Nostalgic Mini Toy Ornaments

Patterns / Winter Scrolling

Nostalgic Mini Toy Ornaments

Charming decorations double as small toys

By Howard Clements

I have been designing an annual ornament for my grandchildren for more than 20 years. They are a great way to use up scrap wood and dowels. You can create them assembly-line style and fill a tree—or make a lot of gifts—with an afternoon’s work. Better yet, get a youngster or two involved in the cutting, painting, and assembling.

While it’s possible to cut the small wheels for the truck, I suggest purchasing them. You can find them online for around $0.08 when you buy 100 at a time.

Making the Bread Truck Ornament

Attach the pattern to the wood, and then drill the holes in the sides and bottom. Cut the body and the fenders. Insert the posts up through the bottom and glue them in place. Cut the excess dowel flush with the bottom of the truck. Glue an axle dowel into one wheel, insert the axle through the axle hole, and glue it into the other wheel. Repeat the process for the other wheels and axle. Make sure there is 1/16″ (2mm) clearance between the wheels and body so the wheels move. Then, glue the fenders in place and apply a clear spray finish. Drill a small pilot hole and install a screw eye.

Making the Noah’s Ark Ornament

The ark is made of stacked layers. You’ll need one copy of the layers 1-2 pattern and three copies of the layers 3-4-5 pattern. Cut the perimeters only of the layers 3, 4, and 5 patterns, attach each to thin wood, and cut the pieces. Tilt the saw table a few degrees as you cut the perimeters if you like. Attach the layer 1 pattern to its blank, drill a blade-entry hole, and cut the center. Glue it to layer 2 and cut the perimeter of the stacked piece. Glue all of the layers together. Cut the cabin, and then draw or paint the door. To cut the roof, attach the pattern to the wood, tilt the left side of the saw down 25°, and then cut the four sides. Paint the roof, glue it to the cabin, and glue the cabin to the hull. Cut and paint Noah and the animals. Let them dry, and then glue them to the ark as desired. Drill a small pilot hole and attach a screw eye to the top.

Materials & Tools


Bread Truck:

  • Scrap wood, 3/4″ (19mm) thick: truck body
  • Scrap wood, 1/8″ (3mm) thick: fenders
  • Dowel, 1/8″ (3mm) dia.: posts & axles, 4 each 1 1/4″ (32mm) long
  • Wheels: 4 each 1/2″ (13mm) dia.


  • Scrap wood, 3/4″ (19mm) thick: roof
  • Scrap wood, 5/8″ (16mm) thick: cabin
  • Scrap wood, 1/8″ (3mm) thick: ark & figures


  • Screw eye: 2 each 1/8″ (3mm) dia.
  • Acrylic paint
  • Marker, permanent: black
  • Wood finish: clear spray



  • Scroll saw blades: #2/0, #5
  • Drill with bits: 9/64″ (3.5mm); #22 wire size


CLICK HERE to download the patterns for the Nostalgic Mini Toy Ornaments.

Making Tiny Toys in Wood

Create charming holiday decorations that double as small toys with this easy-to-follow guidebook. Full-size patterns and step-by-step instructions are provided for 15 working wooden toy ornaments. Available for $12.99 plus S&H from Fox Chapel Publishing.



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