Handmade Wooden Toy Wooley Mammoth

Handmade Wooden Toy Mamoths
Handmade Wooden Toy Wooly Mamoths


After visiting the Florida Museum of Natural History, my grandson developed a fascination for mammoths after seeing their skeleton. He gave me marching orders that I was to make him a mammoth for his birthday. Fortunately, I had a pattern in one of John Lewman's books I had purchased. These patterns presented me with several small challenges.

The patterns were in color. I prefer simpler patterns with plain black or red lines and no shading. I find these much easier to see and to cut accurately. Some of the parts required multiples, but there was only one pattern.

The book I have was in digital format so I do not need to scan the page. I used Gimp to load the page and remove all of the color, shading and extraneous text. From there it was a simple mater to select the parts one at a time and copy and paste them into Inkscape.

Handmade Wooden Toy Wooly Mamoths
Handmade Wooden Toy Wooly Mamoths


In Inkscape traced the bit map to produce an SVG path and create the duplicates I needed. Save it and print. When I am done, I have all the patterns I needed on a single sheet of paper.

I run almost all of my patterns through Inkscape to produce SVG files for several reasons. 

  • I want to create a pattern that I can see and cut easily.  
  • I can put multiples on a single sheet of paper. 
  • Once the pattern is in SVG format, it is very easy to resize patterns to fit the material I have.
  • The lines printed from SVG files are sharp and clear with no jagged edges.
I finished these with shellac and rubbed them with 0000 steel wool and paste wax. I'll not use this finish on wooly mammoths again. With all the corners and crevices rubbing them was a real pain. The next time they will get an oil finish.

Handmade Wooden Toy Wooly Mamoth
Handmade Wooden Toy Wooly Mamoths

The tusk overlay I made from shop made plywood. I glued three thin peices of oak together to make much better plywood than I can buy locally. I used plywood here because I was sure the tusks would break if I used solid wood.

My grandson was very happy with his new mammoths.


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