Super Simple DIY Semicircles and Planks for Extra Rainbow Fun

If you need to know one thing about me it’s this, I LOVE a good DIY project. Especially one that really isn’t too complicated and you can knock out in a day. My DIY semicircles and planks were just that kind of project. Simple and straightforward! Check out how I made them below. As well as some ideas for ways to use them!

Creating your own DIY semicircles and planks is super simple and could be knocked out in just a couple of afternoons!

If you have been around the playroom side of the internet at all in the last couple of years I can guarantee that you have seen the Grimms Rainbow. I adore ours. Bitty is interested but doesn’t independently play with it much yet. In an effort to spark some new interest and invite lots of new building opportunities I wanted to add some DIY semicircles and the planks!

my DIY Semicircles and Planks are simple wooden blocks created to allow for more invitations to build and play with our Grimms Rainbow.

DIY Semicircles and Planks Supplies

First Decide on Your Wood

We bought a big sheet of ¼ inch birch plywood as I have MANY projects in my list and we knew we would end up using all of it. You can get smaller sheets and you certainly don’t need a full sheet for this project.

I purchased a full sheet of plywood for this project and many more down the road.

This is one of those times you are going to want to spend a little more money on the materials if you can. When I say plywood, you don’t want OSB. You want laminated plywood and the more expensive the smoother and stronger the wood will be. 

DIY Semicircles and Planks : Step 1 – Sketch It Out

Now comes the simple step. Simply lay out your rainbow on your plywood and trace it. 

Not wanting to waste wood I tried to find the most efficient way to puzzle the arches together on my plank

I knew I wanted the DIY semicircles to be slightly larger than the bands of the rainbow to allow for some error when stacking. You can decide how much extra to give yourself by the angle you hold the pencil at just make sure you trace the outside of the bands not the inside.

I traced around the outside of the arches to make sure that my semicirlces ended up larger thus allowing for more room for error when stacking

I chose to rip my big sheet down to planks and then used the two long edges as the straight parts of the semicircles and the long edges of the planks. Work smarter not harder!

I wanted to work smarter not harder so I make sure to use my smooth edges of the plank for the long edges of my DIY semicircles.

DIY Semicircles and Planks : Step 2 – Starting to Take Shape

Time to break out the powertools! 

When I laid my arches out I had them as close as I could to allow room to cut so that I didn’t waste material. This meant that I needed the jigsaw to break my plank down into more manageable sizes. 

I wanted to work smarter not harder so I make sure to use my smooth edges of the plank for the long edges of my DIY semicircles.

If you wanted you could use a table saw or miter saw or really any kind of saw and break your pieces down beforehand, but be prepared to have some waste.

A jigsaw is not a delicate power tool I would not recommend it for your final cut but it does a great job at allowing more free form cuts when making your own toys

Once you have smaller pieces to work with you are ready for more precise cuts!

For the planks we ripped a skinnier plank that was the same width as the rainbow arches. Then one at a time I stacked the arch on that plank, made a mark for how long the pank needed to be, and cut that with the miter saw. 

DIY Semicircles and Planks : Step 3 – Fine Tune Your Semicircles

This is where I used my scroll saw to get the nice round edges of the semicircles. If you have a bandsaw I think you could do it with that as well. 

A scroll saw is a super small blade that allows for tighter turns in your woodworking

Go slow and always cut to the outside of your line, you can go back later with sanding to get closer to the line you traced.

A scroll saw is a super small blade that allows for tighter turns in your woodworking

DIY Semicircles and Planks : Step 4 – Sanding

Everyone’s favorite step right!? No? Ya no… Nobody really likes sanding. BUT it makes all the difference in the world especially when little hands are going to be playing with it!

I recommend a belt sander or some other stationary device so that you can use two hands to manipulate your pieces. If you’re really dedicated you could hand sand. Not me though. Again I like to work smarter not harder! Lol

I highly recommend a belt sander if you are going to make a habit of making your own toys at home.

If you want to give your DIY Semicircles and Planks the diagonal edge similar to the Grimms Rainbow, you’ll want to start with a rough grit to take away some material and then finish the sanding with a high grit or smoother sandpaper.

To Paint or Stain or Oil that is the Question…

And this is where I leave you. Your DIY Semicircles and Planks are done. Or not. It depends on if you want to paint or stain or oil your boards. 

Freshly sanding and smooth the DIY Semicircles and Planks are simple blocks you can add to your Rainbow play for even more fun!

If you want to match the Grimms Rainbow, I went through that whole process when I made my DIY Loose Parts and Homemade Stacker Toys, so head over there to get some tips on painting wood with watered down acrylic.

You could also choose to use wood stain in whatever shade you like.

I chose to leave mine raw. I liked the contrast of the bright wood against the colors of the rainbow. ALSO then we can use our DIY Semicircles and Planks with our other wooden building blocks and they go together with no problem!

Freshly sanding and smooth the DIY Semicircles and Planks are simple blocks you can add to your Rainbow play for even more fun!

I do plan to eventually oil them in some way. I’m just not sure what product I want to use yet. What is your favorite oil for wood toys?

Individually our DIY Semicircles and Planks are great for talking about size and working on smaller and larger. They can be great additions to your small world as roads and hills

the semicircles offer a lot of additional build space
There is something so satisfying about stacking the DIY Semicircles and Planks in a spiral pattern

But let’s be honest. You’re here to add them to your collection to use with your Rainbow. 

If you need to breath some new life into your rainbow I love the addition of DIY Semicircles and Planks!
DIY Semicircles and Planks can help to create cakes, apartment buildings, caves and ball runs and thats just the beginning!
DIY Semicircles and Planks are great additions to your rainbow play!

I have found personally that the semicircles offer the most stacking options from cakes to buildings and towers. I just find myself gravitating to them more. 

Semicircles offer lots of levels with your rainbow!
Semicircles are a great way to stack your rainbow with some more stability

The planks offer a bigger challenge to balance for sure but you can create some great boats and caves!

Planks are great for ramps and level surfaces to stack on
If you balance your planks between two arches you can create little boats!

The best way to play with your DIY Semicircles and Planks is together! You have lots more options for what you can build this way!

You can use your DIY Semicircles and Planks  to create little caves for your peg people to live in!
Adding some peg people to your rainbow play just adds to the fun
Using your DIY Semicircles and Planks together with your Rainbow is the best of both worlds for sure!

Always Looking for Some New Ideas!

One way that I am looking forward to using them is as ramps for ball runs. We haven’t gotten there yet but if you have some good ones tag me on Instagram so I can give them a try!

Other Posts you may like
Check out how I make our custom wooden stacker toys for small world play
How to Make your own Wooden Stacker Toys
Back to basics with classic Rainbow Rice and some pretend baking!
Rainbow Rice Cupcake Sensory Bin
Loose parts play is awesome but sometimes you need to add some invitations to explore to get the fun started!
How to Make Additions to your Loose Parts Play

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