DIY Rainbow Rocker

I wanted to do a special handmade gift for Claire’s upcoming birthday since I was jonesing for a new project now that our kitchen’s mostly finished. Naturally, I  went to my pinterest boards for ideas and came across this pin. The rainbow rocker retails for only 139 euro ($188 USD), and that doesn’t even include shipping! I knew I could figure out a way to DIY a version for much cheaper and I’m pretty thrilled with how stinking cute it turned out.

DIY-Rainbow-Rocker

Rainbow-Rocker

Rainbow-Rocker3

Here’s what you’ll need to DIY your own version:

  • 1-2′ x 4′ x 1/2″ sheet birch plywood @ $15.47
  • 12′ of 1″ x 4″ @ $1.12/LF = $13.44
  • 1″ Kreg pocket hole screws (100 ct.) @ $3.87
  • 2 boxes food coloring @ $3.48 ea = $6.96
  • 1 bottle isopropyl alcohol @ $2.29

The total material cost of my DIY version was $42.03 (about 78% off retail). Not too shabby.

To start I drafted and printed a template for the sides. You can download a pdf of my template here. To print it you’ll need access to a large format printer since it’s 36″ x 48″ in size or you can send it to your local office supply printer and have an oversized black and white print done for about $7.

printed-rainbow-rocker-temp

After I had my paper template cut out I traced it onto my plywood twice arranging it so I could get two pieces out of my one plywood sheet.

rainbow-rocker-template-tra

To cut the sides out of the plywood I used a jigsaw. I learned from my mistakes that it’s best to cut out the inside of the handles first (just make a hole in the center with a large drill bit to start your cut).

cutting-template-jigsaw

Here’s my two side pieces after a little sanding to smooth out my edges to get rid of any potential small splinters.

rainbow-rocker-sides

For the interior rainbow pieces, I cut 1″ x 4″ poplar (actually 3/4″ x 3 1/2″) into nine lengths of 13.5″. After cutting them, I sanded them down and slightly eased the edges with the sander. Once the sanding was done the fun began with the food coloring.

dying-wood-with-food-colori

The “wood dye” was just a couple tablespoons of isopropyl rubbing alcohol mixed with about 20ish drops of food coloring. Just play with the ratio of food coloring to isoproply alcohol until you get the color intensity you desire and brush it onto the wood with an interior paint brush. For the nine colors, I used two boxes of food coloring, one in the “classic” colors and one of the neon colors. I’m sure you could probably achieve the same rainbow effect with one box and mixing two colors for different combinations. The only mixing I had to do with the two boxes of varying shades was of the yellow and red to get my orange piece.

wood-dyed-with-food-colorin

The pieces dry pretty fast since the alcohol evaporates so quickly, but I let mine sit out overnight to dry before I picked up the following night by drilling the pocket holes for final assembly. I used a Kreg jig do drill the pocket holes and since you are jointing a 3/4″ thick piece to a 1/2″ thick plywood you actually want the depth setting of the pocket hole jig set up to 5/8″.

drill-pocket-holes

After the holes were drilled in my frigid garage, I took all of the components inside for final assembly. Just eyeball the spacing of the rainbow pieces onto one of the sides and start attaching them with 1″ Kreg screws working from the center out to the edges. I attached everything to one side first and then I flipped the entire assembly over and attached everything into the second side. I choose to have my pocket holes on the “inside” of the rainbow but this is a personal preference and they could be flipped around to the outside if desired.

rainbow-rocker-assembly

If for some reason you have a screw that pierces through the plywood just file it down smooth with a rasp or file so it doesn’t puncture tiny fingers. The final step is to finish the whole thing with a clear finish of your choice. I prefer General Finishes Water-Based Polyacrylic as my go to brush on clear finish. Last but not least I had my little guy take if for a test drive before we gift it to Claire on her birthday.

it-works

I think it passed the toddler evaluation! The thing can really get rocking and it’s nice and sturdy enough to climb on. If you decide to make one of your own good luck and please send me some pictures, I’d love to see them.

DIY-Rainbow-Rocker2

Linking up to Work it Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Inspiration Gallery, Creativity Unleashed, Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity Now, Remodelaholics Anonymous , The DIYersLink Party Palooza, and EC2 CWTS Knock-Offs

 

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31 thoughts on “DIY Rainbow Rocker

  1. Kristin

    This is the cutest thing! I absolutely love the colors of the boards – great job, and so creative with just some food coloring! That is going to be one happy little girl. This is the cutest project, Becky – I have to pin this!

    Reply
  2. Liz

    This is great! It looks so professional, like something you would see in a fancy catalog…and those colors you chose for the wood slats are amazing! I like that the kids can flip it over too and climb over and under it. Good work!

    Reply
    1. Becky Post author

      Thanks Liz – I was drawn to the original inspiration for the same fun design and multi-functionality. Hopefully it will get a lot of hours of playtime.

      Reply
    1. Becky Post author

      Thanks Crystal! It was a lot of fun to make and I have high hopes for it getting a lot of play time after we gift it to my two year old on Saturday.

      Reply
  3. @InTheNext30Days

    Woah. This looks like such fun for little ones. Thanks for sharing the how to, I'd love to make these for my kiddos too, perfect for playtime and relaxing.

    I found you via the MamaBubBlog Adventures in Pinterest Link up! And I'll be back!

    Reply
  4. rea

    that is super adorbs!! my son and my daughter would love that becky! if only i know how to get a hold of power tools like you woman!

    hey thanks for sharing this over at The DIY’ers! huggies♥

    rea

    Reply
    1. Becky Post author

      Thanks Rea! The jigsaw wasactually not all that intimidating – probably just a step above a power drill. Just take it slow to stay on the lines.

      Reply
  5. rea

    Hi Becky,

    I just want to let you know that your rainbow rocker is on my top 3 from last week’s The DIY’ers!

    Congratulations! This will be featured onto my pinterest The DIY’ers Party Favorites board.

    Thanks for sharing and it is now live so come and link up your latest projects with us, huggies♥

    rea

    Reply
  6. amal

    Hi Becky!

    I plan on shop-botting this project next week. Thanks for the inspiration. Will send you my Instructable.com page once its up! =)

    Reply
    1. Becky Post author

      Awesome! A wish I had access to some sort of CNC machine – I had to go with the low tech route and use a jigsaw. Can't wait to see the results!

      Reply
  7. Gabrielle

    This is amazing!! I’ve been eyeing that 139 euro rainbow rocking for months wondering if I could tackle making my own. Now I know I can. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  8. Summer G

    Wow you did an amazing job. I love ths . An I have everything to make it except the kreg jig do you believe its possible to do it without.

    Reply
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  10. Jane Dawson

    Hi Becky,
    I love this and thank you for the generous instructions. I am making this for my granddaughter for Christmas. I am don’t know if you have time to reply to messages but I am wondering how it has held up after a year. My husband thinks it would be more sturdy if the screws went from the outside in. But I figure you would know if it was sturdy by now after a year of play!
    Thank you for the great tutorial!
    Jane

    Reply
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