Recently I got the honor of attending my cousin’s 1st birthday party. As soon as I got the invitation I set off to make this little princess something special for her big day. I ended up coming across a modern rocking horse design on Ana White’s website and decided this would be the perfect gift.
It was a big hit at the party! All the kids wanted to play on the rocker. The birthday girl would sit on the front when the other kids sat on the seat. I think she really likes it.
One big problem I had was the front stem of the rocker ended up cracking off about an hour into the party. It was sad because I had spent a lot of time making this! I wood glued it back together and I have gotten reports that it is still holding strong! If you are going to attempt this project make sure to use hard wood! I didn’t listen the warnings and regretted it.
All the instructions on how to make this moped rocker are on Ana White’s website. I will walk you through what I did. Sorry in advance for the lack of pictures, my camera battery died when I was doing the assembly part of the project. If you want more visuals for this project please check on Ana-White.com.
Ladybug Moped Rocker
- 1 -1×10 @ 8 feet long (hard wood)
- 1/2″ dowel rod – 7″ long
- 1 – 1×3 or 1×4 wood – 16″ long
- Wood Screws (2″)
- Wood Screws (1 1/4″)
- Wood filler
- Sand Paper (60 grit)
- Scotch tape
- Printer paper
- Clear coat
- Paint rollers
- Paint brush
- Drill bit (pilot hole)
- Drill bit (1/2″)
- Drill bit (counter bore)
- Sponge (for ladybug spots)
To start this project, print off the tiled .pdf that can be found on AnaWhite.com. Fold the edges and use tape to tie together the template.
Place the template over the piece of wood that you want to cut the pieces out of.
Using a pen, trace over the lines on the template. This will not leave pen makes on the wood but it will make an indentation.
After the indentations are made go through and make the lines with pen.
Using a Jig-saw cut the rocker pieces out. On the main frame piece cut out a notch for the front piece to side into. I just estimated how deep to make the hole by putting the pieces up to each other. I recommend making the notch as snug as possible to prevent breaking.
Sketched out notch on front piece.
Use a small drill bit to take the corners out of the notch.
Use the jig-saw to cut out the notch.
Also cut out two 8in long 1×3 or 1×4 for the cross bean supports. Cut a piece of the dowel rod about 8 inches long.
This is where my camera died. Please refer to ana-white.com to get more pictures.
Next, sand all the edges down. Make sure there are not any edges that can harm a child. After all the surfaces and edges are sanded predrill and counter bore all the holes (see list below).
Holes needed (pilot hole and counter bore):
- Two on the fender (opposite sides)
- Two on the light
- Two on the seat
- Two on the steam
- Four on each of the cross beams (two on each side)
Using the ½” drill bit make the handle bar holder holes. I clamped the second holder to the first to get the holes to line up perfectly. All the rest of the holes I waited to drill.
The next step was to paint all the pieces. Add as many coats as need to get your desired color.
Once all the paint is dry, start the assembly process. I did this in two parts to make the finishing easier. First attached the cross beams to the flat part of the rockers. Fill the holes using wood filler. Let wood filer dry. Sand down the wood filler and paint over the top. After the touch up paint is dry start coating with clear coat. I put about 6 coats on the bottom to ensure it would not mark up the floor.
For the top part of the rocker, start by attaching the front plate to the main frame by sliding the two notched areas together. Attach the two through the predrilled holes using 1 1/4″screws. Then attach the seat to the main frame through predrilled holes using 2″ Screws.
Next put the handle bar through the handlebar holder (I had to sand the inside to get it to fit, I then had to really knock it in using a rubber mallet). Clamp the handle bar assembly in place on the back of the front plate. Drill two pilot and counter boar holes into each holder through the front side of the front plate. Use 1 1/4″ screws to attach the pieces together. This step was done a little different on ana-white.com so it will not look like the pictures.
Using 1 1/4″ screws attach the fenders to both sides of the main frame.
Cover all the holes with wood filer. Sand when dry and touch up the paint.
The last part to attach to the top of the rocker is the little circle light with more counter bored screws. After it is attached use wood filler, sand and touch up paint. When the light paint was drying I added the lady bug spots to the rocker.
To finish up the assembly attach the main frame to the cross beams. First sand down the wheels so they sit flush on the cross beams. Then drill a pilot hole and then attach using 2″ screws.
Clear coat the top of the rocker (at least 3 coats).
Tips and things to improve:
- Use wood glue between each piece! I didn’t do this and really wish I did!
- Use hard wood. This is very important if you don’t want it to break.