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Switches & Locks Playboard

Hello readers, it’s Jaime from That’s My Letter here and we are nearly to the end of 2016!  I have a super easy and fast last minute gift idea for kids – a switches and locks playboard that uses up all those spare hardware bits lying around your workshop!

I scoured my workshop pulling together all the spare pieces of hardware I had stashed away to use on this playboard.  Anything that moves, turns, twists, flips, or latches will be great for this project.  I always save random pieces of hardware from renovations or from previous projects and today they are coming in handy.

This playboard makes a great gift for toddlers and young kids to keep them busy with all the different hooks and latches.  Just be careful to steer clear of anything that could pinch or snap little fingers.

I added the pine board frame to finish off the plywood and make this board a nice, completed, functional board perfect for my almost 3-year-old nephew.


  • 3/4″ plywood scrap piece about 19″ x 19″
  • Paint
  • 1″ x 2″ x 8′ pine board
  • Misc. switches, locks and hardware pieces
  • Nail gun
  • Wood glue
  • 1 ¼” finish nails
  • French cleat


Step 1: Paint the plywood and let dry.  Gather all your miscellaneous switches, knobs, locks, pulls, chains, magnets, etc.

Step 2: Attach all the hardware pieces to the plywood.

Step 3: Frame out the plywood using 1×2 boards attached with wood glue and 1 1/4″ finish nails.  Add a french cleat to the center top back and hang on the wall:

Now you’re ready to add a giant bow and give to that special little someone!  Take a look through your workshop and I guarantee you’ll find a few miscellaneous hardware bits that would be perfect for a switches and locks playboard.  Happy Holidays!

~Read more of Jaime’s tutorials~


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2 replies
  1. Kristan
    Kristan says:

    As cute as this is, is also how much I would not want my 4 year old son with autism to learn how to work all these locks. It was a scary day when he learned the key deadbolt when 2.5. Then we put slide chain and had to put end tables in storage when he figured out to stand on them to open the chain.
    I’ll stick to teaching him math! lol


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