There’s just something about building things for kids that is always fun. We are big fans of kid themed builds around here, whether it is a full blown cabin with a rope bridge leading to a reading nook, a climbing wall, or a simple wooden blocks so they can carry on your love of building. My kids love to squirrel away every coin they scrounge from my purse, sucker from Grandma, or find laying around in their Disneyland fund. And we love encouraging them to save and learn to manage money.
When I had the chance to create something fun out of scrap wood my mind went to doing something fun with a coin bank. The fox was such a cute little guy that I thought maybe I would add a penguin…and that led to the owl…which led to the bird…and then the frog just had to come along, too. So what I have for you today is the plans and templates for all five of these super fun wooden animal coin banks. It’s all part of a scrap wood challenge brought to you by a group of madly talented incredibly awesome builder bloggers.
Do I need to tell you that you should follow each and every one of them just because in so doing your creative world will be enriched, and it may even lead to your next great inspiration? Oh, that can definitely happen. So you should.
Here’s a list of the other awesome scrap wood projects you can check out and make for yourself:
Jen Woodhouse – DIY Bunk Buddy
3×3 Custom – Scrap Wood Trivets
Ugly Duckling House – DIY Mini Garden Deck
Her Tool Belt – Scrap Wood 3D Pixel Art
The Kim Six Fix – DIY Outdoor Drink Stakes
DIY Huntress – DIY Scrap Wood Coasters
Mr. Built It – Headphone Stand
At Charlottes’s House – Scrap Wood Buffalo Check Tray
Sawdust 2 Stitches -Scrap Wood Wall Decor
Bower Power – Baseball Hat Rack
Pneumatic Addict – Scrap Wood Table With Epoxy Resin
Anika’s DIY Life – DIY Spice Rack
100 Things 2 Do – DIY Can Crusher
Hazel + Gold Designs – DIY Patio Table Drink Holder
Reality Daydream – Scrap Wood Shoe Cabinet
House Becoming Home – Modern DIY Clock
Chatfield Court – DIY Wooden Garden Obelisk
If that isn’t enough raw talent and inspiration to keep you going for a while I don’t know what is.
Alright, let’s build some wooden animal coin banks!
And now, to show you what I was working with – drumroll please…
If that looks like it was run over…it kind of was. Long story – but definitely scrap!
Off cuts from cutting stair skirting for our home.
Bookends or Coin banks: A Choose Your Own Adventure Build
The first part of these plans cover building the animals. After that point you may want to stop, paint them up, and use them as bookends or what not. The build from there gets a little more complex, so go with what is comfortable for you.
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band saw (not saying I recommend this one, but it’s what I use and it is really cheap)
1 3/4″ forstner bit (coin bank only)
1 5/8″ forstner bit (coin bank only)
drill (coin bank only)
table saw or large band saw (coin bank only)
router (coin bank only)
1/4″ straight bit (coin bank only)
1/2″ straight bit (coin bank only)
Print the template or templates of your choice and cut out.
Cut wood into sections large enough to accommodate the template of your choice. You will need three pieces of 1×8 material.
Lots of clamps.
Trace the template and cut out the outline on a band saw.
If you are planning to use these for bookends or decorative objects you’ll go ahead and paint these up and that’s it!
If you are in for the challenge, keep going…
Cut the bank in half lengthwise – so that you have mirror image sides. Okay, let’s talk about this…
This would ideally be done on a large band saw. I used my table saw, which required passing each bank through a couple of passes. Please use caution, work within your comfort level, don’t do anything stupid, and (it must be said), shop safety should always be your first priority and your responsibility. To make this cut I moved slow, utilized a feather board (I really like the Hedgehog feather board), and used push sticks. Having the blade all the way up like that means using extra caution, so again, be mindful and don’t take risks you don’t need to take.
Clamp the piece to a table and hollow each side of the coin bank using a plunge router. I found it helpful to draw an outline of the space to carve out, being sure not to come to close to any edges. The idea here is to leave a cavity large enough for coins, but not to play close to those walls.
I aimed to carve down about 5/8″ – 3/4″ of an inch on both sides.
A compact router might arguably be a better tool for this job, given the amount of space a plunge base takes up. I found myself having to rotate the pieces around a number of times to get the bit to every part of the space that needed carving.
Glue and clamp the separate pieces back together. I had to bust out all the clamps to get this job done!
Back to sanding. Those edges need to look like they were never cut apart. Use filler where necessary. I like to finish off any last tiny gaps with Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty.
Cut the groove in the top using a 1/4″ straight bit. This cut is best done on a router table. You’ll cut through to the hollowed cavity.
With a forstner bit, drill a 1 3/4″ hole down about 1/8″ on the underside, then drill 1 1 5/8″ hole in the center of that hole through to the cavity of the bank. You’ll need to hold the bank in a vice while you do this. See the bandaid on my finger? That’s what happens if you don’t. This little bench vice works great.
Some of the animal templates require drilling through part of the legs, so the surface area isn’t flat. That’s not possible to do freehand with a forstner bit, so I found I had to chisel them out a bit first. This would probably be avoidable with a drill press, but the animals stand up too tall to fit in mine.
Tip: Hold the bit to the base of the bank and trace where you’ll need to chisel.
The 1 5/8″ plug should fit tightly down into the hole, and the edges should snug down into the 1 3/4″ countersink are that you first drilled. Like so:
It’s time to paint! I first sketched any details onto the bank with a pencil (some details are included in the templates), then painted using acrylics.
In process. This reminded me of my mom’s tole painting phase. It is really relaxing, so I totally get why that was a thing for a while.
I finished with a gloss polyurethane (I used General Finishes Arm R Seal because that’s what I had on hand.)
And there they are!
These little guys would make great gifts. Cost wise, they are pretty minimal, if you have tools and supplies on hand.
I’ll finish up with individual shots of the coin banks.