DIY Resources

DIY Resources

I’ve had lots of questions about the DIY resources I use in my classroom. These have all been made by my hubby or me, so  I thought I’d write a quick post about some of them. You may have seen some of them in previous blog posts, or on my social media pages as many have been shared somewhere before…


Natural Geoboards

These are a few years old now and were the first things my hubby made for me – nails in wood slices. Simple! The nails have never been an issue for the 3 and 4 year olds I work with…

Natural geoboard and loom bands from Rachel (",)


Threading Log

A few years ago I removed the screws from some old curtain rings as I wanted the rings as loose parts. I kept the screws and that’s what I’ve used on the log here. Really easy to make…

Threading log from Rachel (",)


Golf Tees on a Wood Slice 

Golf tees in a wood slice from Rachel (",)


Threading Post

Dowelling rods in wood slices…

Threading post from Rachel (",)


Wooden Sewing Discs

Holes drilled through wood slices…

Threading wooden discs from Rachel (",)


Nuts & Bolts 

It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that the sewing discs above could also be used with nuts & bolts too. I haven’t tried them with the children yet, but I can think of a few who will love them…

Using the wooden sewing discs with nuts and bolts - from Rachel (",)

In case you didn’t know and are in the UK, Wilko is a great place to buy nuts & bolts cheaply – fill a large bag for £2.99 or a small bag for £1.99 (I think)…

wilko DIY pick your mix selection shared by Rachel (",)


Wooden Chalk Boards

Inspired by many examples online, I painted these slices of wood with chalkboard paint. We have lots of chalkboards but these are a nice alternative and the children have enjoyed using them outdoors…

Wood Slices and Chalkboard Paint from Rachel (",)


DIY Mirror Boxes

You will find a blog post for how to make these here.

Homemade mirror boxes and trifold mirror from Rachel (",)


Homemade Mirror Tray

I saw this idea on Facebook when I was having a ‘report writing’ break. A lovely lady called Karen Nixon posted a tray she had created and lots of people shared it. As I have a few wooden trays, I thought I would have a go at making one. It is simply a wooden tray with adhesive mirror tiles stuck inside (these are widely available on eBay & Amazon). I have some smaller real mirror trays and I’m not going to pretend that this homemade version is as beautiful and sturdy as them, but it is still quite reflective and as long as it isn’t used with ‘scratchy’ loose parts, I think it will last for a while. I haven’t used it with the children yet, so we’ll see!

Homemade mirror tray from Rachel (",)


Homemade Lightbox

I now have a posh light panel, which I love, but this homemade version served me well for 2 years…

It was simply made by placing fairy lights inside an under-bed storage box (you can buy flat lidded ones from B&Q). They were threaded through a hole drilled in the side, & I stuck greaseproof paper to the underside of the lid to diffuse the light (white tissue would do). The paper under the lid is really important – you don’t want children to be staring at ‘naked’ lights for a long period of time! Obviously, a real light panel is much brighter, so place the homemade version in a darker area of the room. You could perhaps make a sort of tent to go over it if your room is really bright…

Homemade light box from Rachel (",)


Numbered Bugs

I painted unfinished wooden bugs and wrote numbers on the bottom. We’ve used these a lot! You can see how they were made in this bees post.

Numbered ladybirds, bees and rainbow bugs from Rachel (",)


Glass Pebble Bees & Ladybirds

Clear glass pebbles and a permanent marker pen. I also put a coat of clear nail varnish over the pen…

Glass pebble bees and ladybirds from Rachel (",)


Painted Rocks

I just painted cobble stones bought from B&Q with normal house emulsion (I used sample pots) and then varnished with clear varnish…

Hand painted bees, ladybirds and frogs from Rachel (",)


Line Rocks

Original idea from Juliet at Creative Star Learning

Line rocks from Rachel (",)


Pattern stones, Patterned Wood Chips and a Pattern Dice

I just used a black sharpie on these…

Pattern stones, patterned wood chips and a pattern dice from Rachel (",)


Fish Stones

Click on the picture to take you to the original post…

Homemade fish stones from Rachel (",)


Story Stones

I have lots of story stones, but these are my favourite two sets – simply print out the pictures you want on paper and glue them onto the stones with PVA glue. There is PVA over the top of them too, to ‘varnish’ them. They are not waterproof!

Story stones from Rachel (",)



Painted drawer handles. The red ones on the left have spots to 10 on them, to use in counting activities…

Painted drawer handles to make toadstools - from Rachel (",)


Maths Sticks

I made these last year after being inspired (again) by Juliet at Creative STAR Learning.You saw them in this post.

Maths Sticks from Rachel (",)

After the paint wore off, I used cheap electrical tape (available in pound shops) instead.

Maths sticks made with cheap sticks and electrical tape - from Rachel (",)

Maths sticks made with cheap sticks and electrical tape - from Rachel (",)


Cotton Buds Dipped in Paint

Cotton buds dipped in paint from Rachel (",)


DIY Tens Frames

I glued craft sticks (& lolly sticks) together to make these, an idea I got from Janice Novakowski on Twitter. I originally just made a few with normal sized lolly sticks, but they leave quite small gaps, so I also made some with larger craft sticks to allow for the use of slightly bigger loose parts if needed…

Craft stick Tens Frames from Rachel (",)

Craft stick Tens Frames from Rachel (",)


Cable Reel Small World Table

This table has been used for all sorts of small world or sensory play. I often cover it with a piece of felt, fabric or hessian, but it’s lovely just by itself too. The green grass matting was bought cheaply and simply glued on with a strong adhesive.

Simple homemade cable reel 'small world table' from Rachel (",)

The children often bring resources from other areas of the classroom to the table. Here are a few of the things that they have ‘set up’…

Small world set-ups by the children, on the cable reel - from Rachel (",)


I am on half term at the moment and so there probably won’t be a post next week.

My web host is going to be changing (possibly next week) and I don’t know if that will mean issues with loading my site. I hope not, but apologies if it does!


Thanks for reading and for your continued support! 

Don’t forget that you can also find me on FacebookInstagramTwitter &  Pinterest

Would love you to come & say hello! 🙂 

– Rachel (“,)

Golf Tees and Cocktail Stocks in Polystyrene Blocks from Rachel (",)

Golf Tees and Cocktail Stocks in Polystyrene Blocks


  1. All I can say is Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    • Aww, you are very welcome, Carissa!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this – summer break is a perfect time to do a little DIY!

    • Oh that’s brilliant! Have fun! 🙂

  3. Hello Rachel

    Thanks very much for acknowledging my website as the source of a couple of your ideas. You have put together a fine collection here. I love home-made resources because I don’t worry about losing a couple of items – most things are easy enough to add to or quickly replenish.

    All the best with your blog and nursery work

    • Thanks for being a constant source of inspiration, Juliet!
      Love your work 🙂

  4. Utterly inspiring as usual Rachel. Many thanks. 🙂

    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Jackie! 🙂

  5. Thank you for the sharing what sharing your wonderful ideas. Please keep posting more.

    • You’re welcome, Shereen – I’ll do my best! 😉

  6. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for all the inspiration, I have been regularly checking in for a year or so now and love your stuff. I am curious about how you store all your beautiful resources when they are not in use. If you are willing to share, I would love to see some photos of your storage systems and also wide view of your learning space to see how you fit it all together and avoid clutter!! Many thanks, Amy


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