Joe Mueller creates beautifully crafted and painted toys. His painted finishes are exquisite. Joe says what inspires him is he loves seeing the little ones get a kick out of playing with with the toys he builds. We can just imagine the squeals of delights from the kids!
As for painting techniques Joe tells us he has no secrets, "I buy most of my acrylic paints at Michaels or Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts locally. After cutting out the wood pieces and sanding them, I give them a coat of sealer, usually two coats of acrylic paint, and a final coat of satin or matte varnish. That's about all. I do buy pre-made wheels and peg axles."
Joe has another terrific pattern making technique to share, "I make stencils of the toy parts by tracing over the pattern print-outs with a fine-point Sharpie over sheets of clear plastic (the kind that I salvage from pastry or fruit containers from the grocery stores). I used to be able to use sheets of plastic from gallon milk jugs if they were clear. Or if necessary I buy the plastic sheets in the stationery depts at Walmart or Office Depot. The stencils can be cut using an ordinary scissors or an X-acto knife if needed. I trace the patterns on the wood. It saves gluing paper patterns to the wood and then having to peel the paper and removing excess glue residue."
Above: Joe poses proudly with his beautifully crafted and finished A Star is Born in Bethlehem.
Above: Joe's Wild Woodys Cruisin' Diner is fantastic with his colorful painted surfaces!
Joe tells ToymakingPlans.com, "I don't sell the toys. I give them away to my great-nephews in Iowa, my 3 and 1 year-old neighbors, and of course my 3 grand-kids down in Texas! I retired after 28 years teaching grade school in and around Belleville. Years ago I carved a few duck decoys following after my Dad who made hunting duck decoys back in the '40's and '50's. I got hooked on my scroll saw back in the '80's and have been having fun ever since! After all these years I have no scars, and I do have all my fingers intact!
Above: We wonder who will be the lucky recipient of the Noah's Fun-Time Mini Ark. What a treasure!
Above: Joe's colorful and cute boats, cars and airplanes from the book Little Village Toy Plans for Table Saws are perfectly playful.
Above: Joe's super cute Quick & Easy Happy Valley Farm Set.
Above: The Easy Basics Bobsy Car Kids look great!
Joe can be contacted at Haas820@aol.com