DIY baby play gym: Make a stylish timber play gym for your baby

A DIY I’ve wanted to make for 2 years now is a timber baby play gym! I got the idea to make one when we made Patrick’s teepee clothing rack as I thought a miniature version would be ideal for hanging toys. Of course, I wasn’t the only one to get this thought and there are now dozens of tutorials to make similar play gyms.

But a dear friend of mine is about to have her second bub, and I’m making this play gym for her so thought while I was at it, I’d take photos along the way.

You can personalise this piece to suit your baby’s nursery, for example by adding some coloured silicone beads from your colour palette.

Related article: DIY nursery canopy with eucalyptus garland
Related article: Creating an epic outdoor play area for your child

Baby gym 4


This design was created using advice from Australian Toy Safety guidelines however it has not been tested for compliance. We recommend parents use their own judgement if this design is right for them and that babies are supervised at all times.

Items you will need:


1. Cut the timber pieces in half and trim the ends on a 15 degree angle (this will make them sit flush against the floor and give the gym stability).

2. Stand two pieces of timber and cross them at the top, creating a teepee shape and use your pencil to mark where the timbers overlap.

3. Find the centre of the overlapped space and mark with a pencil. Pre-drill a hole with a regular drill bit and then use the spade drill bill to drill out your hole where the dowel will feed through.

4. Repeat this step on each piece of timber.

5. Optional: You could paint the timber pieces in white or a colour to tie into your nursery theme. Alternatively, you could use painters tape to create a clean edge and just paint the top tips of the planks. Or you could leave the gym completely natural.

6. Drill a small hole 25cm up from the base of each timber plank where you can feed your twine through to help give the gym extra stability (this will prevent it falling on baby!).

7. Construct your play gym by standing two pieces of timber at each end and feed your dowel through.

8. Feed twine between the two holes on the legs of each side of the play gym and tie a double knot to secure.

Secure legs

9. If your toys are on small timber hoops, you will need to add these before putting the end pieces on your gym. Alternatively, you could simply double twine over the dowel and feed beads on one by one. Finish with a double knot and leave 1cm excess twine to prevent it coming undone. Babies just love munching on the ribbon!

Baby gym close up

There you have my version of a stylish baby play gym. Will you attempt this DIY? Tell us how you’ve adapted it to suit your nursery!

Find more gorgeous nursery DIY projects here

Baby gym 1
Baby gym 3

This post was first published in August 2017 but has been updated with new information and images.

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. This means, if you purchase an item we may receive a commission on that sale of the products at no extra cost to you.


    • Hi Tiffany, good question. The timber sides cost about $4 each from Bunnings and I had the dowel left over but you can buy small pieces of dowel for around $3 (price varies depending on thickness and length), so the main structure should cost around $10. I bought packets of timber beads for between $2-4 each from the craft store (prices vary a lot from store to store so it’s worth checking out a Dollar Shop or Etsy) and I bought 1 nice teething toy from Modern Monty which was the most expensive purchase – I think $25-30 from memory? She no longer sells these toys and you can find more affordable ones available on Etsy here. So if you had to buy everything (and a more affordable teething toy for around $15), I’d estimate it should cost $30-$35 to make versus $50-$100 or even more to buy one. Hope this helps 🙂

    • Hi Savannah, you can buy the wooden toys and hoop beads on Etsy from stores like Woodenbeadsandco here and I think the toys you’re looking for are here. They have loads of products though so I suggest browsing through their store to find what you want 🙂

  1. I’ve been looking at these online for ages but they’re always so expensive, definitely going to give it a go for my bubba #2!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here