DIY modern baby rattle

ok here it is! the first baby DIY. i loooove all the simple wooden toys that are available for babies, but they’re pretty pricey, so when i saw a simple wood rattle i realized i could make a bunch at once (perfect baby shower gift too)!

also, a lot of people keep trying to tell me that babies love and need color. well that might be true but i don’t buy it. what i DO buy is that babies like contrast, because i did totally read that — so i’m gonna try to incorporate contrast into the things i make and buy for him as much as i can without stuff being like, ugly. so that’s why i added a little hint of contrast on these guys! because i’m already such a good mom.


01. cut your dowels down to the size you want your rattle (i cut mine down to about 4.5″)

02. sand down and clean with a cloth.

03. paint however many of your rings you want with the milk paint (which i read up and found it was the best type of paint to use for baby). i am really into the smooth finish too! let dry.

04. assemble your rattles by sticking a dowel cap on one end with a dab of wood glue inside. throw four or five rings on and do the same with the other end.

so simple to make and so cute right?! v stoked on these.

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  1. This is so sweet and the perfect gender-neutral gift for a baby – love!

  2. I am OBSESSED with these! Can’t wait to make for my little niece coming in August! I’m excited for you to share more diy projects for babies like this!

  3. These are so dreamy, and I want to make one for every baby I know, but I’m vegan!

    Could you recommend another non-toxic paint that doesn’t have animal products in it?

    1. There is a vegan brand of paint called Unearthed that seems to be pretty good. Hope that helps.

  4. While I prefer more neutral colors myself it is certainly true that tiny humans like bright colors. At first they only notice contrasts but after a while they really like red and then other colors. For some reason bright colors attract their attention. I love your DIY rattle/teethers btw.

  5. Absolutely awesome in its simplicity!
    If anyone wants, painting one ring red (as baby “ages”) would be great … and so easy!

  6. so cute!! i want to know where you got your saw & metal miter box from!

  7. When I have kids, I’ll definitely have this kind of natural tone toys..
    Great post! 🙂

  8. This is one of those, “this is so brilliant… why didn’t I think of it” kinds of things. So smart!

  9. This baby rattle is so cute and it’s a really smart idea to make one by yourself! We really liked this idea. We have written about this baby rattle on our blog 🙂

  10. Chrystal McKay says:

    I called Folkart Milk paint (the one you link to) to ask them if their products are safe for baby (such as to suck on in the case of this rattle) and they said they are not certified nor tested on babies and thy advise AGAINST using it for items meant for baby to put in their mouth. So although it’s milk paint….this paint shouldn’t be recommended. But I absolutely adore these none the less and only found out AFTER I made them that this specific paint isn’t baby safe 🙁 so sad!

  11. My husband and I made these rattles but we found that using the paint you recommended, particularly the black, comes off extremely easily once you actually use the rattle. We did let the rings fully dry before use. The black that is left behind is easily cleaned up with a cloth but I can’t imagine having to clean up the rattle every single time after use.

    Did you run into this problem? Does it take more than one coat or can you seal the paint somehow?

    Thanks for your time and help!

    1. That was my problem as well. I’m trying to figure out a way to seal them

      1. Erica Purdy says:

        Try miss mustard seed hemp oil. it is food grade and it seals milk paint 🙂

  12. Make sure the end balls are 13/16″ or larger to prevent choking. There are government standards for baby rattles and children’s toys for a reason.

  13. There is a vegan brand of paint called Unearthed that seems to be pretty good. Hope that helps.