re interested in a tool exactly like this. However, many of the projects we’ll be sharing from the X-Carve (including today’s project) are still possible with a tool like a scroll saw. And, beyond that, I hope that the projects we share can provide some inspiration and ideas for your own home even if it’s not exactly the same. I think it’ll be a really fun addition to the blog and I can’t wait to show you what it can do!
What is an X-Carve?
So, I’m sure many of you are asking yourself, “what the heck is an X-Carve?!” The X-Carve is a 3-D carving machine that can carve wood, plastics, and a few other products. Think of it as the Cricut of the woodworking world. It can take almost any design we can dream up and cut it out of (or carve it into) a whole bunch of different materials. You can check out the projects page on their site for a look at some of the zillion different ways you can use an X-Carve.
Many people who have X-Carve machines also run woodworking businesses. Hint hint. We aren’t ready to make any official announcements or anything, but we have several different ideas of how we could use this guy to make things that you can purchase for your own home, so stay tuned for more on that!
How does it work?
Inventables has a free software called Easel where you can design your X-Carve projects. You can import SVG files (similar to with a Cricut or other paper-cutting machine), you can design projects within the program, or you can even scan actual drawings or images to have the machine convert to a carve-able file for you! The sky is the limit with the possibilities of this machine, and I honestly just hope Corey and I are creative enough to find ways to use this guy to it’s full potential!
What about those cute teethers?!
Okay, enough introductions. I think y’all know each other well enough now. Let’s chat about the project!
We wanted to keep things relatively simple for our very first carving project, so we decided to create some simple wooden chew toys for Grant. I’ve wanted to make homemade wooden baby toys for a long time now (my dad and I even tossed around the idea of starting an Etsy shop for wooden toys a few years ago!), so I was really excited to try this out on the X-Carve.
I started by sourcing some cute animal silhouettes (I found them right here on Silhouette Garden for free!) and then modifying them so that the shapes were all baby-friendly (no pointy edges or tiny tails!). Then, I added holes to each of them so that we could string some teething beads in. Once we cut them, the elephant ended up having some lines that were a little smaller than I realized (like that trunk!), so we may go back and re-design it to be a little thicker.
Once the design was finished within Easel, all that was left to do was set the machine up and hit the “carve” button. Then, we sat back and watched it work!
It’s one of the most mesmerizing things I’ve ever seen, and it’s pretty incredible how detailed the cuts are. Some day soon I’d like to play around with having it carve things as well (for example, we could have carved features onto each of the animals), but this first project was all about learning the machine and keeping it simple.
Once the pieces were cut out, we sanded them down and added some food-safe oil to them, then added the beads! I’ll detail the steps and sources below, but it’s a pretty straightforward process – and, like I mentioned before, if you don’t have access to an X-Carve, you can always cut shapes out with a scroll saw…it just takes a lot more time and you have to, you know, carve it yourself rather than letting a machine do all the work!
How To Make DIY Wooden Baby Teethers
- Animal shapes cut from 1X8 Maple board (if you decide to use a different type of wood, be sure to research if it’s safe for baby toys).
- Silicone teething beads
- Round wood beads
- Unfinished wood rings
- Nylon cord
Start by cutting your nylon cord down to about 8″, then string a variety of beads onto the string (have fun mixing the types of beads however you’d like!).
Then, add on your animal shape (and a wood ring if you want), and tie off the end. String the excess string back through a couple of the beads so it doesn’t come untied (you may need to use a needle), then cut off the excess.
Hand the teether to your baby and let ’em go to town!
Grant is loving his new teethers and I am loving the fact that we made them ourselves!
I can’t wait to show you even more awesome projects with the X-Carve! We have a few really cool things planned, and I have a feeling we’re all going to come to love this new member of our family quite a bit.
If you want to learn more about the X-Carve and what it can do, just click here to check out Inventables’ website!
Any ideas for what we should try next with our new favorite tool?!